Getting Friendly with the Examiner

So by now you know that you should treat the examiner as a nursing student that is tagging along and you’re showing them the ropes as opposed to treating them like the end-all-be-all EXAMINER.

The reason for that part is simple – when you treat someone as a PEER or someone that is below you on the totem pole you don’t get nervous around them. On the flip side, if you treat them like they have all the power in the world then you’ll get nervous and bad things happen with TOO nervous.

But what about getting friendly?

MOST of us want to be liked and we believe that if we build rapport with someone that things will go smoothly.

This is a bad idea and I’ll tell you why…

First let me ask you – Do you want to pass this test or do you want to gain a friend? Obviously, we could care less about having a new “friend” so the answer becomes, “I want to pass.”

I need you to set that in your mind right now. I need you to push out everything else and say to yourself, “I am going there to pass and everything else is secondary.”

This is the competitive mentality and everyone is at a certain level. You’ve got the Michael Jordans on one side of this spectrum (hyper-competitive) and the Dalai Lama types on the other side (hypo-competitive). Who do you think would win in a ping-pong game? Probably the Michael Jordan types…

“I will crush you…with kindness – Dalai Lama

Let’s back up though. What is the *Excelsior College Pilot Split *CPNE program for the *CPNE test?

*CPNE and Excelsior College are registered trademarks of Excelsior College. Robbie Wolff is not licensed, affiliated or associated with, or endorsed by, Excelsior College.

I treated the examiners in a friendly way and tried to win them over so that if I did goof up, they wouldn’t want to fail a friend or at least a friendly person, right?


I went 0 for 3 in the PCS’s and completely bombed my Lab Sims. But what about failing this friendly guy (me)? Well, they were very nice when they failed me which is the worst consolation prize of all time.

What the hell went wrong???

First of all, I didn’t have a system in place so I took care of that and created RobsREVIEW but for my second time I wasn’t very friendly. I mean I wasn’t a jerk but I kept my distance and was ONLY talkative until AFTER the test was over and I heard those sweet words, “Congratulations. You passed everything. Let’s go fill out your paperwork and get you our of here.”

I started to think if me being more distant and competitive (and a little angry) helped and I found in the answer in one of my favorite books, TOP DOG by Po Bronsons & Ashley Merryman.

It talks a lot about how when you compete and have little victories you slowly produce more and more testosterone which helps you have more and more little wins until you reach your goal (winning a game, ace’ing a test, etc.,)

They looked at professional athletes, Olympians and high level chess competitors (mostly men) but the most interesting study was when they looked at competitive Dog Handlers (men & women).

The reason this was so interesting was because women AND men compete side by side and men show no advantage over women. Since women have far lower baselines of testosterone (1/7th as much as men) the researchers wanted to see what would happen when women competed and won.

Of the 83 MALE dog handlers their testosterone went UP when they competed and went WAY up when they won. The 57 women dog handlers? They didn’t show a boost OR dip if they won OR lost OR during competition.

Was this because women don’t produce spikes in testosterone? No. The former studies looked at pro athletes and SOME were women and they DID produce testosterone when during competition which helped them win but why not these dog handlers?


This is what they call the “tend-and-befriend” theory. The people who seek out others companionship during stressful competition, testosterone does NOT respond so what’s the solution?

Stop making friends with people when you are competing or testing!

You need these boosts and women and men DO get a boost of testosterone and adrenaline when they are stressed but you must make sure you’re not getting too friendly with the person across the playing field (in this case the examiner).

The researchers tested this theory and had a pair of females competed against each other but were separated by a divider so they could not “Tend and Befriend” each other.

The results?

With the women separated by distance and unable to chat, their testosterone responded just as it did in ALL of the men’s studies.

In the last couple of years it has been established that women’s testosterone responds just as it does for men. Studies of professional female tennis, volleyball and even badminton players have ALL confirmed this. The KEY is that they have to be serious competitors, really care about the outcome and not get too friendly!

What do you think? Drop me a line and let me know if you thought this was a good article or complete nonsense.