Once you have committed to a study program, set a deadline to complete the course and schedule your exam, identify the study strategies that work for you, and understand how to study with a purpose.
It is time to roll up your sleeves and put your study plan in motion!
1. Study the Content
Read, watch, absorb. This is the key part to your learning. Engage with the content -- sit down and focus. The better you focus and the more you absorb, the better you will perform on course exams and in turn, your state exam. You should spend most of your time absorbing content. Understanding the content is more important than memorizing questions. The better you understand the content, the better you can answer the questions, however they may be worded on your state exam.
2. Check your Knowledge
As you are working your way through the course content, it’s important to check your knowledge by answering the retention questions throughout the course. These questions are designed to assess basic knowledge on key concepts. If you feel yourself answering retention questions wrong, take a break and come back later with a clear mind.
3. Test for Comprehension
Upon completing a chapter, the online chapter exams will keep you on track as you move from chapter to chapter. The chapter exams will assess your comprehension of the entire chapter and help you understand what content you need to spend more time learning. Use exams as an assessment rather than a learning tool.
If you are not scoring well in your course exams, evaluate your weaknesses and go back into the course and study! This is critical to the learning process and will help you fill in the gaps of your knowledge.
Practice makes perfect. Sometimes you won't score well on your chapter exams on the first attempt, and that's okay. Repeat these steps, and you can expect to thrive on your state exam!
You have worked hard, studied the content, taken practice tests, and successfully completed all requirements. NOW it’s time for the BIG DAY – taking your state exam! You are ready to do this and you must have confidence. Manage the things you can control to reduce stress, as opposed to worrying about those you can’t:
- Make sure you have directions to the test center and prepare for traffic delays
- Arrive at the test center early with the proper identification
- Be familiar with the security measures that will be taken and leave all study materials and personal items locked in your car
- The exam vendor will be taking your picture and most test centers have security cameras in the examination room
- Be aware that there’s a time limit, but do not let that dictate your pace – you will have plenty of time if you manage the test wisely
Test anxiety can wreak havoc on those who are not good test takers. A little nervousness is normal, but real test anxiety can interfere with your success. The good news is that you can learn how to be a good test taker by following these few simple test-taking tips:
- Read each question – twice – and do not look at the answers until you understand what the question is asking
- Look for key words in the question, such as “MUST”, “ALL”, “NONE”, “NOT CORRECT” and “EXCEPT”
- Read all answers choices before selecting an answer… While C might be an OK answer, D might be the BEST or more complete answer. If you struggle with this, start reading the answer choices with letter D and work your way up to A.
- Do not spend too much time thinking about one question.
- If you have a question which you cannot answer, DO NOT dwell on it. Go with your first instinct, flag it for review, and be confident moving forward.
- When you finish the exam, only review the questions you have flagged for review
- Do not change an answer unless you are absolutely sure you are changing it to the right answer. You only get one shot at your first impression, which is almost always right, so go with your gut!
Make sure you have a plan for how to make a best guess when you don’t know the answer to a specific question.
If you have a question that includes a lot of additional facts….then you must determine which information is necessary to answer the question and ignore the rest.
If you are looking for the one answer that is correct or NOT correct…then look at each answer choice and determine if it is correct (true) or not correct (false). When you find three of the answers that are either true or false statements, the fourth answer will be the best choice.
If you are simply not sure of the correct answer…then start determining which answers are not correct. Process of elimination is your best tool and will help you narrow down the answer choices in case you have to guess.
Above all else, you must go into the exam feeling prepared and confident with a positive attitude
Once you are checked-in at the test center, there is nothing else you can do to prepare... Or is there?
1. Pay Attention to Surroundings
As you enter the testing center, be aware of your surroundings. Know where the restrooms and exit are and the procedures you must follow if you need a break during the test.
2. Stay Distraction-Free
You deserve a quiet environment while taking the exam. If another test taker is distracting you, raise your hand and ask for ear plugs
3. Take the Exam Demo
If your nerves get the best of you. Take time to go through the DEMO before starting the test. This will help you relax before the exam begins and the clock starts ticking. The demo walks you through the computer functions, how to answer a question using the mouse, flag questions, and review the test.
4. Do a Memory Dump
Before you sit down at the monitor, you will be given a white board and erasable markers. Once the exam has started and the timer is going, you can recreate your study notes by writing down key terms and concepts to refer to during the exam. Taking time to do this will also give you a few minutes to settle down before jumping into answering questions. You can write down anything during the testing process, but be sure to follow the exam center’s rules. Remember you will not be allowed to take any notes IN or OUT of the test center. The proctor will take the board from you once you officially submit the exam for grading.
5. Flag Questions for Review
Even if you mark a question for review, always choose the first answer that pops into your head. You only get one chance at your first instinct
6. Review Flagged Questions
Once you finish your first go-through of the exam, ONLY review the questions you flagged, not the entire exam
7. Do Not Change Answers
Do not second guess yourself! Stick with your original choice unless you are POSITIVE it is not correct.
8. Have a Positive Attitude
Have a positive mental attitude – YOU GOT THIS!!!