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Tips and Strategies for Exam Day

Taking a high-stakes test like an American Board certification exam can be a stressful experience. Here are a few tips to help you feel confident and ready once exam day arrives.


Get Ready

  • Do not cram – Use the days before the exam for review, not for learning new material.
  • Reduce stress – Make sure you know how to get to the testing center and allow enough time to get there early so you do not feel rushed on exam day. Get a great night’s sleep the before the day of the exam.
  • Dress in comfortable clothes – You do not know if it will be cold or hot in the test center, so you may want to dress in layers so you can adjust during the exam.
  • Eat and drink right – Protein and complex carbohydrates are best for a long lasting energy level. Do not consume too much caffeine. It may make you jittery or overly anxious on exam day.

Take Your Exam

  • Be confident – You have maximized your preparation so you are ready to go.
  • Watch your timing – Skip a question if you have to. You can go back to it later. Stay on track with the time per question you have set.
  • Don’t get stuck – Take a deep, cleansing breath and move on.
  • Remember these tips during the Professional Teaching Knowledge (PTK) writing component
    • You will have up to 1 hour to compose your writing component. No extra time will be given for the writing component if the multiple choice questions are completed in less than the allotted time.
    • Keep in mind that your response will be evaluated on how well you communicate your message, not on your point of view. The scorers will be looking for organized and focused writing, developed ideas, sentence structure and grammar.
    • Concentrate on content, not formatting. Using the tab key or spacebar to format your response makes it more difficult to score. Only use these keys when they are necessary.
    • When the writing prompt asks you to compose letters or memos, do not use your real name in your response, to protect your privacy and maintain the confidentiality of the exams.


         Good Luck!

                  You’ve got this!