n my last post, I talked about the study protocols you can follow to prepare for your A+ and Network+ exams. Now, I’m going to share with you what I do to make my own exams as stress-free as they possibly can be.

1. Get a decent night’s sleep.
If you want to go out and blow some steam before the big day, ok. But don’t stay out all night, you’ll need your brain operating at peak efficiency, and it won’t be if you’re exhausted.

2. Eat breakfast, particularly something with protein.
I don’t care if you’re a vegetarian or a complete carnivore, studies show that if high school, middle school, and grade school students eat a protein-rich breakfast, they perform better on exams. Seriously, you think that the same doesn’t apply to you?

3. Breathe.
The first thing you’ll want to do when you sit down in the testing room is take a couple of good deep breaths. You don’t have to be weird about it, or do some strange yoga pose (unless you’re into that kind of thing). Just breathe.

And then, every ten questions, stop and take another good 2 or 3 deep breaths. See, when you come across a question that you don’t feel confident about, you’ll temporarily stop breathing. You’ll feel threatened, and the first physiological response we have as human beings when we feel threatened is to stop breathing. Break yourself out of that pattern and force yourself to breathe well. You’ll feel better during the test, and you’ll perform better on it as well.

4. Answer questions you know first, take a second pass at questions you don’t.
You don’t have unlimited time to take the exam. But you do have the opportunity to go back and answer questions that you need a minute or two to think about. So answer the questions you feel confident about quickly, and then review the questions you’re not sure about later. You’ll be able to mark questions for review for later on, so don’t be afraid to do so.

Ok, so there you have it. If you’ve done your study protocols, you’ll be fine. Good fortune to you on your exams!

Your friendly neighborhood instructor,
Coach Culbertson

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