Ever been frantically flipping through flashcards sitting in the waiting area while someone sits next to you placidly flipping through a magazine? You think, How can they be so calm? They must know something I dont know about CPA Review or maybe they are just crazy smart. I wish I could relax like them. The truth is that a persons study regiment will largely be based on what they feel comfortable with, including how they prepare right before they walk into the testing room. There are countless theories on the correct way that a person should prepare for an exam. Studies have shown that people retain more information if they are in similar surroundings to those during the test, that classical music makes people smarter, or even that chocolate can add a little power boost to your mental alertness (thanks to a Facebook friend for that little tip!). By knowing your own habits and what you need to do to relax beforehand, you can make sure that when the clock starts counting you are cool, calm, and collected.
We asked some friends on Facebook and Twitter how they prepare in the moments before the test to get some ideas for this post and rather than insert them coyly as tips I thought I would just list them out. Feel free to prepare in whatever method you think you need to whether that be last minute multiple choice questions or 30 minutes of quiet meditation. The suggestions below are proof that people prepare in vastly different methods but the answer lies in finding your own effective routine.
Cramming! Gotta remember all those mnemonics and SEVen variance equations to write on the scratch paper as soon as I sit down!
A good exercise (jogging, push ups and sit-ups) and try not to think about the exam, since it will more likely than not, makes me nervous. I guess confidence is key.
A mix of cramming and relaxing...I do some MCQs, then take a break and hang out with my friends...then some more MCQs...then go to bed early...if you don't know the material by then, you won't learn it all in one night. You might as well sleep and be mentally alert for the exam. I passed all four on the first go-round, so it must not be that crazy of an idea...hahaha
Flashcards untill my arrival at the prometric center then meditation untill my appointment time
Coffee. Slow deep breaths.
Cramming/studying until i cant anymore. Not trying to leave anything to chance...
I did a light refresher with flash cards. No hard cramming. A good breakfast, deep breaths, and happy thoughts are essential.
I tend to go more the yoga route. keep that brain relaxed!
Coffee and cramming. But I want to change my habits so I only need to calmly review and load short term memory for the CPA exam.
Maybe the difference ultimately lies in personality type, stress management, or amount of time previously studied. So dont be worried next time you are cramming right before the test just remember that everyone learns differently. And maybe snack on a little chocolate.
*Image from elilsimpson via flickr