Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Customs Broker Examination, CH 1, Part 2: Hidden Cause of Failure

The following is an excerpt of The Customs Broker Examination, by Scott Warren Taylor and Andrew Moxon. This book is a part of the Customs Broker Exam Preparation Course from Boskage Commerce Publications. We'll be posting a large excerpt here, with new posts every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Click here if you want to read the whole book right away.


Part 2: The Hidden Cause of Failure

Behind each of the five main reasons given for failure to pass the CBE lies an evasive culprit: the problem of anxiety. When students are asked why they failed, their answers fall into one or more of the five categories of causes. Discuss the problem further, and the problem of anxiety will nearly always surface.

Students enter the examination room on test day and find that the test is more difficult than they thought. They are surprised at the questions asked the level of knowledge required. “How could this be?” the student may wonder. In fact, tests change very little from year to year. The wording and format of questions may change, new questions are added to accommodate new Regulations, but the areas of law that are tested remain fairly consistent.

The reason students are surprised at the difficulty of the test often has to do with anxiety. When taking practice examinations, they simply were not honest with themselves when evaluating their study progress. To do so is to confront the fear of failure. To avoid accurately and honestly simulating the test in order to evaluate progress is to suppress the fear of failure or the anxiety over the possibility of failure.

Other reasons – that there was not sufficient time, that work or personal demands interfered – have a similar root in anxiety, or fear of failure.

The truth is that behind the justifications, the prevalent cause of failure is test anxiety that is present (in greater or lesser degrees) in all broker aspirants prior to and during the taking of the CBE. Such fear prevents a student from preparing properly prior to the examination, and can greatly impede the student’s test-taking ability during the actual time in the examination room.

Solve the problem of anxiety and you will greatly increase your chance of success, but the secret is to first recognize its presence. Simple anxiety, as opposed to acute or clinical anxiety, is a debilitating emotion, rather than a crippling one. In most cases, the presence of simple anxiety merely makes the effort at hand more difficult without actually bringing progress to a halt. It is for this reason that the first two chapters of this book are devoted to understanding the effects of anxiety and understanding ways to work toward overcoming those effects. Time spent with these two chapters will influence the degree of success you will have in learning from the other chapters.

This concludes today's excerpt from The Customs Broker Examination.

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