Life is full of tests. As you begin your career, it is likely that you will have to either prove your knowledge so that you can go on to pursue a graduate degree. Or, take a skills test to prove that you are proficient in the knowledge necessary to being your profession. Some of the most common skills tests in the United States include the PRAXIS (required for most teachers) and the Bar (required to practice law). However, many more professions, such as pharmacy, engineering, accounting, and nursing also have either required or recommended tests. It is very likely that once you have a degree, you will still need to take an exam.
Find Out the Details
First you need to know when and how to register for the test. This can be confusing, most specialties have an association, for example pharmacists have the Board of Pharmacy Specialities. This association offers the certification exam and the appropriate information can be found on their website. In many instances, these exams are common knowledge among your colleagues. If you are not certain what the requirements for your particular profession might be, you should consult with your department. When there are no particular certifications required for your profession, you may want to discuss with your advisor whether or not there are skills or proficiency tests that may give your resume a leg up.
Once you have registered for any exams, it is time to prepare. Don’t get too nervous. These exams are testing knowledge you should have from your coursework in your degree program. You may need a bit of review, but there shouldn’t be any new material. Practice tests are the best way to prepare and stave off anxiety. Knowing what the test is like helps you feel confident about taking it. Many skills tests have online resources for preparation including practice tests.
Many of these types of tests are offered on the computer, which may feel unfamiliar. Take every opportunity to take practice exams, not only to practice the questions, but also to get a feel for how the test is administered.
Use Your Passion
By the time you have reached the skill level required to take skills tests, you will be an old pro at exams.Your experience in your field and your passion for the topics should be enough to help you perform well. As an added bonus, you are probably no longer trying to achieve a competitive score, but simply a passing one. Any score above a certain number will give you the certification you need to begin your career.
Keep Up with Continuing Education
When you stay prepared, practice an enjoy yourself, you are likely to perform well on your skills test. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t let yourself get rusty. Some careers require recertification and continuing education.