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Study Tips

Studying:
It is very important to have a study environment where you can concentrate. If that means devoting one of the rooms in your house or apartment to your studies, then do it. You need to have quiet so that you can read the study guides and absorb the information without distraction. As mentioned previously, the more you can do to give yourself hands on experience with the technologies in your home, the better.

Using Practice Exams:
Practice test serve 2 basic functions: They measure your overall preparedness, and they can help you identify your weak areas assuming that you have a quality product. Try to buy a test engine that breaks your score down into exam objectives or subject matter so you can see where you need to focus your attention. Most practice test software offers this feature, but not all do.

Nerves:
Here are some tips to make sure that you are ready for your exam and what to do in the final moments. The first thing to know is that if you are a normal person, you are going to be very nervous before sitting your first exam. You may even find yourself nervous before your 2nd and 3rd. While it is important to study until you feel you are ready, you also don't want to psyche yourself out. Use your practice exam software and take as many of the free tests that are available on the web. Take these exams until you can regularly pass them at 80% or higher and make sure you spend extra time studying the areas where you are weak. If you use quality training materials and follow these steps, you should be able to walk into your exam with confidence.

Before the Exam:
Below is some advice for the hours before the exam.
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before the exam.
  • Don't go nuts on coffee or soda before the exam. Studies have shown that caffeine negatively affects concentration.
  • If you smoke, it probably is not a good idea to smoke more than you usually do the day of the exam. Like caffeine, nicotine is a stimulant and can affect your ability to concentrate.
  • If you eat before the exam, don't overeat. You don't want to be experiencing "food coma" in the middle of the exam.
  • Show up to the testing center 30 minutes early.
  • Most importantly, just relax and do your best.
During the Exam:
Below some test-taking tips for your certification exam.
  • For most exams you are allowed to have a couple sheets of paper (preferred) or a dry erase board which are supplied by the testing center. Make sure you ask for this before entering the exam room. For most exams, you probably won't need it, but you never know.
  • If you are unsure what the answer to a question is, narrow down the options that you know are wrong and choose from the remaining answers.
  • If you are still unsure, go with your first instinct.
  • If the exam you are taking allows you to go back and review your answers and you have time left, you should go back and double-check your answers. Don't second guess questions that you weren't 100% sure of, just look for obvious mistakes.
  • On most exams, time is not much of a factor, although this is not true of the CCNA exam. Use as much time as you need and do not hurry unless you have to.
After the Exam:
What to do after your certification exam.
  • Don't forget to pick up your score report from the testing center.
  • If you passed, you owe it to yourself to celebrate your accomplishment.
  • If you fail, all is not lost. People do fail exams and if you fail, you should read How to Deal With the Agony of Defeat.
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