Many occupations require special certification and licensure because the kind of work involved requires specialized training. In ordered to get certified, the individual must pass a rigorous exam created by the certification board of that industry. These exams are often very intense, so to ensure the best chance of passing it, one must be ready for it. If you plan to take one of these tests soon, here are some tips on how to prepare for professional certification exams.
You have probably gained your skills by either working as an apprentice for a professional or perhaps going to a trade school. You might have books and printed material that you had used during this time. You should review the text again to make sure you have a thorough understanding of the industry standards, codes, and other rules or regulations that your trade adheres to. That is just the beginning.
If you know a professional who has passed the exam, ask him for advice. It is even better if you know someone who has passed the test recently because exams and standards can change over the years. Find out what was particularly challenging about it. See if he has any advice or tips on how to approach the test questions.
You should find out from the certification board if there are official study materials available. Many certification boards provide an outline of what the exam will entail. This is extremely helpful because it enables you to focus your review on the content that is most relevant to the exam. You have a limited time to study, and this allows you to use your review time more efficiently.
See if there are practice exams available. Practice exams are sometimes available from the exam board or from professional organizations in the industry. These might contain actual questions that were given in prior years’ exams, or they might be questions designed by former members of the certification board. Take as many practice exams as you can because that will help you become more comfortable with the format.
If there are review courses accredited by the certification board, take them. This is beneficial especially if your line of work involves highly complex information. Identify the areas where you think you need more review, and spend more time on that.
Go online and see if there are discussion groups formed by members in your industry. You can probably find discussions on the certification process among people who have been there and done that. You might even find other members who are preparing for the exam just like you. It is a good way to establish a connection to share tips on your exam preparation.
Do not forget to take breaks from your study. It is never a good idea to cram at the last minute. Plan your schedule so after you study for a bit, you can step away from it for a little while to allow your brain to re-energize, then come back to it. You will retain more information this way.
When you know how to prepare for professional certification exams effectively, you will have better success in passing your next test. Start your review early, and take your time with it. When you are relaxed and confident, you will do well.