Help! I Have to Pass a Certification Exam

Rhonda Goetz

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Are you nervous? You should be! One of the most difficult things I ever did was preparing and passing a certification exam. I wish someone had told me the things I am about to tell you.

So you are nervous about taking a certification exam? These exams are not easy. But preparing wisely will help reduce some of your anxiety and allow you to concentrate on important stuff, like the correct answers!

The very first thing to do is to identify your learning style. If you are not sure about yours, there are online assessments to help you.

  • Learning Style Inventory
  • How do you learn?

    Once you know how you learn best, you can tailor your test preparation around that fact.

    Preparing for the test:

    Identify the types of activities that help you retain and understand the material.

    Do you learn best by listening?

    Then get an audio review tape or have someone read sections in the book aloud. Or organize a study group to discuss the concepts.

    Do you learn best by reading and note taking?

    Then create outlines and flash cards. Take lots of notes, then synthesize them down into an outline or draw out a concept or mind map. Create study guides, ie. flash cards, mnemonics, course summaries, etc.

    Do you learn best by doing an activity?

    Then create a presentation on the areas that you are struggling with, go to a job site where the concepts are being used, build a diorama or present the material to someone else.

    Now that you have identified the best way for you to learn, let’s look at some other areas that will help you prepare.

    Choose your study spot wisely.

    It is important to choose your place of study. If you do most of your studying at the kitchen table while someone is cooking or in the living room with the television on, expect to need more time for study.

    Choose your place for study wisely. It is important to have a place that belongs only to you during exam prep time. Think of it as a refuge as you prepare for your future!

    Where do you study best?

  • Keep distractions away from your study area. Don't bring the Nintendo™ or Playstation™ into that room.
  • Turn your phone off and lock the door, this is your time.
  • Don't study in a closet. Make sure you have sufficient space to spread out notes and books or work on a computer.
  • Make sure your environment works for you. Not too hot, not too cold, just right. Do you have plenty of light? You have to see to study.
  • Did you get enough sleep to even start studying. The environment may be perfect, but the body is too tired. Make sure rest is on the study schedule.

    Well, the time is almost here. You have studied, prepared, and reviewed all that you can. Now you need to resist the urge to second guess your abilities. No all nighters for you! ‘

    The day of the test is the time to do a quick review, break out the topic outlines. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the test center, factor in accidents, natural disasters, etc. Here are some tips for the night before and the day of the test.

    The Night Before the Test

  • Don't second guess yourself
  • Get lots of sleep, well try anyway
  • Do not stay up cramming. You know your stuff, have confidence!
  • Go to dinner or a movie with someone, spend time talking about anything but the test
  • Go take a walk, clear your head
  • Set your alarm, set multiple alarms

    The Day of the Test

  • Eat a light meal before you go
  • Review your outlines
  • Make sure you have the ID required to gain access. If they say 2 forms of ID w/picture, they mean it.
  • Show up early for the test, but not so early that you increase your anxiety waiting ~15 minutes
  • When you arrive, use the bathroom. That way you won't be distracted later.
  • Do not mingle with other test-takers, their anxiety is catching.

    THEN go in with confidence, you can do this! Good luck!

    Rhonda Goetz, Instructional Designer
    Chrome Zebra, Inc.
    Demo Courses

    Rhonda Goetz is the owner and CEO of Chrome Zebra, Inc . She is also a Certified Internet Webmaster, a certification test proctor, and an online instructional designer.

    Chrome Zebra designs technology certification courses. To find out more about certification courses or experience a “course Of a Different Color" visit the Chrome Zebra Academy demo course site.

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