If you have reached the point of preparing to take a phlebotomy certification exam then you are certainly to be congratulated. That means that you have successfully completed your training and studying and are about take the final step in becoming a certified phlebotomist.
Make sure that your test is being administered by a nationally recognized phlebotomy certifying agency, preferably one that adheres to the standards set forth by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute.
Following are some study tips to help you prepare for your big day:
In preparing for your phlebotomy certification exam…
You might find it tempting to stay up late, even all night, studying for your written certification exam. After all, there’s a lot riding on it, right? Right! And that’s precisely why you don’t want to lose sleep trying to get in a few extra hours of cramming.
Go to bed at your regular time and get 7-8 hours of good, restful sleep. You need to approach your test in a rested, alert, and refreshed state of mind. Falling asleep in the middle of the exam is a sure path to failing.
A tired mind has difficulty concentrating. That hampers you in two ways. First, it’s self-defeating to try to study when you are in that state. Your mind can’t properly absorb and retain the information. Secondly, being unable to concentrate while taking the exam due to being tired and sleepy will impair your ability to reason when considering the questions.
Use Practice Exams
If you can find them, take some practice exams and review the results. Practice tests are an excellent tool to identify areas in which you may be weak or less than fully prepared.
Take note of the questions you guess on, even if you guess right, and review the material that is pertinent to those questions. And, of course, be sure to go back over any material relevant to questions you miss.
Keep various color highlighters close to hand while studying. When you come across something you feel is vital, especially if it’s something you are having difficulty retaining, highlight it. Use different colors and develop a color scheme for classifying and grouping information. The use of a variety of colors will help your mind to retrieve the information later.
As you review your study materials read the information aloud to yourself. Use this technique in conjunction with the highlighting mentioned above. Any information you highlight, make it a point to read it aloud at least twice. Audibly hearing the words helps your mind to absorb the information and to better form mental pictures of the material.
Study in Different Rooms
Assuming you have more than a one-room flat, try to study various parts of the material in different rooms. This helps to build a distinct mental connection with that particular information. As with highlighting, try to group the material by micro-subjects, breaking it down to smaller classifications, where each room will be related to one particular part of your text.
Review in Reverse
Try to avoid going through your study material the same way every time. Change the information around as much as possible. For example, it’s common practice when studying vocabulary to look at the word and then try to state the definition. Turn it around and try looking at a definition and then trying to determine the right word it applies to.
Review questions in the same manner. Read the answer to a question and then try to state what the question would be for it. That might even be a great idea for a game show (wink, wink).
Make Note Cards
Make written notes on index cards of any material you have highlighted. Use one card per piece of information. For vocabulary, use the front and back, writing the word on one side and the corresponding definition on the other side.
Just as with reading aloud, the act of writing out the data helps to reinforce it in your mind and serves to form a more complete mental image of the material.
When the day for your test arrives, be prepared. Be sure you know where the test is to be administered and know how to get there. Plan to arrive early. Once you are at the testing center, do one final, quick review using the index cards you have written out.
While the above tips won’t necessarily guarantee that you will pass your phlebotomy certification exam, they will increase your chances of success if you put them into practice. One final tip – relax. Try some relaxation or controlled breathing exercises. A relaxed mind can more easily process information and recall learned material. Soon, you will find yourself in the world of phlebotomy! Best of luck.