If you dream of starting a career as a CNA, you'll have to pass the Certified Nursing Aide practical exam before you can start shipping off resumes and land a job. The test is required for certification, and failing a single section will force you to retake the entire test. Preparing in advance is the only way to guarantee a passing grade. There are many ways to study for the exam, and finding the one that works best for you is essential for your success.
If you're the independent, introverted type, you may find success studying by yourself. Before you begin working your way through the steps of the objectives, memorize each one. Read through the steps for each objective and then quiz yourself. Check your answers and read through the steps again. Repeatedly quiz yourself until you have each step for every objective memorized in order. If necessary, make flash cards so you can review each step while away from your books. Writing the steps down may help you memorize them quicker.
Practice With a Fellow Student
If possible, work through each objective with another student and take turns grading each other’s work. Always grade each other based on the steps provided in your books. Going off of memory can cause both of you to miss a step or do things out of order, which could result in both of you failing the objective when the big day comes and it's time to take the test. Another set of eyes and ears to critique your work will reduce the likelihood of missing a step or completing an objective in the wrong order.
Seeing the correct way to complete an objective can help secure it in your mind, so spend some time watching CNAs in action. Talk to your instructor and see if you can arrange a time for you to shadow a CNA on the job. Watch her as she completes the objectives in her daily work, and take note of the correct procedure for, and order of, each objective.
Practice on Friends and Family
Get your friends or family in on the action to help you study for your practical exam. Create a checklist for each objective and a list of steps involved. Practice on your loved ones and ask them to critique you based on the checklist. Practice on multiple people in order to get feedback from different points of view. You can provide a notebook or extra paper for your test subjects to make notes. Remember, your friends and family will likely not have the knowledge to determine if you are completing the objectives correctly, so your checklist must have all the correct steps listed.
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