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Down to the Wire: Top Tips for Last Minute Exam Prep

Down to the wire
Months ago, you decided to sit the IBCLC exam.
Now, it’s almost here.
Maybe your studying has gone well and you are feeling confident.
Maybe life has thrown some obstacles in your way and you are wishing you had more time.
Either way, we’ve got you covered. Here is how to make the most of your final study days.
If You’re Feeling Behind
Don’t panic. You can still do this. Take these steps now.
Do a quick self-assessment.
“Do this by yourself with complete honesty,” advises Angela Love-Zaranaka, BA, IBCLC, RLC, Program Director at LER.
How? Get out the Detailed Content Outline and consider each area.
Which topics are your strong areas and which are your weak areas?
You are only going to study your weak areas.
Block off your study time.
Don’t leave studying to chance.
“Get out your planner and mark off the time you will study, and stick to it,” Love-Zaranka says.
“You probably cannot do this at 10 p.m. or 2 a.m. at this point—unless that is when you are at your best. But even if that is when you are going to study, write it down and commit to it!”
Understand the exam.
Familiarize yourself with how the exam will look.
Here’s the short version.
There are 175 multiple choice questions on the exam.
Questions come in two sections.
The first section contains text-only questions. Most of the questions in the second section are based on images, graphs, and charts.
The test is timed, and you will have 4 hours to complete it. Once you go on to Part 2, you cannot go back to Part 1.
How? Get out the Detailed Content Outline and consider each area.
Find more exam format answers here.
And our top tip? Enroll in a review course.
Is there still time to benefit from buying a review course?
Yes!
LER’s course Exam Review Enriched can serve as an anchor for making the most of the time you have.
Use the study guide to identify the modules on your weak areas and target those.
Also, make time to take some practice tests.
“In the course, you will be able to take them timed, untimed, tutor mode,” Love-Zaranka says. “Do all of those.”
If You Are On Track
Studying has gone well and you are feeling basically prepared? Congratulations!
Here is how to use the last of your time to your best advantage.
Focus on your weak areas.
If you know an area very well, let it go. Use practice tests to determine where you still have gaps and focus there.
Read something new.
If you’ve been using primarily one textbook, check out another one.
“Review something outside of the materials you’ve been studying,” Love-Zaranka advises. “If you’ve been using primarily a comprehensive text book, consider Lawrence, which is a guide for the medical profession.”
Finish strong with an Exam Prep course.
You know a lot—and one of the best ways to convince yourself of that is to tap into an exam prep course.
“In LER’s course Exam Review Enriched, you will find many quiz questions in each module—and acing those is going to give you a lot of confidence,” Love-Zaranka says.
Take timed practice exams.
By enrolling in Exam Review Enriched, you’ll be able to take practice exam questions with LER’s new practice exam product, Q-Bank.
“At this stage, take all your practice exams in Test Mode and timed,” Love-Zaranka says. “This will ensure you are completely ready.”
TIPS FOR EVERYONE
No matter where you are in your preparation, these important reminders apply.
Be aware of social media impact.
“We see this with every exam—people read things on social media study groups that throw them into panic mode,” Love-Zaranka says. “Be mindful of your social media use, and remember that people are sharing their opinions, not necessarily the facts!
Know the hard subject areas.
IBLCE has shared data about which exam areas usually see the most wrong answers. Knowing this can help you target your last-minute studying.
In the most recently available data, here were the areas test takers struggled with the most:
  • maternal and infant immunology and infectious disease
  • maternal and infant pharmacology and toxicology
  • growth parameters and environmental milestones
  • interpretation of research.
“These are the things you want to focus on,” Love-Zaranka says. “With chronological stages, people have the most trouble with: labor/birth, especially prenatal through birth; four to six months; and seven to twelve months.
“If you are a NICU nurse, and you are taking this exam, you need to bone up on that. If you’re working in the community and you see older babies, focus on prenatal, labor, and birth.”
Tell yourself you can.
“One of the most powerful things you can do is to remember your positive self-talk,” Love-Zaranaka urges. “Most people pass this exam on the first try!
”Keep reminding yourself that 70 to 75 percent of those certifying for the first time pass the September exam, and over 90 percent of those who are recertifying pass.
“Don’t allow yourself to panic. Stay calm, and keep giving yourself positive messages.”
Down to the wire
Months ago, you decided to sit the IBCLC exam.
Now, it’s almost here.
Maybe your studying has gone well and you are feeling confident.
Maybe life has thrown some obstacles in your way and you are wishing you had more time.
Either way, we’ve got you covered. Here is how to make the most of your final study days.
If You’re Feeling Behind
Don’t panic. You can still do this. Take these steps now.
Do a quick self-assessment.
“Do this by yourself with complete honesty,” advises Angela Love-Zaranaka, BA, IBCLC, RLC, Program Director at LER.
How? Get out the Detailed Content Outline and consider each area.
Which topics are your strong areas and which are your weak areas?
You are only going to study your weak areas.
Block off your study time.
Don’t leave studying to chance.
“Get out your planner and mark off the time you will study, and stick to it,” Love-Zaranka says.
“You probably cannot do this at 10 p.m. or 2 a.m. at this point—unless that is when you are at your best. But even if that is when you are going to study, write it down and commit to it!”
Understand the exam.
Familiarize yourself with how the exam will look.
Here’s the short version.
There are 175 multiple choice questions on the exam.
Questions come in two sections.
The first section contains text-only questions. Most of the questions in the second section are based on images, graphs, and charts.
The test is timed, and you will have 4 hours to complete it. Once you go on to Part 2, you cannot go back to Part 1.
How? Get out the Detailed Content Outlineand consider each area.
Find more exam format answers here
And our top tip? Enroll in a review course.
Is there still time to benefit from buying a review course?
Yes!
LER’s course Exam Review Enriched can serve as an anchor for making the most of the time you have.
Use the study guide to identify the modules on your weak areas and target those.
Also, make time to take some practice tests.
“In the course, you will be able to take them timed, untimed, tutor mode,” Love-Zaranka says. “Do all of those.”
If You Are On Track
Studying has gone well and you are feeling basically prepared? Congratulations!
Here is how to use the last of your time to your best advantage.
Focus on your weak areas.
If you know an area very well, let it go. Use practice tests to determine where you still have gaps and focus there.
Read something new.
If you’ve been using primarily one textbook, check out another one.
“Review something outside of the materials you’ve been studying,” Love-Zaranka advises. “If you’ve been using primarily a comprehensive text book, consider Lawrence, which is a guide for the medical profession.”
Finish strong with an Exam Prep course.
You know a lot—and one of the best ways to convince yourself of that is to tap into an exam prep course.
“In LER’s course Exam Review Enriched, you will find many quiz questions in each module—and acing those is going to give you a lot of confidence,” Love-Zaranka says.
Take timed practice exams.
By enrolling in Exam Review Enriched, you’ll be able to take practice exam questions with LER’s new practice exam product, Q-Bank .
“At this stage, take all your practice exams in Test Mode and timed,” Love-Zaranka says. “This will ensure you are completely ready.”
TIPS FOR EVERYONE
No matter where you are in your preparation, these important reminders apply.
Be aware of social media impact.
“We see this with every exam—people read things on social media study groups that throw them into panic mode,” Love-Zaranka says. “Be mindful of your social media use, and remember that people are sharing their opinions, not necessarily the facts!
Know the hard subject areas.
IBLCE has shared data about which exam areas usually see the most wrong answers. Knowing this can help you target your last-minute studying.
In the most recently available data, here were the areas test takers struggled with the most:
  • maternal and infant immunology and infectious disease
  • maternal and infant pharmacology and toxicology
  • growth parameters and environmental milestones
  • interpretation of research.
“These are the things you want to focus on,” Love-Zaranka says. “With chronological stages, people have the most trouble with: labor/birth, especially prenatal through birth; four to six months; and seven to twelve months.
“If you are a NICU nurse, and you are taking this exam, you need to bone up on that. If you’re working in the community and you see older babies, focus on prenatal, labor, and birth.”
Tell yourself you can.
“One of the most powerful things you can do is to remember your positive self-talk,” Love-Zaranaka urges. “Most people pass this exam on the first try!
”Keep reminding yourself that 70 to 75 percent of those certifying for the first time pass the September exam, and over 90 percent of those who are recertifying pass.
“Don’t allow yourself to panic. Stay calm, and keep giving yourself positive messages.”
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