First, some of you might be thinking that I’m a crazy old man for suggesting such an out of the norm idea. You’d be right. It’s not that I don’t have any scientific information to back up my claim. On the contrary, I do. I used to run a CNA practice clinic in rural Mississippi for twelve years before I went to work for a large health care system, and I can tell you that there is nothing abnormal about the way I test my students.
What I am saying is this: don’t try to study for and take your CNAP examination at the same time. As a matter of fact, it’s not recommended. The reason is that when you try to take the test with a couple of days or more in between, you’ll find that you usually don’t get very far. Think about it: during the course of a normal day, how many hours of sleep do you get? If you take a nap in between, you won’t get as much sleep as you otherwise would.
Now, obviously, the main reason why you shouldn’t take your CNAP exam and tests at the same time is that it takes a lot of time. And the amount of time involved with testing is significant. A typical class of fifty students will typically need about four hours of classroom time and another four or five hours of hands-on practice testing. That’s a lot of learning! That’s also a lot of learning that needs to be duplicated in your brain.
So how can you avoid wasting all that time? How can you make sure you’re studying the right materials? One solution is to actually schedule the testing times at random. Just make sure that you don’t take the tests at the same times that you take your daily classes. For instance, if you usually have a math class at 8 a.m., don’t schedule the CNAP until 10 a.m. That will allow your brain to fully absorb the material during those few hours, resulting in better test-taking results. If you do take the tests at the same times that you study, though, you’ll just be wasting time.
Now, even if you schedule your tests at random, you’ll still want to take a look at the test dates. While you might think that finding random test dates is impossible, you’d be surprised to know how wrong you are. Many states publish test date information for the entire year. You simply have to search for the state where you plan on taking your certification. That will give you a good idea of when the exams are, which allows you to register and pay for them early, so that you have enough time to prepare for them.
Once you know the test dates, you’ll also want to look at how you’ll spend your time before, during, and after the tests. Most states recommend that you get about one hour of sleep every night. Experts say this will help you focus better on the exams, as well as giving you more energy to complete all of your work faster. However, this might not be a problem for you if you happen to have spare naps during the day. Experts recommend, however, that you get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Getting to sleep and waking up at the same time each night will help you focus better, as will taking small breaks and sleeping in on the weekend.
Although studying for exams can seem like a hassle, it can be extremely helpful when the time finally comes to take them. If you can schedule your studying so that it fits into your life, you will be able to study with a more focused timetable. You’ll also have more time available to you, allowing you to really get the most out of each class. Taking care of the details before hand will make your study sessions even more effective.