Contractor Licensing Exam: How to Have a Great Test Day

By now, you probably know that doing well on an exam involves more than just knowing how to answer questions. Plenty of things you do on the day before and the morning of the test could affect your ability to think, solve and answer. Take advantage of this checklist to make sure you can set yourself up for success on the day of the big test.

Rehearse Test Strategies

Experts believe that when people are feeling under pressure, they tend to revert to old habits and behaviors. If you are trying to manage worries about the test while also keeping all the relevant information in your head, you already have a lot on your plate. With any exam, the goal is to be able to recall information on demand. This means that you can’t realistically cram test-taking strategies any more than you could cram knowledge of safety regulations at the job site. Practice those strategies regularly, until they feel second nature. On the day of the test, rehearse them one more time. This way, you’ll be less likely to forget them in the moment.

Sleep for Success

Did you know that sleep deprivation can start to affect your ability to function after only one night of poor sleep? People who are chronically under-rested have higher rates of anxiety and memory loss. You don’t want either of those problems on test day. Instead, evaluate your sleep habits and invest the time to correct them. If the exam is much earlier than you usually start work, give yourself at least a week to adjust your sleep schedule. For tests that occur in the afternoon, resist the urge to sleep much later than you usually do. Plenty of rest is good, but interrupting your sleep routine by waking hours later can make you feel groggy.

Eat the Right Meals

Just like with sleep, there is a good balance between eating and hydration that can help fuel you for the test. You don’t want to deviate too much from your usual routine, because your body may react in ways that cause a distraction. Start with a predictable meal the night before. Correcting a pattern of dehydration can take several days, so you should make sure you are square by the night before. Don’t wait until the big day to hydrate properly.

Wake up on exam day and eat a moderate breakfast. Foods with protein, fat and complex carbohydrates take longer to digest. Avoid consuming too much caffeine, so that you can focus without that wired sensation. Keeping the meal and liquid consumption to a minimal level right before the exam will help control hunger without making you feel stuffed.

Combat Discomforts

Ultimately, doing well on a big test requires you to try to eliminate any distractions that keep you from paying attention to the task at hand. There may be points where you have to try to ignore discomforts, but you should attempt to negate them first. Wear comfortable clothing that isn’t too heavy for an indoor location. If you enter a room that feels oppressively hot, select a seat that is closest to the door. Adjust the seat as needed so that you can access the test system without hunching or leaning over.

Know Your Surroundings

Every time you get on a plane, you may take the time to scope out access to different facilities and emergency exits. Exam day can produce the same kinds of concerns, so you should give yourself the time needed to confirm where everything is. Identify the correct room. Determine the appropriate means to enter and exit, if there is more than one door. Locate supplies used for testing, such as scratch paper and pencils. If you have requested any additional accommodations, make sure they are ready and available for you.

A good exam experience is as much physical as it is mental. Confirming that you are meeting your needs will decrease your stress and improve your overall comfort. The better you feel, the easier you will be able to focus on the test. For more tips on preparing for the contractor licensing exam, visit CSLS today!