Nicole Thompson by Nicole Thompson

Holidays, special occasions, and unusual life events (planned or otherwise) not only impact your daily routine but also impact your study schedule. Whether it’s the holiday season, a wedding, or going on vacation, we understand that sometimes you may not be able to study as much as you would like.

When that happens, we suggest putting your study schedule into "maintenance mode." Just like physical activity, quitting cold turkey can cause you to lose motivation, forget or lose what you’ve already done, and ultimately make it harder to start back up again. So here are few tips on how to squeeze in study time when life gets hectic:

Pick a few topics to review and break them down into small manageable portions so you can do a little at a time.

We understand that the amount of content required for the certification exam can be overwhelming. In fact, many of you may feel as though you'll never get through all the materials or be able to remember all of the terms, exercises, and topics. This is why we suggest breaking topics down into smaller, more manageable portions. For example, during the holidays, you can go over the topics that you are struggling with the most. By making time for short study sessions throughout the season, you'll have these topics memorized and can check them off your list once you get back to your regular study routine.

Don't be afraid to take a couple days to relax and enjoy—sometimes this helps us to recharge your batteries so that you may come back ready to go.

Just as you need breaks in your fitness routine to allow your muscles to repair, you also need breaks from studying to help you recharge and let the information sink in. You'll be surprised how much information you've retained when you resume your normal study schedule again.

Pick out some chapters that seem the most fun to you, and just read them for pleasure to eliminate the pressure of studying.

You have at least one good reason (and probably more) for taking your certification exam—you're passionate about fitness. Instead of thinking of your manual as a textbook that you HAVE to read, think of it as a book you CHOOSE to read because you love the topic. Pick some of your favorite chapters and read them at your own pace, just for fun. Not only will you better retain the information from reading it a second time, but you'll probably learn a few new things you missed the first time.

Many people learn best by doing, so practice the exercises described in the book.

Taking some time to practice the exercises in the book is a good way to learn their names and how to perform them, as well as give yourself a break from the more reading-focused studying. Further, performing the exercises will help you to remember them even better.

Incorporating these easy tips into a temporarily hectic schedule will allow you to be refreshed once you get back to your normal routine. And, by employing different studying and learning techniques, you will undoubtedly have engaged with a wide range of topics.

Furthermore, if you haven’t register for a test date yet, keep in mind the date that your exam voucher expires is NOT the date by which you have to take your exam. It is simply the date by which you have to select the day/time/place you will sit for your exam. The day that you actually take the exam is dependent upon the scheduling options at the testing locations in your area. You may schedule your exam as far into the future as the testing location you choose allows.