After years of work, there is a lot riding on your performance on the Board of Certification (BOC) exam. If you want to pass the BOC, it’s important to keep the material fresh in your mind. Having a strategy in place that organizes what you need to review while still fitting study sessions into your packed schedule is crucial. We’ll break down how you can create your study strategy into three parts.
Organize the Information
You should start with the information you already know – the exam outline. From the BOC exam outline, you can develop a list of concepts you need to study and review before exam day. Organize the concepts into groups (hint – we like to use domains and funnel down from there) that can be studied together. You may also want to create a list of vocabulary terms that you may want to refer back to while studying.
Managing Your Time
After you’ve organized your study concepts and information, decide how you want to plan out the time you’ll spend studying before the test. Breaking down your study sessions into smaller chunks makes it easier to manage your time and ensure you are making progress each day. Focus on a single concept at a time and refrain from spending hours studying all at once. Studying in smaller sessions helps you retain the information better and helps you avoid stress and burnout over the studying you still have to do. Knowing that you have a plan to cover each concept before the BOC exam can help you relax and study effectively. However – it is important to stick to your schedule for this strategy to work. Otherwise, you may find yourself cramming last minute. Leave some padding in your time management plan when you create it initially.
Creating a Good Study Environment
Where you study is important for how well you learn and retain information. Whether its your apartment, a coffee shop, a study room in the library, or outside – plan to study where you are least distracted. Put on the Do Not Disturb on your phone and turn off any other notifications that might distract you. Remember – you’re only studying for a short block of time, so it’s ok to turn everything off for a while and avoid multitasking. Research shows that multitasking while studying makes your study sessions less productive.
The time of day that you choose to study is also important. Study at a time when you’re well-rested and alert (probably not right before bed). If you’ve already scheduled your BOC exam time – try to study during the same time of day if you’re able.
It can be useful to team up with your classmates who are also preparing for the BOC exam. White your actual studying is done alone, there are benefits to studying together and taking turns teaching each other different concepts. Quiz each other and create games that will help you remember the information. Just be sure that your time is actually spent studying and not just hanging out.
Good luck developing your BOC exam study strategy!