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Keywords for Review :: Test-Taking Tips

    Study Skills
    Taking tests is a skill like any other. Thus, you will improve with practice. In addition, taking tests can be extremely anxiety producing for some people. These people perform much more poorly on tests than they normally do in class or on the job. The best way to reduce test-anxiety is through constant exposure.

    Practice, practice, practice!

    Keep track of the concepts and definitions you find most difficult and make a flashcard for each one. Keep the flashcards with you during the day. You never know when you'll have a couple of minutes between classes or on a work break to give yourself a quick quiz.

    Make a concept map as a study outline!

    Use mnemonic devices to assist your memory in recalling short lists. For instance, HOMES is a mnemonic device for the Great Lakes - Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.

    Donít memorize material. Instead aim for understanding the material. High stakes examinations do not test for memorization but rather for an understanding of the concepts. When studying content, ask yourself, "How can I use this information when I care for clients?"

    Time Management
    The key to efficient studying is time management. You need to first determine how much time you have before the exam. Next, you need to realistically determine how much free time you have to devote to studying. If you have a couple of months you can study much more leisurely than if you have only a couple of days. Try to make a study schedule based on the time you have available. You should be in the mode to study once you take up the schedule though. Unmotivated studying is not efficient studying! Once you set your study schedule, stick to it. Your unconscious will reward you with greater energy if you stick to your time line.

    Hints for During the Test
    Read each question carefully
    Carefully read each multiple-choice question to ensure a full understanding of the concepts. As you go through the questions look for key concepts that are familiar to you. Understand what the question is asking. Try rephrasing the question. Donít read into the question.

    Answer the question first
    Try to answer the question before looking at the options. If you cannot answer the question, try eliminating the options that you know are incorrect first.

    Go at your own pace
    Donít pay attention to how quickly other candidates complete their examination. The time taken by a candidate to complete the examination is not a predictor of passing or failing. Pace yourself, keeping note of the time left to complete the examination. Take the time you need to answer each question but try not to spend too much time on any one question.

    Healthful Preparation before a Test
    Get a Good Night's Sleep
    Donít stay up late for last minute cramming on the night before your exam. Instead get a good night's sleep. Try to clear your mind and relax.

    Relaxation Techniques:
    Be confident
    Donít let the testing procedure overwhelm you. Be confident in what you know - don't second guess yourself. Think positive. You can pass this examination, you have studied and are prepared.

    Reduce anxiety
    Plan to finish studying for the examination at least several days prior to your scheduled time to test. Last minute cramming will increase your anxiety.

    Ease tension
    Practice deep breathing to decrease tension and manage anxiety. Try to clear your mind if you start to worry.

    Make sure you eat healthy and exercise prior to taking the examination.

    Links:
    Learning Meditation Site:
    http://www.learningmeditation.com/

    National Council's VCampus Union:
    http://www.nclex.com/union.htm
    These test-taking tips were taken from the National Council's Vcampus Union Web Site.