Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to take a test; any test

There are a few rules of thumb when it comes to taking tests. These rules are almost constant and really have no technical bearing to the tested information. However, where used logically, these tips will increase chances of correctly answering questions you might not fully know the answer to.

Here are some recommendations:

Tip #1 Stop studying at a reasonable time before the test. You know that time before a test when your  head is spinning and studying does nothing but confuse you. It's that time when looking at reference material is nothing more than white noise; it never makes it to your brain. Instead, take a break. Just as an athlete tapers down her training before a race, give your brain a break. An overloaded brain before an exam is just as detrimental as a tired and aching body before a race.

Tip #2  Take a few deep breaths before you get started. This will increase oxygen flow to your brain and help you concentrate. After all, you are going to be reading 110 questions and sorting through approximately 600 answers.

Tip #3  Read questions at a comfortable pace. Don't go too fast, you might overlook something.

Tip #4  Read carefully. Some answers may seem correct at first glance, but watch for traps, some answers aren't as they appear.

Tip #5  Be aware of questions with EXCEPT, NOT, UNLESS and other similar words. Where you usually look for the positive answer, these setups require opposite answers. Refer to tips 3 and 4 to make sure you don't get caught in this trap.

Tip #6  Don't read too much into questions. We can overanalyze anything. If you are confident with your answer, go with your gut. Don't talk yourself out of a positive answer.

Tip #7  Remember tip # 3, don't spend too much time on any one answer. Taking too long can jeopardize your test. Skip the question and come back to it later. Chances are, there are many, many answers upcoming that you can answer quickly and build your test taking confidence. Focusing on hard questions only shakes your confidence and ruins the timeline.

Tip #8  Can't answer the question? Try to illuminate dumb answers. C'mon, there will be at least one and if you're lucky, two to three really dumb answers. If you have 5 answers and you can throw out three questions, the process of illumination gives you a 60% chance of picking the right answer.

Tip #9 - I read once that you should treat each answer as a separate true or false question. I haven't tried this technique, but it just might work.

Remember, the ISP Certification exam is an online, open resource, searchable exam. There are lots of opportunities to pick the right answer. Use these 8 tips to get you started. For more information, see our book, Red Bike Publishing's Unofficial Guide to ISP Certification.

Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is the owner of Red Bike Publishing Red Bike Publishing . He regularly consults, presents security training, and recommends export compliance and intellectual property protection countermeasures. He is an accomplished writer of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals. Jeff is an expert in security and has written many security books including: "Insider's Guide to Security Clearances" and "DoD Security Clearances and Contracts Guidebook", "ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional Exam Manual", and NISPOM/FSO Training".

No comments: