If you have issues taking exams, here are ten tips to help you to cool down and prepare to take the test.
1. Don't panic or freak out. If you don't pass the test the first time around, you can take it again. There is no reason to get upset or have any type of anxiety over taking one of these amateur radio exams. Just keep in mind, you need to get 75% or better to pass. Focus on what you know, review what you don't.
2. Relax and take your time. There is no time limit on taking the exam. Think the questions through, you have seen them before. Don't just answer the question in order to hurry up and get done with the test, yet you don't want to leave any blank either.
3. Answer the easy ones first. Go through the exam and answer the questions you know first. If you are stuck on one, just move on and come back to it. You might be surprised as to what you know.
4. Don't cram and let it go. If you are cramming looking over the material right before taking the test. You are not ready. You should take some time off from studying before you take the test. Your brain has a lot going on and it needs to focus on other things before attacking the exam. Take the day before your test day off, and do something fun.
5. Make it a quest and a challenge. Those I have known who have conquered passing the exam, have made it a personal quest to do so and to get the best score they possibly can. Not saying you need to do this; however, don't let the test beat you. Build up your ambition and put into your mind, you can conquer this challenge.
6. Study, practice, study practice. We mentioned this every single club class. Although we do go over the material with you, that is not enough time for it to all sink in. You have to put in some time on your own. Find the way you learn and retain the information and go for it. There are several sites on the Internet to take practice tests. We have even had students download an app on their phone. We have said, once you start passing the practice tests, you are ready. If you are close, or get worse with each test... give it some more time.
7. Sleep is as important as studying. Did you know, that your brain commits short term memory to long term retention when you sleep? It's true. You need to have a good nights rest after each study session, that is when it gets locked into your memory.
8. On the day of your test, have a good breakfast or lunch. We as humans, remember things better when we have fuel in our body. If we wait all day to eat, and grab a quick snack before the test, that is a bad idea. You should eat at least a few hours before taking the exam. Focus on healthy food too, "BRAIN FOOD".
9. Be prepared for the testing session. You are going to need a pencil or two and your social security card (or other means of identification). If you are upgrading, you need a copy of your current license. If you want, you can have a calculator, but no cell phones are permitted. Also, wear comfortable clothing, although it is only 35 (50 for Extra) questions, you may be sitting there for a while.
10. Focus on the Fun. What will it mean to you personally to pass the exam? Will it open opportunities for you to have some fun with the hobby? Focus on that goal, and not on the stress of the exam, and you will be just fine, and like it was mentioned in number 1, if you don't pass on the first try, you can take it again.