It’s normal to want your efforts to prepare for the Board of Certification (BOC) exam to pay off. After all – you’ve spent years getting ready for this test! But studying for the BOC exam is more than just hoping you can remember everything on exam day. It’s key to make every second of study time count. You should focus on two areas when you study to ensure your study sessions actually work.
You could spend days studying for the BOC exam, but if you don’t remember the material, none of it matters. Retaining what you are studying is more important than time spent studying. There are ways you can check your retention while studying, including:
- Reviewing notes and flashcards that you carry around with you (*hint – ATStudy Buddy flashcards are optimized for mobile devices!)
- Take turns quizzing your fellow classmates during downtime
- Teach someone else about a topic you need improvement on
You can also look for ways to put the information into practice, which is a benefit because after you’ve passed the BOC exam, you’ll need to be able to apply these concepts to clinical practice. It will be easier to recall the information if you’re using it practically. If you are teaching another person about a topic you want to improve on, try to summarize, define, give examples, and respond to questions the best you can. Then, go back and review what you know you weren’t sure on after your teaching session.
Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, and trying to view the information as a whole is also a useful retention strategy. When you link concepts together, it makes them easier to remember.
Choosing a study method that is right for you is critical to your BOC exam success. No one learns the same way, and only YOU know how you learn best. Knowing your strengths and using them to your advantage can greatly improve your study sessions. If flashcards don’t work for you – don’t use them! If you learn best by drawing and visualizing – get out your notebook and start illustrating concepts you want to review. Mnemonic devices are a good way to retain information that must go in a certain order (Some Lovers Try Positions That They Can’t Handle, anyone?).
Whatever the learning style, use it so you can study most effectively.