Standardized testing is taking over the education world as we know it. You most likely have had to take the SAT or ACT to get into college, the GRE to get into graduate school, and now, depending on the professional field you are entering, you've had to take certification tests as well. But whether you're taking the PRAXIS (for teachers) or the ANCC (for nurses), there are some practical tips you can employ to help with test time.
First, gather as many different resources as you can from as many different reputable websites as you can. That includes flash cards, practice tests, tips and best practices from past test-takers that you can find on forums, and anything else that will help you on test day. Be careful about websites that make you pay for help; by the same token, make sure that whatever free information you find is good quality.
The only test you should be taking during exam time should be the one on paper; the last thing you want to do is be unaware of the rules and regulations of the test itself. Are you allowed to bring in any outside resources? How much time will you have to complete each section? What kinds of materials will you need to take the test itself? Make sure you understand as much as possible about the test structure and environment before you walk through the door.
If you can take the test on multiple days, like you can with the PRAXIS, take advantage of the opportunity. Taking the test on different days, or even different times on the same day, allows you to focus your energy on just one subject at a time. This may mean that it will take longer to complete the whole test than it would've if you took it all together, but the extra rest and focus time will be worth it. If you can't break up the test, take a few minutes between each section to reorient your mind to the subject at hand.
Instead of just studying every section all day every day before test time, develop a schedule that balances out the subjects into little chunks. Studies have shown that "cramming" for a test - overloading the brain with information the day before - actually hurts performance rather than helping it. Depending on how long you have before your test date, schedule a block of 15 minutes to 2 hours every day and focus on one subject per day. This will help your brain store the information better and categorize it accordingly.
One of the best things you can do before test day is to take as many practice tests as possible before you arrive. This can be smaller tests
around a particular section or a timed test that mimics the real thing, but be sure you have a few tests under your belt that closely resemble the real thing. That way, when you arrive, the format will be familiar.
Lets get started on preparing you for your certifacation exam by checking out our practice exams.