Back at my regional airline I had training events every year. For most of them it was a "bet you job event".
My regional airline used to be known for having above average pilots. Training wasn't easy...but it weeded out the weaker and average pilots. The check ride event was a single pilot event. The other pilot in the sim could not help, assist, recommend or comment. They could only respond to commands. Even if they saw you were about to fail....they could do nothing. Not a positive experience, but you were on your game.
My last few years at the regional, things changed to a crew checking event. They made training just how we fly. It allowed the crew to work together. Much better experience, but it did allow weaker pilots to be helped by stronger pilots.
At my mainline airline they have been using the crew training and checking for a while. It is train to proficiency instead of train to check. As long as you show a positive attitude and improve, the training department can retrain events within reason. They train and check every 9 months. This was no one gets stuck training in December every year.
Since most of my career is the "bet your job" style training, I still study and prep as though my job is on the line.
I started studying 6 months prior to the checking event. My studying involved reading the systems manual cover to cover twice (even though I would only be tested on just a few systems). I read the aircraft operations manual...twice. I reviewed every training scenario multiple times. I read study guides multiple times. I still felt I was behind.
On my first day here 2 years ago (TWO YEARS MAN! TWO FREAKING YEARS ALREADY!) I was told that I could relax and I don't need to be stressed in the training environment as I wasn't at a regional anymore. They repeated that....several times. I just can't relax. This is my dream career and I came from an environment where one mistake could cause the sim to stop and the pilot to be sent home and given just one more chance to be nearly perfect or be out of a job.
Yesterday I had a 5:30 AM show time. I am glad I live just 4 miles from the training center.
The briefing and sim went very well. I was paired with a "seat filler" which is a person trained on the aircraft but it NOT a current line pilot. This can be a good thing as they do these training events over and over again. I only had one debrief item. We descended into icing conditions and I forgot to turn on the engine anti-ice until we had been in it for over 2 minutes. Not a huge deal, but it was an item.
Cleared to go back on the line for 9 more months.