A Week Before the Exam

  1. Taper off your reviewing and focus instead on making what you already know more retrievable.
  2. Review your own summaries and concentrated notes to refresh the key concepts and crucial aspects in your mind.
  3. Work through practice questions in order to pinpoint what you still find it difficult to recall so that you can then clarify the information using your notes or the item explanations.
  4. If you tend to be a night owl, gradually adjust your biological clock so that you will be able to sleep the night before and wake up on test day ready to perform mentally. Avoid taking naps during the day this week to train yourself to be alert during the hours you will be taking the exam.
  5. Allow at least 6-8 hours to sleep each night. Your brain continues to integrate and consolidate information while you sleep, so this rest mode is essential for good recall.
  6. Allow at least some time every day this final week for recreation and relaxation. Last week cramming will only raise your anxiety level and leave you feeling less in control, so don't succumb to the temptation to get through it all just one last time. What you will be most likely use in dealing with the questions is already stored in your head anyway, so be gentle with yourself.
  7. You may want to check out a map or drive to the test center so you will know exactly how it's situated and how long it will take you to get there on test day.
  8. If you aren't already familiar with the testing software and administration details, review these at the Pearson VUE web site (www.pearsonvue.com/nccpa/) this week. Make sure that you understand what you should bring along that morning, where the key information and function buttons are on the testing screen and how to navigate among the screens, and how break time is handled.