The written portion of the certified nurse assistant test varies from state to state. It is comprised of a set number of questions and you must get a specific percentage right to pass the exam. Many students’ struggle with this part of the test and sometimes even fail for various preventable reasons. By setting good study skills, you ensure that you can be a success.
When you first enroll in a nurse assistant program, vow to set aside half an hour each night to review the material that you learned that day. Spend this time to focus on things you may have misunderstood in class or been a little confused about. Make notes of things you would like to clarify with your instructor. By reviewing the material that was presented to you earlier in the day, you are helping to commit it to memory.
Know your study style. Some students do best quizzing themselves with index cards, or carrying index cards with them. Others prefer to rewrite notes and key points from the text. Still others find highlighting things in the notes and text book to review later helpful. Many students find that reading the text or notes aloud helps them to remember. Find your best method and use it often.
Know your best study time. If you are naturally a morning person, set your alarm. Get up and enjoy the quiet of the morning and hit the books. If you are more of a night owl, wait until the sun sets, pull out your notes, and start studying.
Know your best study setting. Keep the room a comfortable temperature. If it is too cool, grab a sweater and extra socks or slippers. If it is too hot, consider a fan or air conditioner. Make sure you have enough room for all your supplies: notes, text book, paper, pencils. Feeling cramped can be a distraction. Some students find the kitchen or dining room table an excellent place to study. This gives you plenty of room with few distractions. That is the equation for a good study session.
Do not rely on last minute “cramming”. This is a terrible mistake made by many students. Nerves are high on test days and chances are you will not retain the material that you need to pass. If you have been studying daily, you should already know the material. Cramming at the last minute puts you at risk for confusion. Don’t make this mistake.
Lastly, the harder you work, the better you will do. There truly is no such thing as too much knowledge. Learn all that you can before your exam. Seek out additional material at the library or online. Ask advice from friends and family. Increase study time and you will increase knowledge. This in turn will lead to increased confidence. Final result? A passing score on your nurse assistant exam!
Expert Contribution by: Nicolle Wagner, RN, BSN, RAC-CT