May 16, 2011, 01:28PM PT in Exam Preparation Blog |
The Final Countdown
While some candidates plan their studies so that they take their certification exam immediately after week 12 (or 20) of their studies, other candidates may have more breathing room before their certification exam. For some candidates it can be tempting to let your studies slide a little, to relax in that final week or two so you are well rested and ready for your certification exam. Other candidates see that last couple of weeks as an opportunity to cram all the information they possibly can into their brains, hoping a few extra facts stick.
The best approach, however, is somewhere in the middle and focuses on smarter studying rather than just more studying. If you are in your last week or two of exam preparation there are a few things you can do to wrap up your studies.
The first task is to review those topics/topic areas where you are still not confident.Some of us know, off the top of our head, what areas we struggle in. But you can also find out what areas these are by looking at your online diagnostic exams. What questions did you struggle on? Were there specific topics you still don’t understand fully? These questions can help you determine the weaker areas you want to review prior to testing.
The second task is to review your Exam Content Outline (Appendix B of your manual). Remember, the Exam Content Outline is the outline of the certification exam. Do you know which areas the exam focuses on? Which areas aren’t such a big deal? One thing I remind candidates of, especially at this point, is that the ACE certification exam is not an anatomy exam, not a math exam, and not a nutrition exam. Yes, those are all important topics. However, they are not the focus of the exam. This means that your final week of studies should not be spent pouring over your anatomy, nutrition or math notes. Instead, focus those last few days on the larger domain areas.
Finally, check to see if you can ‘talk about it’ when considering different exam topics. Keep in mind that the ACE certification exam is more of an application exam rather than a memorize/recall exam. This means that instead of being asked a direct question from a specific page in the manual, you are more likely to be asked a question that expects you to know a little from Chapter 2, a little from Chapter 7 and a little from Chapter 9. At this point in your exam preparation you should be able to apply the information you’ve read to real life scenarios. If not, you may need to review those areas a bit more.
Most important in the last few days before your exam is to take time to relax. It can seem counterintuitive, but time to relax can actually help the information stick in your brain a little more. In those last few days make sure you are getting enough sleep and eating good meals. Review helpful hints for text anxiety just in case.
And remember, if you have questions about your exam prep or the material you are studying, give us a call at 1-888-825-3636 x782.