Strategies for Passing Those IT Certification Exams
While getting that IT certification has a number of important advantages, both psychological and monetary, passing the exam can be a daunting challenge. Even the most experienced test takers often have problems with these tough exams, and it can be difficult not to let nerves get in the way of a passing score.
In addition to nervousness, test takers may face a number of other challenges, including winding their way through a number of complicated user interfaces during the simulations and lab exercises that are part of many exams. Many exams require students to demonstrate their skills and knowledge through realistic hands on exercises, and it can be difficult to navigate those interfaces during the short time allotted for the test.
It is important, therefore, for those preparing for such an exam to know that there is a great deal of time, effort and preparation that goes into getting ready for the test. It is important to research various strategies in order to get ready to pass that exam on the first try.
Perhaps the most important thing test takers can do to repair is to gain a thorough understanding of the requirements of the exam. It is important to look closely at the list of objectives for the exam, and to make sure that you have thoroughly mastered all of the requirements. If you are in doubt, be sure to head back to the course material for more study. Some exam sponsors will make exam preparation materials available, and if yours does be sure to take advantage of this material. These exam prep materials can be very valuable when it comes time to prepare for the exam.
It may be a good idea to pick up a couple of study guides to help get ready for the big test. These study guides are generally huge volumes, and it is important to look for the highlights and focus on the objectives of the course when using such materials.
Exam cram guides are smaller, more focused publications that are designed to deal with topics likely to be included on the exams. It is a good idea for students to pick up a combination of exam crams and study guides in order to gather the most information in the shortest possible period of time.
Practice tests can be a big help as well, and many students find them extremely useful. There are a number of practice tests available, from a number of different vendors and on a number of different media, including CD-ROM, DVD and online tests. Many training vendors will provide access to a number of practice tests that students can use to assess their readiness to take the test. It is a good idea to use these practice exams as a guideline, and to avoid taking the real test until you can consistently pass the simulated ones. It is also a good idea to invest in a number of different practice exams to avoid seeing the same questions and answers over and over again.
Getting Ready for the Real Thing
A week or so before the test it is a good idea to begin making your final preparations. Hopefully you have already sat down with the course materials and practice tests and begun to pass those simulated tests consistently. Now it is time to get ready for the actual real test. One important thing that many students fail to do is to find the test center ahead of time. Nothing is more frustrating than driving in circles on test day while precious practice and review time is slipping away. It definitely pays to actually drive to the testing center a week before the test in order to gauge how long it will take to get there and to find out how easy it will be to find a parking place. It is a good idea to make your test run around the same time of day as the real drive, because traffic conditions could change radically from one hour to the next.
It is also a good idea to sit down each night before the test and go over key concepts and test subjects. Focus hard on those areas with which you have had the most difficulty, but be sure to review all of the areas of the coursework.
When the night before the test arrives, it is important to get plenty of rest, and to have a good meal. It is important to be physically as well as mentally ready for the grueling challenge ahead. Of course it goes without saying that you should be sure to set your alarm, and that you should leave plenty of time to drive to the testing center, find a parking place and prepare for the test. Most testing centers will require their students to arrive at the center at least 15 minutes before the test is scheduled to begin, but it is best to arrive at least 30 minutes early if at all possible. This will allow you to get the paperwork and other routine matters out of the way early and focus on the task at hand. Some students also find it helpful to drink an energy drink, or eat a candy bar, in order to raise their energy level. After you have been thus fortified, all there will be left to do is perform one final review of the course material, calm your nerves and have a great test.
In order to thoroughly prepare for the training and certification process, many students find it helpful to work with a quality training provider like CBT Planet. CBT Planet provides self paced computer based training, courseware, books and instructor led training for a number of IT disciplines, including the full compliment of certification programs. Along with the courses offered by Microsoft and Cisco, CBT Planet also offers courses for Red Hat, Oracle, CompTIA, IBM, Sun and more. Contact CBT Planet today to discuss all your training and certification needs.