EMT Test-Taking Tips
1. Study your class notes and the workbook that accompanies the course text. DO NOT cram the night before as cramming may hinder your efforts rather than help.
2. Relax the evening before the examination and get a good night's sleep. You are usually in better mental shape if you are well rested. If you exercise regularly, consider doing your usual routine. A brisk walk before the exam can help you relax and it also reduces stress, especially if you worked during the day of the exam.
3. Avoid anything that may overstimulate or tranquilize you. Too much coffee or caffeinated beverages will not be helpful.
4. Eat a sensible meal about twho hours prior to the exam. A large meal just before an examination may make you feel tired. Drink a small glass of water just prior to entering the exam room ifyou are thirsty. Too much to drink before a test may mean frequent restroom breaks. Most standardize tests do not give you extra time for breaks.
5. Wear comfortable clothing that is appropriate for the climate and environment. It is a good idea to bring a light sweater or sweatshirt to the exam. Many exam rooms are large and it is sometimes difficult to control the temperature in them.
6. Plan to arrive early for the exam. You do not want to feel rushed and you need some extra time if you encounter unexpected delays en route.
7. Make sure that you bring any exam supplies that you are responsible for. Make a list so you do not forget. It can be frustrating if you need to go home and get a photo ID card or ask to borrow a pencil.
8. Carefully follow the instructions of the examination proctor. Do not begin the exam or make any entries on the answer form until you are instructed to do so. Ask questions if you do not understand any part of the instructions.
9. Once, the exam begins, pace yourself. Determine how many questions and how much time you are allowed (a 100-question exam given over three hours allows an average of three and one-half minutes per question). Note the time the test starts so you can keep track of how much time remains at any given time. If you spend too much time on one question, you may find yourself rushed in order to finish. (It may be a good idea to bring your own watch in case a clock is not available and you're not dependent on the proctors counting down the time).
10. After carefully reading the question, read all teh answer choices before making a final decision as to the correct answer and marking the answer sheet. You may be sure you have figured out the correct response after reading only the first or second coice, but reading all the answers gives you some additional reinforcements that you are correct. Many times there are a few answers that you can eliminate almost immediately, making your final decision easier.
11. Read each question carefully. Make sure you understand what is being asked. does the question say all the following EXCEPT or which of the following is NOT. That means that they are looking for the one answer that doesn't fit. Take an extra few seconds to make sure you picked the correct answer.
12. When presented with a scenario question with patient-related or scenario-specific information consider reading the scenario, then all the questions and answers, then return to the question to extract the relevant information and decide on teh answer. You may want to mark or underline the important information as a way of reminding you of what is needed to answer the question. This approach should make it easier to identify the correct answer.
13. Occasionally you may have a question that is very difficult or confusing. Consider skipping this question and moving to the next. Mark the question clearly, so you know you need to return and deal with it later. In addition, as most of these tests use a standardized testing sheet make sure you skip to the next answer row. Obviously, misaligned answers will be read as wrong by a computer or answer key. This important detail needs the close attention of the test taker.
14. If you have a question that you are struggling with you should move on. Remember there is a time limit and you don't want to feel rushed as time is running out. If you know one or more of the answers are definitely wrong mark them as such so when you return to the question you have fewer answers to consider. It is also possible to have your memory jogged by information in a later question.
15. Once you make a decision and mark the answer sheet, be reluctant to change it. Unless you are sure the first answer marked is wrong, making a change may not be the right thing to do.
16. If all else fails and you can't determine or remember what is the right answer consider guessing. It is probably not to your advantage to leave any blank answers, as they will be scored as incorrect answers.
17. Once you have answered all the questions you can go back and chek your work to ensure completeness. Make sure you have amrked an answer for every question. Don't second-guess yourself. This is the time to make sure you have filled in all the answers according to the instructions, and there are no stray marks on the answer sheet. Remember to completely erase any answer you want to change.