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Proven Exam Preparation Strategies: How to Prepare For (And Pass) Certification Exams

You want your certification exam takers to succeed. So do we. Whether you are setting up a corporate training program or running a training center for individual or group learners, many exam and course takers are several years out of college. Those questionable study habits that got them through during their undergrad years will not fly. Studying is a significant part of the learning process, but many corporate trainees or exam candidates may be out of practice. They need a reframe. By starting with 30 Bird course materials students are already on their way to better exam score outcomes. We use standard instructional design practices to create our courseware and employ the industry’s best subject matter experts. Our guiding principles are clarity, accuracy, and consistency, and we’ve zeroed in on the exam prep strategies that align with those principles. 

Here are the study strategies that, when paired with high-quality learning resources, will improve test scores and prepare certification candidates more effectively for exams:

  1. The 80/20 Rule

As candidates progress through their training courses, they should follow the highly impactful 80/20 rule. Studying should not be reserved for the very end of a training program. From the very beginning, students should review their learned material and spend time going over notes. 80% of total learning time should be spent learning new material, and the other 20% should be spent reviewing the previously known course content. 

During this 20% time allotment, students should focus on challenging concepts and hone in on areas that need more practice or clarification. This time can also be used for planning future study sessions. 

  1. Distributed Practice

Anyone who’s ever pulled an all-nighter to study for an exam knows firsthand how miserable and utterly ineffective it is. Studies have shown that marathon study sessions are far less effective than shorter study bursts distributed over a more extended period. Memory latches onto new information better when there is a.) less information and b.) the brain and body are well rested. Going to sleep after studying allows the brain to transfer that new information from short-term memory storage to long-term memory storage. This allows for better recall of that information later on during the exam. 

Distributed practice allows more opportunities for differentiating study techniques and maximizing studying time. By varying learning strategies, multiple channels are provided for the brain to access the information later. 

Here is an example of how distributed practice may pan out:

  • Session 1: Read textbook chapters, study guides, or eLearning materials and take notes. Old-fashioned paper-and-pencil note-taking is far more effective than taking notes digitally. A freshly sharpened pencil in hand and a clean college-ruled sheet of notebook paper are all that’s needed to signal to the brain that it’s time to learn. Write legibly and accurately, paraphrasing and abbreviating as much as possible. Note-taking is a skill that takes practice and is a crucial aspect of studying. Check out Lifehack’s 7 effective note-taking methods to give students several options. 
  • Session 2: Gather all notes from lectures and readings. Summarize and combine them into one new document. 
  • Session 3: Create a visual study aid like a mind or concept map. A concept map is a diagram that shows information, ideas, and concepts in a graphical format. In concept mapping, the information is displayed hierarchically, and the relationships that exist between concepts are traced and shown using lines or arrows.
  • Session 4: Share the visual study aid with someone else to see how well you can parlay learned concepts. 
  • Session 5: Take a practice test. Return to Session 1’s study activity for any missed questions to find and review the information. 
  1. Self-Testing

Exam takers who take practice tests outperform candidates who do not. Self-testing should be a part of every study session. This can be done informally by creating your own exam questions or taking official practice tests. 30 Bird materials provide ample opportunity to put learned knowledge to the test via labs and practice test questions. 

Transform Your Training With Effective Test Prep

You deserve high-quality course materials your way. 30 Bird’s got you covered with various formats, flexible lab delivery, and custom branding available. All at prices custom-tailored to help your business excel. We are training courseware experts who know the ins and outs of effective learning and studying. 

With 30 Bird’s print or electronic materials, you can expect:

  • Rock-solid content
  • Higher certification pass rates
  • More productive employees
  • Better career opportunities for your students

Ultimately, it’s all about your success in teaching and learning. We’re here to help you get results. Talk to us.