It’s no secret that the electrical exam is a difficult exam, and preparing for it will require a good deal of your time and effort. This is a great opportunity to shake off any anxiety you’re feeling about the electrical exam. Stop beating yourself up, trust your abilities and dive right in! Here are 6 test taking habits to break.
Not Preparing. If you don't prepare, don't expect to do your best. You may do "good enough" without preparation, but 99 times out of 100, lack of preparation will yield results that are below your highest potential. So, whether you decide to study with Electrical Excel or another test prep company, or to just buy a book and practice on your own, we encourage all students to do some form of preparation. "Just seeing how things go," rarely shows us exactly what we want to see.
Pessimism. Don’t let pessimism creep in before you’ve even begun especially if you’re enrolled in an electrical exam prep course. Before you jump to any conclusions about your future performance, take a practice exam. Not surprisingly, candidates who say they are weak test-takers, perform poorly on tests. Not to get too psychological here, but when it comes to test-taking “what you say is what you are.” You must reframe your approach to test-taking, believing that you can be successful, to actually do well on the electrical exam. The good news is that as powerful and complex as the human mind is, it can be easily manipulated. From now through answering the last question on the official electrical exam on test day, speak positively about your test-taking abilities, or at least let go of the negative self-talk. Remind yourself that you have a robust electrical exam preparation plan, strong aptitude, and the right attitude, which will yield a score that is a better reflection of your skills.
Analyzing Practice Questions. Avoid getting too caught up analyzing practice questions. We think test takers can learn quite a bit from their mistakes on practice exams. In fact, we suggest that students enrolled in electrical exam courses click through practice exams and review strategies for each question type. However, it’s counterproductive to spend large amounts of time analyzing questions you are convinced were simply written incorrectly. Feel free to run these questions by a colleague for a second opinion, but don’t sacrifice your precious study time pouring over how you felt a question or two was misleading. Learn from the confusing questions.
Avoiding your weak areas. When you’ve mastered a concept or question type, move on to areas that still give you trouble. Everyone has different challenges on the electrical exam. For some, it’s difficult to keep information straight — the same concepts you knew during study sessions go missing and everything gets jumbled. For others, budgeting time is an issue. They may have trouble focusing on the test and run out of time, or get stuck on a question and feel unable to move on. When you are aware of your specific challenges, it’s easier to identify test-taking strategies and allocate your study time accordingly to solve them. Your electrical exam prep time and stamina is precious, so use every ounce of energy to attack your weakest areas and turn them into strengths. We know it’s not always fun to struggle through the most difficult question types, but your score won’t improve if you focus only on the areas in which you’re most comfortable.
Ignoring the Candidate Bulletin. Understand what the electrical exam covers. The electrical exam is not an achievement test. It won’t predict whether you will be a successful professional or determine how smart you are. Unlike the tests you took for high school and college classes, which were designed to test your knowledge and recall of specific material, the electrical exam assesses your skills, namely analytical reading, reasoning, and critical thinking. As you prepare for the test, spend less time trying to memorize information and instead, focus on the big ideas, concepts and formulas that you will use again and again on the test. Mastering these skills will translate into an improved score.
Letting anxiety control you. Turn your anxiety into motivation. When you haven’t tested well in the past, it’s easy to fear all tests. This anxiety can perpetuate the poor testing cycle, preventing you from doing your best. Being a little nervous about taking the electrical exam is normal and in fact, can serve as motivation to diligently prepare for the exam. Recognize that as you study some concepts will be easier for you to master than others; have patience with yourself and your preparation. Finally, practice for the electrical exam to minimize your anxiety on test day. When you take a practice electrical exam, try to simulate, as closely as possible, the stress-inducing distractions that may occur on test day, such as noise or a room that is too warm or cold. This will allow you to train yourself to perform even when you are presented with something unexpected.
You can simulate the actual electrical exam test-taking experience by visiting http://texas.electricalexcel.com/3-practice-exam-sites/
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Best of luck!