Five Tips on How to Prepare for a Certification Exam

You have likely had your fair share of experience preparing for and taking examinations and the nervousness that many people experience with writing an exam never goes away. It’s natural to be anxious about taking a test – nobody wants to be unsuccessful.  This article highlights some tips and strategies to help you prepare to take a certification examination.

Tip # 1: Embrace a Growth Mindset

To have a growth mindset you believe that your skills and abilities can be developed through hard work. This means that you are willing to acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers, and that you will seek to understand more.  See the certification examination as a challenge to grow your understanding and learn from the process.

Tip #2: Schedule Time to Study

The BCRSP certification exams cover a broad range of subject material, and it will take considerable time and energy to prepare. Scheduling time to study in your calendar is one way to ensure that you are dedicating the time and energy needed to this process.  Multi-tasking is not your friend when it comes to study so carve that time out and tell your family, or co-workers you are off limits for the allocated slot on your calendar. Turn off your social media feeds and email notifications so you can focus on the material being studied.

Tip #3: Knowledge is Complex

Trying to memorize independent facts and items without understanding the relationship between the interrelated concepts is not beneficial for examination preparation or for your work. Reading through a textbook and highlighting key points may not help you synthesize the information in a coherent way that enables you to draw on it effectively when it is needed – either in an examination setting or in your work. Seek to understand the concepts and the relationship between concepts. 

Tip #4: Focus Attention

The BCRSP certification examination blueprints tell examination candidates what percentage of the topic areas will appear on an examination. Consider this in your preparation method and use study materials that are proportional to what is covered on the examination.

Tip #5: Know Thyself

We all have a unique learning style and what is effective for one person may not be effective for someone else. Know what your personal learning style is – If you are an auditory learner consider recording material or seeking out audio format texts and listen to the material. If you are a social learner, join a study group. Know how you learn best and then adapt your study to that method.