Let’s face it – you have to take and, more importantly, pass your insurance licensing exam. It’s a harsh reality, but it doesn’t have to be a harsh experience. With adequate preparation and study, your insurance exam can be a pleasant, stress-free undertaking. Here’s some tips to help you survive your exams with your sanity, and your future career, intact.
Relax – It’s a big deal, I know.
But you can still treat it as just another milestone. Think positively about the experience of taking the exam. Visualize yourself knowing the answers and feeling confident and satisfied when you’ve completed the exam. Keeping a stress-free frame of mind will help prepare you emotionally for the “big day”.
Figure out how you study best.
Not everyone does well in study groups. Not everyone does best with only textual content. If you don’t already know, discovering the way in which YOU prepare best will go a long way to helping you prepare for your exam. Flashcards? Create them. An auditory learner? Record portions of your study guide or class materials and listen to them while you drive, workout, or relax. Don’t just follow the crowd if doing so will lead you to a lower performance come exam day.
Create a plan for exam prep at least a month before.
Allowing yourself adequate time to study and prepare will keep you from the stressful experience of “cramming” in the days and hours leading up to exam day. Repetitive, gentle review will also help you pinpoint problems or areas where you need extra help or additional material in plenty of time to arrange for it.
Complete all your test prep materials.
Any and all test prep materials should be used to their fullest potential. Spend the time to take the practice test online, for example, even if you feel you already know the subject matter. Use any study guides or booklets or sample exams made available to you. Not only will they give you a sense of what the real exam may be like, they’ll also help you to know how well you know the material the exam will cover.
Apply the 50-10 rule when studying.
Your brain and body can only handle so much material at any one time. Your brain needs time to process the material being covered, and your body needs a break from sitting and studying. The 50-10 rule is simple: Study 50 minutes, then take a 10 minute break. During that break, get up and move around. Get a snack, go to the bathroom, take a walk up and down the hall, or around the block. Do some jumping jacks or mountain climbers or yoga stretches. Basically, do SOMETHING in that 10 minute period of time to raise your heartbeat a bit, and get your body moving.
Take your time.
Most exams last from 1 to 3 hours. And you have, if you’ve followed our other tips, a month or more to prepare for those 1 to 3 hours. An hour or two a day, every day, in the month before your exam will add up to 30 to 60 hours of exam prep time. You can’t get that in a cramming session. Also, by studying for an hour or two a day, you’ll be preparing yourself for the time it may take to actually complete the exam.
Know when to stop.
It’s actually best if you don’t study within 24 hours of exam time. First, you need this time to physically prepare for the test. Secondly, you can cause yourself to get stressed out and lose the confidence and self-composure you’ve built up. Lastly, if you don’t know something by now, chances of you actually learning it and retaining it are scientifically proven to be slim to none.
Get a good night’s rest.
Going into exam day exhausted and cranky from a poor, or shortened, night of sleep isn’t going to do anything for your mental capabilities or your test score. Sleep deprivation can cause a lack of mental focus – the last thing you need to take with you into the exam room.
Get a good start to the day.
Eat a good breakfast. Your body is going to need all the energy it can muster today. Avoid consuming too much caffeine. There’s no sense going into your test with the coffee jitters. Get some gentle exercise – walk the dog, do some yoga, take a swim. Nothing too taxing or overstimulating, but enough to both burn off any nervous energy and help your body build up for the day ahead.
There’s no sense in getting all out of sorts come exam day. You’ve spent the last 4 weeks preparing. You know the material. You know your capabilities.You are mentally, emotionally and physically prepared to tackle your exam. Go in there with the confidence that you will come out successful and satisfied. You can do this!
Do you have any tips that helped you pass your insurance exam?
Share them in the comments below: