So you want to become a CNA and discovered that you must obtain a license to practice within your state. You, rightly, ask other CNAs about the licensure exam. One person says it’s as easy as can be and the other says it’s impossible to pass. To aggravate the matter, you purchase test guides, which cover all sort of questions you’ve never learned. Finally, you’re left with the sinking feeling that you’ll never pass the test and realize your dream of caring for patients.
Confronted with the unknown, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious. The CNA written test is in multiple-choice format, so one of the choices will be a correct answer. Therefore, it’s left to you to choose the correct response. But before you get to the actual exam, there are a few things you should know upfront:
Drown Out the Noise
A lot of people are all too willing to share their thoughts on the CNA exam. Some might offer sound advice, such as the names of useful test-prep resources and tips for maintaining confidence through the exam. The advice from others may be distracting, causing you to doubt yourself. Either way, the exam is the sole obstacle that stands between you and your goal, so its too important for you to rely on rumors about it. Ignore the noise and learn all you can about the test and what it covers. The CNA training facilitator would provide reliable information that will help you to succeed. Throughout the program, you’ll learn well what the exam covers and the extent of studying and review you’ll need to succeed.
POP That Quiz
Like your preparation for the Skills Evaluation, you must Prepare, Organize, and Practice. In your preparation, you must learn what the test covers and concentrate on those areas you don’t know very well. Find easy ways to reduce anxiety as it could affect your responses on exam. Disorganization makes it almost impossible to pass any test. Take good notes. Divide them into modules and double check the information for accuracy. Good organization will sharpen your study skill, save time, and earn you a passing score. Of course, good organization will also serve you well in the long run when you become a practicing CNA. Practice for the test. Take online quizzes. Take a 90-minute exam to get accustomed to sitting for a period of time and answering multiple-choice questions. Set a steady pace to make sure you answer all the questions within the allocated timeframe.
Arrive at the test site early so you can register and settle in without feeling rushed. Listen to the proctor’s instructions and review the entire test before you begin writing. How many multiple-choice questions are there on the exam? How much time do you need to complete each question and still have time to go back for review. Start by answering the questions that you’re familiar with and place a checkmark next to those you’re unsure of. The more you answer, the greater your confidence will be. You can go back and answer those with the checkmarks at the end – if there is time left.
Read the questions carefully, especially those you’re unsure off. If you don’t read the questions carefully, you may miss important information that will negatively affect your responses. If possible, think of what the correct answer should be before viewing the selections. Knowing the right answer before is the best way to ensure success.
Get Unstuck Fast
Tricky multiple-choice questions can knock you off balance. Don’t waste precious time trying to dream up the correct response. Reread the question to make sure you understand and use a process of elimination. Cross off the answers that couldn’t be right and spend few seconds focusing on the possible correct choices. If you have no idea of the answer, make the best guess you can, as you won’t lose points for incorrect answers. For multiple-choice questions, remember, familiarity of a response does not necessarily mean it is the correct choice. Another catch with multiple-choice questions is the “all of the above” or “none of the above” choices that throw many candidates off. Those options are not always automatically correct, so don’t make this conclusion. All three options must be correct to choose “all of the above” or incorrect for you to choose “none of the above.”
Change Your Attitude
One of the first keys to success is to change your attitude towards the test. Your success or failure doesn’t define who you are or your self-worth. Remember that it’s only a test, albeit an important one. But you can always retest if you don’t succeed on your first attempt. Consider your hard work in preparation and reward yourself after the test is over. Don’t let difficult questions or insecurities get to you as you’ll waste valuable time and second-guess your responses.
Don’t Forget the Basics
Think you’re finished with the test? Not so fast! If there’s still time on the clock, you need to go back and review your answers to spot careless mistakes; such as leaving questions blank or circling the right answer in the wrong place. Review your paper before submitting the test.
Don’t try to cram the night before as cramming increases anxiety. This is why preparation is important. If you studied well, you’ll only have to review the most difficult content the night before. Make sure to get enough rest so your brain functions properly during the exam. Proper nutrition before the exam is also essential.
Think critically. That is an important aspect of being a health care professional. Resident safety and comfort always take precedence. With this in mind, it will be easy to select the right answer.
Trust your instincts. Your first impression is usually correct. Don’t let similarities in the options throw you off. For numerical questions, double and triple check your calculations to make sure they’re correct.
Most important, have confidence in what you learned and your ability to care for others and the exam will be easy. Cheers to your success!