6 Golden Rules to Follow: Ace Your Certification Exam with Ease!

There are many different tips and tricks that can help any individual prepare for various certification exams. These hints or lifehacks will significantly increase one’s chance of success. If you are new to the tests, it is essential to mention that they are quite different from your college and high school exams. The IT credentials are designed to evaluate specific skills that the professionals required to function optimally at their job roles. For example, apart from theoretical aspects, the certification tests also evaluate hands-on elements in many IT certificates. You may be required to drag & drop network elements around the virtual network or input specific commands into the virtual command line. You will also need to memorize some components, such as commands, channels, and multiple ports. Some exams, including Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware, and others, also entail hands-on components, which are more like lab exercises. Additionally, the questions are very technical and can be misleading, especially if you are not conversant with the functioning of the network and system components associated with your test.

As you can see, exam preparation isn’t an easy process, that’s why you need universal tips to succeed. To help you navigate through this intricate preparation process, we share some proven rules that will ensure you pass your certification test at the first attempt. So, let’s begin.

  1. Don’t underestimate the basic exam preparation recommendations

Surely, you have heard about creating schedules that work with your learning style, creating a study plan, studying in bits and not leaving your preparation till the last minutes, taking notes while studying to help you understand the exam content, and taking ample practice questions. These seem basic but the fact is that they work well if you stick to them. You can’t study without a plan. Developing one is very crucial to your success in the test. Don’t wait till a week to your scheduled exam before you start preparing. You can’t achieve much this way. You have to dedicate thirty minutes daily for several weeks to study. If it is impossible to study during the week, take out a couple of hours during the weekend to prepare. Don’t go overboard. Stick to what you can manage per time. Study at your pace but make sure you have a goal in mind, which is the exam date.

  1. Understand the exam content in depth

Before you open any study material, the first thing you have to do is understand the content of the test. Get the exam blueprints and study the topics and subtopics. Your understanding of the content will help you choose the best resource materials and preparation tools and channel your study appropriately. Apart from the content, you should also read up on what to expect during the actual certification test, and namely, its structure, its duration, question format, and policy. Having this background knowledge will help you be more confident about your actions.

  1. Know your learning style

Everyone has a preferred learning style. This is not only for the certification tests but also for any type of learning. You should identify the way you learn best so that you can align your exam preparation with it. This is a personal thing and has nothing to do with your friends or colleagues. For some individuals, the visual and auditory modes are the perfect way of learning. For some others, a kinesthetic learning mode is the preferred style. Identify your style and stick to it. For those candidates who are visual learners, watching training videos will be an effective preparation method. The tactile students, on the other hand, will do better with practical exercises and tutorials. The auditory learners may be more prone to read text aloud to better understand the content. Whatever style you prefer, explore it to your advantage. There are many resources that support each of the learning styles.

  1. Identify your weak areas by using assessment tools

Using assessment tools such as practice exam questions is a great way to identify your weak areas so that you can develop the study plan to cover these knowledge gaps. Before you get into full preparation, you should first evaluate your skills and knowledge about the test content. This will help you identify areas where you need to pay more attention during your study. This will split your study plan and the timeframe you allocate to each of the topic areas. After covering the exam objectives, you should take the practice test again to determine how much you have learnt and what areas you still need to work on.

  1. Develop a routine

There is something that routine does to us. It puts you in a coordinated mode that you don’t need to set your alarm to remind you that you have to study. It just comes naturally. The best way to develop such a routine is to have a specific space where you feel comfortable and can concentrate. It should be somewhere you naturally want to be, even if you are not studying. It should be somewhere you will always look forward to visit at a specific period of time. You can even redecorate your study space to create a cozy atmosphere for you.

  1. Get ready for the exam day

No matter how much you prepare for the test, if you are not ready for it, success is not guaranteed. Therefore, mentally prepare for any certification exam. First of all, ascertain a specific date and register for it. With this, you have the date you are working towards. Don’t forget that you also need to choose your testing center. Try to choose one that will be close to your location. If there is no center nearby, make sure you take the time to visit it before the exam date. Waiting until this date to start finding your way around will take its toll on you and can destabilize you.


Follow these six golden rules, prepare everything you need for the exam, and make sure you have adequate rest the night before the test, so you don’t feel exhausted before it starts. We hope that these tips will help you nail your certification exam on the first try. Good luck!