I took an EMT class last spring and had heard a lot about what to expect (and fear) about the National Registry exam. Well, if the hardest part of life is showing up, here's some practical advice to help you show up prepared.
1. If you are not a morning person, do not schedule an exam for 8AM.
I set my alarm clock for 6:15 but woke up at 5 and again at 5:30 before finally giving up on sleep. I was suffering from the same kind of anxiety I get when I have an early morning flight...What if I sleep through my alarm clock? What if I miss my test? If I’d had a test later in the day that I didn’t have to wake up especially early for, I think I would have been better rested. (Don’t judge me too hard--being somewhere at 7:30 is early for me!)
2. Don’t go to the test hungry. Empty your bladder.
These are pretty familiar words of advice for anyone who’s ever taken a standardized test. A balanced breakfast is the best thing you can do for yourself. Well, I don’t know how balanced a granola bar is, but it was the difference between my being able to focus and feeling totally distracted by a growling stomach. A full bladder can be equally distracting. Nerves can also worsen the sensation of needing to go--so just take the time to relieve yourself of these bodily cares.
3. Set aside your 2 forms of ID the night before.
While I was plagued with restlessness early that morning, I took some comfort in having set aside my 2 IDs (for me, passport and drivers license) the night before. If you’re not sure where these items are, definitely don’t wait until the night before to find them! But knowing that they were ready to go in my purse and I wouldn’t forget to bring them definitely saved me some anxiety.
4. They will scan your palms and take away your stuff. It’s not that stressful.
I’d been warned that signing in for the test at Pearson Vue would feel like going to prison. Mentally preparing myself for this meant I did not feel like a criminal or a cheater when they asked me to put all my belongings in a locker, including my watch.
As part of their identification process, the testing center will scan your palms. This is a lot less messy or intrusive than fingerprinting, so I was actually relieved the process was so easy. Oh, yeah, and they also took my photo. I looked like hell--remember, 7:30 AM is not my finest hour--so I purposely avoided looking at it on the screen. One less thing to bring me down and distract me prior to the exam.
Then you’re off to the computer lab at the testing center to take your certification exam. Good luck!
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