When applying for a job, having a certification in your resume makes you stand out. It tells your employer that you’re willing to put in extra time and effort to improve your skills; skills you need to perform your job well.
The catch is you need to ace the exam before you can get certified. So, how can you ensure you’ll pass the test?
Step 1: Prepare
Preparing for a test starts weeks or months before your actual testing date. Even if you have experience in the field you’re testing for, it’s still best to review. A lot of certification centers publish information about the scope of topics covered in the exam. Arm yourself with that knowledge so you can narrow down your review topics. One study also suggests reviewing before going to bed because the brain strengthens new memories during sleep.
Step 2: Practice
Practice testing is one of the most effective study techniques. Review centers exist because of this. Aside from helping you review the material, some also simulate an exam environment by the end of the course. For example, CertBlaster offers CompTIA Network+ practice tests for those who are in the field of IT. Mock exams like these give you an idea of what kind of questions may appear and how long it will take for you to answer them.
Step 3: Take a Break
As the exam date nears, you might feel more pressured to retain as much information as you can. But, you can’t do this when pressure causes you stress. Take a break for 10 minutes every hour, as MIT suggests. You don’t have to review every single day, too. Having some form of reward to look forward to can encourage you to study better so, take one or two days off in a week and reward yourself with a shopping or spa day.
Taking a certification exam doesn’t have to be too stressful. Apply these steps and find out what works for you so you can ace that test, obtain that certification, and get that job.