Nicole Thompson by Nicole Thompson

As your exam day approaches, it is sometimes difficult to know what areas you should be focusing on the most. While we do suggest that you relax, instead of cram, the day before your exam, here are some study strategies that we’ve found to be effective in the period leading up to it.

By now you have completed reading the manual and online content, and you’re probably wondering, “What should I do now?” Now is the time to take full advantage of the online practice tests. These tests are a great way to identify your strengths and, more importantly, areas that need improvement. Once you complete the test, spend time going over each question and create a “Topics to Review” list for the ones that you answered incorrectly. It is important not to get caught up in the idea that you should re-read entire chapters or study guides. Instead, focus on the following questions related to your experience taking the quizzes and answering study questions:

  • Did I answer this question incorrectly?
  • Why?
  • What area in the textbook can this content be found?
  • Do I see a pattern or topic that I seem to struggle with?

As you’re going back into the textbook and reviewing these topic areas, make sure you understand the entire topic, instead of only the concept you missed on the study question or practice exam. For example, perhaps you answered a question about types of negligence incorrectly. Instead of learning just that one type of negligence, go back and review all the types of negligence.

Also, look at your correct answers. Did you get the answer correct because you guessed, or did you know the information? Are there any other answer options in the questions about which you are unsure? If you were guessing, make sure you understand why the correct answer is what it is, and if you don’t recognize any of the answer options, take the time to review them in your manual.

Once you address these issues, attempt to retake the practice tests.

While you can take the practice tests as many times as you’d like, we don’t suggest getting to the point where you are just memorizing the answers. Instead, try printing out the tests and have a friend or family member quiz you on the questions without giving you multiple-choice options. This will force you to think of the correct answer without using the process of elimination.

Because the practice tests reflect the types of questions you can expect to see on the certification exam, it is in your best interest to take advantage of this study resource.