If there’s one thing that very few people ever actually enjoy – it’s taking a test. While some people may not struggle with exam anxiety, the simple truth is that taking a test is a lot of hard work and it’s never really pleasant. When you want to become a certified personal trainer, taking exams is going to be a big part of the process and there is no way around it.
The good news is that with the right tools and study schedule, you can actually work smarter and not harder and get the grade you want. Yes, exams are intimidating, and for people who struggle with test anxiety – taking an exam might require a lot of hard work and courage. However, the knowledge for these exams can be mastered, and even though they may be intimidating, you can have confidence on test day.
Here are three mistakes that you can make on test day, and how to avoid them!
1. Nothing On The Test Looks Familiar
You know those nightmares where you are giving a speech and suddenly realize you are in your underwear? Or the ones where you dream that you missed a huge exam and find out after the fact? Well, the only thing worse than either of those is studying really hard for an exam – only to show up and not recognize half of the content.
This isn’t just something that lives in hyperbole either. The ability to study really hard, but in the wrong way, or by concentrating on low-yield concepts is all too real. It’s so discouraging to know you put in the work, but not be able to benefit from all of those hours of studying the way you wanted to. One of the best ways to ensure that you never spend time studying the wrong content for an exam – is by using a study guide.
Something like the ACE study guide can give you the structure you need to be sure you are always leveraging study time correctly. When it comes to studying for any kind of exam, there are always going to be two types of knowledge that you will be learning. One is high-yield knowledge and its information that will appear heavily on the exam. The second is low-yield, and this information is still important to be familiar with but will be represented less on the exams.
A study guide’s main goal is to help give you the structure you need to see what is high yield and what is low. With that kind of structure, you can actually learn how to study smarter and not harder so when you get to exam day – you are well versed in the content on your test.
2. Don’t Avoid Practice Tests
One of the hardest parts about studying for a big exam – is how much dedication it takes. The discipline to learn and master information for an exam like the ACE certification is nothing to shake your head at. It takes hours of studying, hard work, and even courage to take this exam and get the score you want.
With all of this effort, a practice exam can seem like the perfect corner to cut to save yourself some time and hassle. Unfortunately, if you do this – you may have made a mistake that you’ll pay for on exam day. Practice tests are one of the most important tools for large exams. They give you a chance to stop studying and actually assess your knowledge, which is vital to ensure that you are spending your study time wisely. A practice exam can show you what areas you are weak in and what areas you are strong in, so you can leverage your study time appropriately.
Also, practice exams give you a chance to set up some goals and have something to work towards. Sometimes the objective of just passing a huge exam is too big and too daunting. By using a practice exam, you can break this process into smaller, more achievable steps.
3. Prioritize Sleep, Food, and Exercise
One mistake you can easily avoid is not taking care of yourself. Yes the exam is daunting, and the test date might be coming up – but if you want the best exam results, you need to take care of yourself. Build a schedule that prioritizes sleep, healthy food, and exercise. Being healthy and active can help to minimize or mitigate anxiety, which can actually increase your chances of getting a better score.
Test day is coming one way or the other, so invest in patterns and tools that can help you get the score you want. Just studying is often times not a good enough answer for some of these hard exams. It takes the proper tools, and an intentional schedule, but with these things in place, you can confidently get the score that you want!
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