It is not easy dealing with constant criticism especially when you are preparing for professional tax exams. What makes it even worse is when the criticism comes from ourselves.

Most of us are much kinder and compassionate with other people compared to ourselves and constantly berate ourselves if we do not live up to impossibly high standards. The majority of students sitting the Advanced Tax or BPT exams are coming to the end of their qualification and desperately want to pass and move on with the rest of their lives.

This creates a lot of anxiety which can negatively affect your performance on the day. Practicing self-kindness makes you happier as you recognize the common humanity we share with others. We all experience pain and disappointments.

By being mindful, you are open to the reality of the present moment and acknowledge your suffering without exaggerating it.

Scientific research shows that this makes people more optimistic and improves their relationships which is a good thing.

 In addition, by moving away from perfectionistic thinking, you will experience less stress, anxiety, and depression. This is something we all struggle with.

Finally, it will make you more resilient so if you face a setback in the exam (such as a particular question going badly because you have forgotten some of the tax rules or misinterpreted the scenario), you will be able to bounce back easily and perform well on the areas you are strong in.

Remember you only need 50% to pass and in tax, any relevant point you make will earn some marks. The important thing is to try and answer as much of the exam as possible.