Preparation for test taking can be extremely stressful and cause considerable anxiety.
Successful personal skills for test preparation are important to use first prior to adopting new processes.
Skills for taking a certification examination include critical thinking and clinical decision making.
Most certification examinations are multiple choice in construction and test content that has been presented throughout the educational program and clinical experiences.
Taking a certification examination is the culmination of educational experience as a graduate student. In most cases, certification examinations are linked to state licensure and credentialing. Didactic coursework and clinical experiences have provided the best preparation for the examination; however, content review, studying, and practice examinations may be important to reinforce important information and support new knowledge.
Prepare at an alert time of the day, in an environment that is conducive to study and memory.
Create a life calendar and schedule time to study.
Study time should be protected from other distractions such as television, email, or the phone.
Schedule breaks from studying to include physical activity, pleasure activities, and rest.
Plan study time over weeks rather than days. Once the educational program is completed, allow adequate time to unwind, celebrate, and plan the “next steps.”
Obtain and review a copy of the examination blue print.
Plan and schedule study time.
Listen and take organized notes to focus on key information.
Use memory strategies to remember key information; include mnemonics, acronyms, and acrostics, keywords, and rhymes or songs.
Spend more time studying weak areas.
Create flash cards or index cards.
Evaluate progress periodically.
Join or create a study group.
Limit the group size to three or five members.
Decide how often, where to meet, and for how long you will meet.
Meet two or three times a week.
Take breaks (short) if planning a long study session.
Study sessions of approximately 60 to 90 minutes are best.
Identify a mentor who can provide answers to questions and offer encouragement during the study period.
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