Learn what not to do when taking your CCRN practice test.
The time is here: you have studied diligently over the past several weeks, you have taken numerous practice questions, completed all of your study material, and test day is looming. You know the last formal step in your study process is to take a CCRN practice test. Taking a practice test is extremely important because it gives you a good idea of what you can expect on test day. Not only will you become familiar with the types of questions you will be asked, but it will help you know how to pace yourself and give you an idea of what it is like to answer 150 questions in one sitting. Here are 5 mistakes you will want to avoid when taking your CCRN Practice Test.
Mistake #1: Blowing it off
Hopefully, this appears pretty obvious, but not taking a CCRN practice test can have severe consequences on your performance on test day. There are numerous benefits to taking a practice test, including:
- Showing you what you need to know
- Exposing you to different types of questions
- Mimicking the actual length of the test
- Demonstrating where you are at in your preparation
Taking a practice test before the actual exam will also boost your confidence by making you feel more prepared and confident on test day. In general, if you don’t take a CCRN exam, you will never know where you stand when you walk through the doors of your testing center.
Mistake #2 Taking it too close to test day
Taking the practice test feels like the final step of your study process. However, you actually want to give yourself at least a week before test day to review any material that you did not answer correctly on the practice test. The CCRN practice test is a valuable learning tool, but it best serves you if you allocate enough time to going over each question and understanding why each answer is correct.
Ideally, you will want access to test questions and quizzes throughout your study process so you can regularly assess your knowledge. If you have access to a few different practice tests, it is helpful to take one towards the beginning of your studying so you have a baseline of where you are at and where you need to go.
Mistake #3 Using resources not allowed during the real test
It can be tempting to quickly pull out your notes and review a topic when you are doing the practice test. You will want to avoid using any study materials or notes during the practice test to give you an accurate idea of where you are at in your study process. Not using resources gives you the most accurate representation of how you will do on test day.
Additionally, using notes or quickly looking something up on Google does not allow your brain to recall information. The ability to retrieve information is an important exercise that you need to put your brain through to make it fit and ready on test day. The more you rely solely on your brain in practice, the better you will perform on the real CCRN exam.
Mistake #4 Not mimicking your test day environment
It is vital that you create a test-like atmosphere when you take your practice test. If you have music playing or are snacking and watching TV in the background, you will not get the most out of this exercise.
You want to make sure you employ the “testing effect.” This effect is where you take your practice test under the same conditions as you will experience on test day. Studies find that creating the testing effect taps into your ability to retrieve and recall information, making it easier for you to do so on test day.
To create a testing effect, do not use any materials other than your brain. Because the CCRN exam is computer-based, take your practice exam on the computer. Most online review courses offer this feature. Additionally, you will want to:
- Take the exam in one sitting
- Find a quiet place to do it with no interruptions
- Avoid water, food, or gum
Mistake #5 Not reviewing your answers
You will learn a lot from taking the practice test, but the real learning begins when you review your answers. Surprisingly, you can learn just as much from the questions you answer correctly as those you answered incorrectly. Once you have completed your practice test, give yourself a break, and return to your test. (Score yourself first, if you must.)
Once you have cleared your head, sit down with your test, and go through each test question and its rationale. If you answered a question correctly, briefly re-exam each incorrect option for that question and recall why that option is not correct. This step is crucial in reviewing your practice test because even though you got the answer correct, you will validate your understanding of the subject in question.
Highlight questions you answered incorrectly and carefully review each topic. It can help to make a small note next to each question regarding answers you were deciding between or how you felt about the question overall. Make sure you learn why the answer you chose is not correct. You will want to keep your eye out for certain trends, such as topics or systems you feel shaky on (like electrolyte imbalance or the GI system). Finally, if some topics are “cringe-worthy,” make sure you allocate a significant portion of your remaining study time to making these topics easier for you.
Would you like access to a CCRN practice test that looks and feels just like the one you will see on test day? Register for Critical Care Academy today to access all of the content you need to know in easy-to-watch video modules delivered by real critical care nurses. You will have access to multiple practice questions, quizzes, and a final practice test to help you ready yourself for test day. Nurses who take the Critical Care Academy review course have an excellent first-time pass rate, saving you time and money. Most importantly, our approach helps you better serve your patients and saves more lives.
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