The day I took my state boards I was literally sick to my stomach and thought I was going to vomit during my exam. Then when the clinical part started I felt like someone had taken a baggie and thrown it over my head and I was suffocating. I can laugh now but it wasn’t so funny that day. But I passed both clinical and written with flying colors the first time out.
I was scared to death and felt that the school exaggerated a little. The whole thing was a cake walk.
Blooming Nails, Walsenburg, Colo.
I wasn’t nervous at all until three of the five of us testing together got dismissed for improper product — then I got worried. I was super happy when I passed but it was short-lived when the other girl found out she failed. I felt really bad for her.
I have dyslexia so taking tests is a pain for me anyhow, but the night before the test I was so nervous I didn’t get any sleep. I swear my hands were sweating and shaking during the written, and I think I read each question three times to make sure I was reading it right. My mom has always been my state board model and she kept whispering to me, “Calm down, you got this.” And she was right!
Tina Nance Fox
Terrific 10 by Tina, Knoxville, Tenn.
My goodness that was 16 years ago, I remember I was so nervous I forgot to soak my model’s hand for the manicure part. But I aced the rest of it.
Vicki Green Williams
White House, Tenn.
I was so nervous because at the time I didn’t speak much English and I refused to do the test in Spanish. So what I did was memorize all the questions and answers from the three different exam models the school provided. I passed the written the first time and the practical part was easy.
Lina Maria Hernandez
East Hartford, Conn.
I started mine with full confidence and left feeling like a failure. I showed up at the appropriate time and place, but they neglected to tell us we needed to use a different entrance at the back of the building so I almost missed starting on time. After that it went downhill. The building was freezing cold, the test giver was extremely soft- spoken and the building was loud as there were close to 50 of us testing. I fumbled and dropped so much stuff and I couldn’t remember the steps. I sanitized my hands so much they were raw. They didn’t notify us of our pass or fail results until 30 days later (I passed with flying colors), but for a month I felt like a total failure.
Salon Cosabella, McKinney, Texas
I was most nervous because I took my mom as my model and she had been getting her nails done for years. At one point she tried to whisper to me that the sculpt I was doing on her thumb was too wide. I was so sure the moderator would hear her and flunk me.
VIP Salon & Spa, Riverview, Mich.
I was so nervous that I rushed through at record speed, just wanting to get each section over with. My mom was also my model. The whole ordeal was very intimidating, and I was totally freaked and just prayed that I passed. When I found out I aced it I was amazed.
The Vanity Shop, Crockett, Texas
Visit NAILS 101: A Student Blog (blogs.nailsmag.com/student) for NAILS’ student bloggers experiences preparing for and taking their state board exams.