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Test Taking Tips for Nurse Assistants


1. Set goals for yourself: There are about 17 modules taught in the CNA Program.  20 days before your exam, set the goal of finishing one module per day. If you keep to this goal and accomplish it day after day, you will have 4 days still open before your exam day. Use 3 days to touch any areas you feel you need to still practice more. On the last day before your exam, sleep very well, relax, take out time for yourself and let your brain be ready for your test the next day.

2. Discipline yourself for study: Do not study at home, unless you do not have things to distract you. If you cannot refrain yourself from turning on the TV, or checking the internet, or checking your text messages, go to the library, and leave your phone in your trunk! All those text messages and emails can wait till you finish your study. There is a flow of study that comes when you concentrate to internalize information. The brain is somewhat prepared, knowing that study time has come. I have experienced it over and over whenever I am serious about studying. I have also experienced the breakage in the process that comes when this study time is full of distractions. It seems to me that the brain becomes confused as to if you really want to study or not, and so retracts. Devoting ample time to study without distraction is a key to passing any major exam.

3. Identify areas of weakness: If you are not competent yet on range of motion exercises, pick a family member, and make her or him a patient and do range of motion on them. If it is vital signs that you are not yet competent in, practice on a family member, or if you do not have the equipment, practice on a student after class. Is it ungloving, ungowning? Practice! Practice!! Practice!!

4. Listen in class: It is very important to listen to the teacher and listen to her examples and illustrations. Understanding the topic the first time it is taught in class is very vital to further studies. I have seen students who are so busy searching their textbooks for information when I am teaching in class. Those are the students who are filled with anxiety when exam approaches because they feel they have not learnt anything. How would you learn when you did not pay attention in class? It is not all the information in the textbook that you need to pass your exam. Actually, some information in some textbooks are meant to complete the pages. That is why you need to pay attention in class so as to know where to concentrate on your extra study. You may spend more hours studying while someone else spends less hours studying the right things because they have a guided study.

5. Do not give in to exam anxiety: Excessive anxiety can make you to be disorganized and start forgetting the things you have studied. That is why I suggested earlier that you do not study the day before your exam, so as to relax.