It can be challenging to motivate yourself to study before a big exam. Some of us procrastinate because we are overwhelmed, while others don’t see the point or don’t know what to study. Even if the task seems daunting, learning a bit each day is better than avoiding it.
To become a personal trainer, you may be required to take a certification exam for a career, such as the National Association for Sports Medicine (NASM) exam. You will want to take the nasm practice test for personal training to study for this exam. The benefits of taking a practice test before an exam are that you will gain confidence, save time during the exam, be familiar with the process, identify which concepts you need to study, build your stamina, and track your progress.
The rest of the article will discuss the benefits of taking practice tests and how the tests can help you prepare for the big exam day.
Why Take a Practice Exam?
Even if it’s difficult to start studying for a test or certification exam, reaping these benefits can make practice tests worth your time:
- Because practice exams are the best way to study for actual exams, they help you learn the test format and questions. Tests can have quirky wording, and experience with various questions can help you read the questions more carefully and understand what the question is asking you to do. As for the format of test questions, you will be familiar with multiple choice, story problems or scenarios, and logic questions.
- They can help alleviate anxiety around the actual exam. Testing and testing environments can be sterile and stressful. A practice test enables you to go through the testing process, from finding the testing site to knowing which materials are allowed or required and how to use the computer or program that delivers the test.
- They help you build stamina and manage your time. They require a lot of mental concentration and strain your body, so practicing sitting and concentrating before your big test is best. Practicing can help you manage your time by knowing how many minutes to devote to each question. You don’t want to waste your time on a single question.
- They can help you identify gaps in your knowledge and learn from your mistakes. You might take the practice test and run into a question that makes you say, “I didn’t know that was going to be on there!” This information is valuable because you can study any concepts you may have missed or review chapters you didn’t remember. You can also track your progress if you take multiple practice tests to see if you have improved and are studying the correct concepts and whether your study techniques are working.
- They help you learn the content. Some say, “Use the test to take the test.” Use the practice test questions to glean what is essential. For example, on the NASM practice test, ask yourself: “Is it focusing on methodology or concepts? Which systems do you need to know in-depth? Which charts or diagrams do I need to know in detail?”
Spot quirks in exams
One of the best ways to ace your test of time is to take a few stabs at the real thing. It’s not only a rite of passage for many high school students, it’s also a source of anxiety for a lot of college students. By prepping for the big day, you’ll have a better chance of getting your A’s and you’ll be one of the lucky few to go on to the big leagues. Getting a good night’s sleep and eating a well-balanced breakfast are vital components in making the juiciest of J’s. The best part about it all is that your grades are virtually guaranteed.
Preparing to Take a Practice Test
Schedule the practice test well before your exam, as this will allow you time to identify any knowledge gaps and take multiple practice tests. Next, you should create a routine you can replicate for the exam. Get a good night’s sleep, prepare your supplies beforehand, and consider wearing comfortable clothing for the long day. Eat a good breakfast because you will likely sit for a long time with minimal, controlled breaks. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the testing site, so you don’t stress about traffic or being late.
While taking the exam, take mental notes about which questions were difficult or if you needed more time with them. Were there any concepts you haven’t studied yet? How was your pacing? Did you run out of time or have extra time left over? Afterward, try to write down your thoughts so you can better plan your subsequent study sessions.
Improve test-taking skills
If you’re worried about a test, there are some strategies you can use to help you succeed. For example, practice tests can help you develop your endurance, and some methods can improve your overall performance. In addition, learning some effective test-taking techniques can make the process easier, whether you’re studying for a certification exam or a standardized test.
The first step is to get an understanding of the format of the test. This will help you to prepare and structure your answer. It also allows you to determine the time needed for certain test sections.
Next, you’ll want to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Think about the questions you’re most comfortable answering and what problems you struggle with. Identifying your trouble areas can make it easier to avoid them in the future.
Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can focus on improving those areas. For example, you might notice that you spend too much time focusing on one question and need more time. So you might skip that question, but you should also go back to it later to ensure you’ve answered it correctly.
If you’ve been struggling with a subject, you should do more study in that area. For example, search online or visit a nearby college to find sample exams.
Getting extra sleep before a test is essential, and you’ll need to be adequately nourished. So be sure to take breaks and get enough rest before the test.
Try to arrive early to your test, so you can relax and take a break. Standardized tests can last a few hours, so you want to give yourself plenty of time to study.
Lastly, plan out how you’re going to respond to each question. For example, some students begin by answering the most straightforward questions first, allowing themselves more time to work on the hardest ones. By following this strategy, you’ll build up your confidence and stamina and ensure you don’t run out of time.
There are many ways to improve your test-taking skills, and the best way to start is to practice. Taking practice tests can teach you how to organize your answers better, and make it easier to answer questions on the real thing.
There will always be fear of the unknown, but you can lessen anxiety by taking a practice test. Going through the motions of a test will bring you confidence that you can persist through difficult times and manage a rigorous study schedule. It is important to feel accomplished after working hard for something, and practicing for a certification test can be incredibly rewarding. Happy studying!