After weeks and months of planning and study, the exam day finally arrives. Now is the time to focus your mind and do your best. Exam day came for me just last Saturday, January 26, 2013. I had some challenges following the study plan I had created for myself, but tried to keep positive about my knowledge and background to be successful on exam morning. Staying calm and positive is important when taking an exam. Anxiety can block thinking and thwart efforts.
The day before the exam I located the exam room. It was a bit of a walk from the convention center entrance to the room and I was glad I took the time to look for it. Although that worked out well, my breakfast plans did not. It wasn’t until Saturday morning that I discovered that breakfast is served later on the weekends at my hotel so I had to arrive at the convention center without the hearty breakfast I had expected. Fortunately Starbucks opened in time for me to enjoy a yogurt parfait and a Grande Latte before heading to the room.
The CCN/M certification exam consists of 200 questions that include multiple choice and true/false formats. They allow 4 hours to take the test. That is about 50 questions per hour, so you need to pace yourself. A watch would have been helpful. We had to shut off our cell phones so I didn’t really know what time it was. I’m usually a fast test taker so I wasn’t concerned about running out of time.
Knowing your test-taking personality is an important part of successful certification. Here are seven personalities to consider. Which one are you?
Rusher– Rushes to complete the test before they forget everything
Turtle– Repeatedly rereads, underlines, and checks answers
Personalizer– Relies heavily on own background and experience
Squisher– Preoccupied with grades and personal accomplishment
Philosopher– Searches questions for hidden or unintended meaning
Second Guesser– Frequently changes initial responses
Lawyer– Attempts to place words or ideas into the question
Turns out I am a philosopher test-taker so I needed to be careful not to get tied up over-thinking the questions. In fact, by the time I was done answering 200 questions, I was rather unsure of myself leaving the room on Saturday morning. Did I answer enough questions correctly?
One of the toughest parts of certification can be the waiting after completing the test. Fortunately, more and more certification programs have speedy responses. Six days after exam day I received an email from the certification director. I PASSED!
I hope sharing my certification journey has been an encouragement to you to obtain certification in correctional nursing. If you are considering certification, read this blog post on your certification option.
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