As you complete more and more questions while practicing electrician license
examinations, you have probably noticed that you do not have enough time to
complete all the questions in the time allowed.
This can be in part due to your knowledge base. You just might not know
enough to answer questions quickly.
But chances are there are steps you can take while studying to complete more
questions in the time allowed.
There is the bad question which is a time waster. When confronted with a bad
question, even if you are not sure it is a bad question, just pick an answer and
move on. You will not have a breakthrough and see the answer floating in front
of you. Just move on to the next question. If time allows, you can come back.
Then there is the complicated question with many parts. Some questions are
really four in one. That is, you will need to research four different aspects of
the NEC to arrive at the correct answer. Questions like this are also best left
for the end of the exam. One suggestion is that you write the section numbers
near this question which you have investigated. That way you will not have to go
back and start from the beginning when you have time.
Now on to the management aspect. If your exam has, say, 100 questions and
you have 4 hours to complete the exam, that works out to 2.4 minutes per
question. 240 minutes divided by 100 questions. So when you get into the exam,
you should not allow more than, say, two minutes per question. Many will take
even less time since you will know the answer right away. But don't let any take
more than 2 minutes. Then move on.
When the first hour of the exam has passed, look up at the clock. Note the
hour has passed. Figure how many questions you have completed. Now by completed,
I mean you have answered correctly. By the 1 hour mark you should have completed
at 2 minutes per question, thirty. You will probably have completed more than
this, if you are ready for the exam. Then at two hours look at the clock. Note
that you should have completed 60 by that mark. At three hours you should be
done with the exam. Well, done with all you know for sure. Now it is time to go back
and redo any that you thought were time consuming or bad.
Leave that last hour for makeup.
If you need 80 correct answers to pass, note that too. Make a record of the
questions you have completed and how you did on them You can number from 1 to
100 on a separate piece of paper.
Then when you kill a question, meaning you are sure of the answer, cross it
out with as circle that is filled in.
Any questions which you took a guess at should be circled.
Any that you did not answer should be left blank.
Any that you think you can get with more time can be underlined.
Make up your own code.
Here's a worksheet I have sketched to reflect a person who is doing quite
well at the two hour mark on a four hour 100 question test.
Now if you manage your time properly, you will not be rushed and have to guess toward
the end of the exam.
Warning, do not feel you have to answer all the questions. Just take a pass
on, say, ten. Just guess and move on when you feel a question is beyond your
interest and ability to answer in the time allowed. If you let a question make
you mad, that will be bad for your mental mood. If you're like me, when I get
mad, and I don't do that very often, I can't think straight. I can never win an
argument when I am mad. So don't get mad at the questions. Or the test. Or other
people in the room. Just stick your nose in the exam and do your best.
Worst case, you'll be back next testing cycle to retake it. Eventually you
will pass. I always think of the exams as a step. If I pass, great. If I don't,
well I will look on the experience as preparation for the time when I will pass.
I took a teacher qualification mathematics exam some months ago. Well, it was
probably a year ago, now. I did not pass because there was much more calculus on
the test than I was led to believe. When I got the results, I did not pass. I
missed passing by a single question. Well, I just dug in and
studied my calculus. You guessed it, the next time I passed.
Life is an average. Don't expect to have everything work out just right the
One of my sayings is...
Life is an average.
You let me do anything three or four times and I'll get it right.
David U. Larson