Top 10 Test Preparation Tips

1. Start Studying 3 Months Before The Test - You have a lot of information to review to get prepared. Give yourself enough time to study all of it in a relaxed state of mind. Trying to cram your study in a month or a few weeks before the test will just create anxiety and even panic which is not conducive to learning.

2. Outline a Study Schedule and Stick to It - You first need to find out what subjects the test covers, then break them down into a study outline. An outline of the material will give you a birds-eye-view of what you have to cover and allow you to plan to actually study it. Include review days throughout the schedule where you review material you studied the month or two before. Include practice test sessions in your schedule as well. Once you have a study schedule established, commit to it and be disciplined. It will only help you, and give you the benefit of comprehensive study, if you actually follow it.

3. Study Every Day for at Least One Hour - Getting prepared for a professional licensing exam takes commitment. To maintain this commitment, it is best to make it part of your regular schedule. Plan an hour a day to study the material you have scheduled for the day.

4. Obtain a Good Study Guide - A good study guide is very important. It will give you the substance you need to know for the test.

5. Use Flashcards - Flashcards are easy to use and can interject some fun into the study process. Flashcards that give you a question on one side and an answer on the other are the most effective. Use them regularly throughout your study schedule.

6. Take Untimed Practice Tests Periodically to Assess Your Knowledge of the Material - Use the Practice Test to find out how well you know the material. For the first couple times, do not time yourself, but use the test simply to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Focus your study on the areas of the exam where you had the most trouble.

7. Take a Timed Practice Test Periodically to Practice Test Taking Skills - Take the Practice Test using the timer setting. Determine how many questions are on your state exam and complete that amount of questions in the allotted time. This exercise will allow you to get a sense of how fast you need to work under time pressure.

8. Tab and Highlight your Code or Book for Open Book Tests - Many jurisdictions have open book tests, allowing you to reference your code book or other reference guide while you take the test. Most testing rules do not allow notes in the book you use, but many allow highlighting and tabbing. When you use a book during a test, it is important to use it in such a way that allows you to work efficiently and not slow you down. Place colored tabs on the pages of the book referencing certain sections , so you can turn to them quickly and not have look up page numbers in the Table of Contents. Highlight those sections which you believe to be important and that will be subject to testing.

9. Meet with Friends who are Studying for the Test and have a Group Discussion - Your friends and colleagues who are studying for the test will have different strength and weaknesses than you. You can benefit each other by sharing information, discussing issues and asking each other questions about the information subject to testing.

10. Don't Study the Day or Night Before the Test - You have prepared for months. Even though you may feel a bit anxious the day before the test, it is important that you give your brain a rest. During the test, you must be clear of mind and able to nimbly move from question to question. If your brain is tired and your eyes are having trouble focusing, you will put yourself at a great disadvantage. Do not study late into the night. You know the material more than you realize. Take the day off, go for a walk, a bike ride or see a movie.

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