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Contributor III

Power tips for busy professionals -- before, during, after exam time

BEFORE THE EXAM

  • When studying, less is more. Rather than cudgeling your brains for 60 minutes, break it in three 20 minute power sessions focused on your weaker points.
  • Have index cards on hand to create your own questions, note salient points, and jog your memory.
  • Draw mind maps.
  • Make comparison charts.
  • Use mnemonics (rhymes, acronyms, songs, memory palaces) - they have worked for people for thousands of years, so what makes you so special they won't work for you?)  ;-)
  • Have fun, and give yourself meaningful rewards. (Walks, music, mindful contemplation can really help with your journey and your overall health.)
  • Track your progress by keeping a study journal,
  • Rather than cramming 100 questions at a time, take 10 questions and really think about WHY the answer is the best one.
  • Drink water (hydration will help you and your brain)
  • Eliminate "must," "should," "ought" from your vocabulary.
  • Nothing is (OK, few things are!) "do or die."
  • Look at this as a journey down the sometimes wide, sometimes narrow, fascinating path of information security. This is just a beginning of a continuing journey.
  • Take frequent breaks.
  • Never judge yourself harshly.
  • Do you the best you can.

DURING THE EXAM

  • Likely nothing you have seen, read or studied will appear exactly as it does on the exam.
  • Be calm.
  • Believe in your preparation.
  • Know how much time you need for questions (on the CAT you cannot skip questions - AFAIK), so be certain before you commit the answer.
  • Slow your breathing, and act calmly.
  • Be methodical.
  • Work from the bottom up (D,B,C,A)
  • Read the question entirely, and take a second to ponder it (sometimes the wording is asking you what NOT to do!)
  • Eliminate the wrong answers first, then choose the most likely one.
  • You have a whiteboard and a marker, use them!
  • Do not hurry.
  • Do the best you can.
  • Be positive.

AFTER THE EXAM

  • Congratulate yourself; whether you have passed or failed the exam you have achieved a milestone.
  • Recognize your FUD
  • Recognize you have really done the best you can.
  • Accept the result.

You deserve respect, and the only one who can give it or receive it is You.

Good luck!