I'm a nervous wreck on test day. I can't afford to waste the $100 and the pressure is giving me ulcers. Is there anything you can recommend?

A. Here are some ideas on staying relaxed and keeping a good perspective:

1. You might fail a test during your certification quest. Factor that possibility into your training budget.

2. Schedule the test for the time of day you feel the sharpest.

3. Listen to your favorite music on your car stereo on the trip there and try to relax.

4. Allow plenty of drive time so you won't be late or get stressed from unexpected traffic.

5. Don't sit in your car cramming before you go inside the test center. You should do your cramming the night before or earlier in the day.

6. Remember you have two goals when you take this test: to pass it or to go home with a good idea about what you need to study. The only way you'll utterly fail is if you pay your $100 and fail the test but can't remember a thing you learned about what you need to study to take it again. If it's a core test, you will have to pass it eventually. If it's an elective, you need to pass it anyway because you have study time and money involved and it doesn't make sense to choose a new elective and start all over.

7. At the test center, make sure that the mouse and keyboard are functional before the test proctor leaves the room.

8. Don't hit the start button until you write down any acrostic lists you have memorized and any other info you can recall. After the confusing questions begin, you might forget these items, so write them down first thing.

9. Try to mark all the questions before spending extra time on any one question. Use the checkbox in the corner to mark questions you want to return to later.

10. After you reach the last question, you'll see a screen that shows whether you've marked any questions for review or left questions unmarked. You'll need to return to those questions to check your answer or select one.

11. Don't overanalyze things. First impressions are often the most accurate. Remember the answers you are changing might be the correct answers after all, and you might be earning yourself a failing mark after you had already passed the test.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.