Going through a period of preparation for competitions is often a complicated challenge to manage. The difficulty of this selection procedure is usually high or very high, and that is why taking these tests means making a significant sacrifice for months or years.

However, in this phase of preparation for the competitions, we must not only invest time and effort: we must also know how to manage this in an efficient and intelligent way, according to our own needs, weaknesses and strengths. This is why, beyond the obligatory study and training sessions, having the services of a professional psychologist can be a very useful aid.

How can a psychologist help you pass your exams?

It is clear that to successfully complete a series of tests in the competitions there are no magic recipes that will make us obtain a place without effort. However, beyond that we can squeeze our full potential without wasting sweat drops on methods that don’t work. Psychologists are a great help in this respect .

The following are some of the advantages of preparing for the competition under the supervision and guidance of a psychologist.

1. Helps detect strengths and weaknesses

Contrary to popular belief, the person who knows a person best is not always the same person. There are many aspects of an individual’s abilities and personality characteristics that escape self-awareness .

For this reason, people with training and experience in psychological intervention are useful when it comes to detecting the psychological characteristics of the person and seeing to what extent they fit in with the type of objectives posed by an opposition system, in order to make people give their best based on the features that make them unique . Each case is different and requires a different model of adaptation to the goals.

2. Train in strategies to maintain motivation

Motivation is behind many of the successes we will achieve in our lives, and going through opposition tests is no exception. And we must bear in mind that motivation is not something that simply arises from within oneself spontaneously, but depends on our interaction with the context.

Thus, psychologists can train people to be self-motivated to make those efforts that, although rationally they know they should make, for one reason or another these desires are not translated into practice.

3. Helps combat anxiety and rumination

In the face of a study or training process as demanding as the one that precedes going through an opposition, it is easy for anxiety to wreak havoc on the health of the opposing candidates. Both stress and recurrent ideas based on worries that appear over and over again in the students’ consciousness can, over time, accumulate until significantly damaging their quality of life .

Therefore, being under the supervision of psychologists allows us to have a series of preventive measures to avoid reaching this point or, in case such problems already occur, strategies to treat and combat these harmful psychological phenomena.

4. Advice on making effort a habit

Anyone who has ever gone through a demanding selection process knows that, compared to the first days of study, the preparation routines of the second week and beyond are much easier to cope with , and so on.

The first steps are always the most complicated, because in that phase of preparation the habit has not yet developed. It is even possible that if this study dynamic is poorly undertaken, you will never be able to devote the necessary daily hours to preparation in order to reach the objectives, which has increasingly detrimental effects as time goes by and there are fewer days to have everything ready.

Psychologists help the discipline to move from theory to facts in the people who come to them to prepare for competitions, since they develop, together with their clients, study or training plans and schedules, which they monitor to ensure that they are complied with. If problems arise, they will seek the best possible solution.

5. Training in mnemonic techniques

Contrary to popular belief, the ability to memorize information is not something fundamentally immutable, but can be trained to spectacular extremes .

Thanks to mnemonic techniques it is possible to memorize more in less time, which is especially useful in tests based on demonstrating theoretical knowledge.

How to seek advice?

There are several psychology centres that offer specialised services for opponents who want to prepare themselves in the best possible conditions. UPAD Psychology and Coaching, located in Madrid, is one of them. I work on attention management techniques , personal motivation, preparation in goal-oriented decision making, high performance training… All the fronts to be covered by the candidates are dealt with by their team, which has extensive experience in this field.

On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that psychology centres that focus on providing treatment for mental disorders or relationship problems do not have to offer this kind of service, since the nature of an opponent’s need for preparation for the tests is very different. For this reason, attention should be paid to offering psychological intervention aimed at competitive contexts or personal training aimed at going through selection processes.