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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Principles of Success for Board Exam Takers

The “13 Principles of Success for Exam Takers” mix together some of the best strategies to be adopted by anyone facing the challenge of preparing a for a certification exam. These strategies can be applied by exam takers from any field of knowledge or profession.


A clear vision of your objective, and written goals, is an essential precondition to success. As the saying goes, if you dream it, you should ink it. That is the number one recommendation of many authors, coaches and mentors. That is a formula for attainment of any goal.

By clearly articulating what you want on a sheet of paper, you point yourself in the direction of your deepest intent. At the same time, you are clearing away what you don’t want by jotting down knowingly what you know you want. Knowing your clear wishes, desires, and dreams create a path and a direction to focus on and a relief from anxiety and indecision.

The best way to formulate your goals is by focusing on what you want and why you want it. What benefit do you expect to obtain from attaining what you want? What inspiration moves you toward attainment of your desire? How will you feel when you realize that desire? What positive changes will the realization of the desire bring to you?

Indeed, knowing your why always leads you to the end result or solution you desire to manifest.


Having the right information at the right time makes all the difference. And getting needed information is mostly a matter of planning. Yet, in the information era, many decisions are still being made without pondering important factors because of lack of specific information at the right time.

Gathering the right information from the right source has become a valuable skill in almost every field. Proof of it is that research and benchmarking are well paid skills in the job market today. Everyone is a potential information researcher in the World Wide Web. The challenge for you, as an exam candidate is to keep focused and steer clear of irrelevant information that does not align with your research objective, by applying a critical filtering strategy to test the reliability of information at hand.

Before deciding how to prepare for your certification exam, take time to ponder all factors involved in getting the result you want, to pass the exam. Explore each factor by asking yourself questions about it. Intentionally, research the answers to those questions. The results will bring you the control and help you need to manage the factors you find relevant to the outcome you seek. Time invested in becoming informed, before making a decision, is time used wisely and productively.

Most of the initial decisions you make will directly impact your performance and eventually, your final result. Therefore, it is wise for you to dedicate appropriate time to research the details that combine your preferences with your convenience, before engaging in the exam preparation process.

Wise decisions are also informed decisions and much of your informed decisions will depend on how much you know about yourself as a student, as an exam taker, and as a goal achiever. The point here is that you must know your preferences, as well as your weaknesses, strengths, and what makes you feel good or not so good.
Therefore, match what you know about yourself with your alternatives and options, timing, methods, and everything else that may impact the decisions you may have to make that affect your preparation and capacity to take an exam.

And keep in mind that, in this arena other people’s experiences are relatively irrelevant to you. Let the organizing power of knowing yourself guide you intuitively in the decisions you have to make. Decide as wisely as you possibly can.


Planning holistically means making provisions for required mental work (i.e. acquiring knowledge), but also for your physical, emotional, and spiritual well being.

During the preparation for exams, the energy you need for mental work comes from convenient habits and behaviors you incorporate in daily activities to keep you fresh, focused, motivated, positive, and confident.
Therefore, develop and maintain healthy and balanced habits with regard to food, fitness, sleep, and rest. Intentionally incorporate these habits in the study plan, and schedule and execute the plan faithfully during your waking hours throughout the examination preparation process.

Many exam candidates focus their attention on the study time they need to cover the material assigned in an outline. They fail to incorporate in their plan the time needed to take care of their physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Come time for the exams, their energy will be at low ebb and that rattles their confidence.

Remember however, once you have your plan, that goals are not achieved by dreaming or solely by writing down plans. Attaining desired success comes down to faithful execution of the plan, deciding wisely, and acquiring the habit of DOING what you say you are going to do. Do these long enough and you will reach your desired objective.


Look for both, motivation and inspiration, throughout your journey as an exam candidate.

Motivation is the fuel that keeps you going. It is needed during the entire journey to help you do what you must to reach your desired objective. Inspiration is a different vibration than motivation. Inspiration gives the sense that you are already where you want to be. Inspiration gives you the picture of the end result you are working for, like “the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow”.

Both, motivation and inspiration are stimulated when you are clear on your “WHY”, which is what defines what you are looking for. The changes, the improvement, the expansion, the sense of freedom, and the growth of your ambitions arise from the challenge you embrace and are the seeds of your motivation and inspiration to achieve a successful outcome.


Humans are creatures of habits and habits are the result of actions routinely repeated after they are consciously or unconsciously acquired. It can safely be assumed that habits can also be intentionally and purposely acquired by chosen convenient actions faithfully repeated for 20 to 30 days.

One convenient habit to acquire during the process of preparing for an exam is to focus on the end goal on a daily basis. What is your intention? What do you want? That is your goal. Write it. Make a video of it. Record it and come back to it every day.

Reinforcing your intention frequently will create the momentum for the manifestation of what you are looking for. Magnetize the vibration of what you want by keeping focused on it. In that way, as you move toward it, it will move toward you, as if attracted by a magnet.

Take advantage of the magic of this soup of energy that is this world in which all human are dancing to the tune of pursuing a dream, a wish, or a desire.


Part of knowing yourself is in identifying your internal and external triggers. What makes you to take action? What activates your willpower? What generates enthusiasm in you? What makes you take on initiatives?

Knowing what elements of day-to-day activities influence your behavior the most may give you the power to intentionally use these activities in pursuit of your goals. Ask yourself these questions: Do I tend to be more competitive or cooperative? Do I prefer constancy or change? What do I prefer to receive as reward for my performance: sincere appreciation without a financial bonus, or a bonus without appreciation?

The answers to these questions are very personal and will vary along the span of your life. But they can give you clues on how to motivate yourself to pursue your goals.


Settling in the process of getting informed, planning, making decisions, and taking action toward reaching the objective of passing an exam will build in you a certain level of commitment.

If you want to pass any exam, you must be willing to do what you need to do to attain that goal. And you will, unless you allow distractions to become so urgent or necessary that you decide to give them priority, thereby delaying your exam preparation process or scrap it altogether. Keep in mind that, wanting to pass the exam is not enough. You must absolutely commit yourself to passing it.

Commitment is stronger than merely wanting. Commit yourself to do all you need to do to pass your exam, in the first try, if possible. In your commitment, forego any chance for delaying or giving up, if you want a successful outcome. Erase from your mind and intention any other possibility that is not to joyfully prepare for and successfully passing your exam. Make that commitment even before you take the first step in the planning process, before you start studying for the exam.


Willpower and persistence are a combination you will need to keep going. It is what makes you press on and never give-up. It may be even bigger than waves of faith, hope and inspiration you may choose to tap into when the going gets tough.

The ability or the attitude of believing in yourself and in what you are doing, regardless of circumstance, makes all the difference in the attainment of favorable results. This is especially true while taking an exam. It is so easy to feel insecure and overwhelmed in the middle of such a challenging journey. Your attitude and will power are the most important assets leading to your success. You will never give up once you begin to understand and realize that you are capable of passing your exam because you are putting forth all of your very best effort.


It is possible to accomplish anything when the big tasks involved can be divided into smaller tasks that make one feel in control of the situation. When a big task frightens you, break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks that do not frighten you. Nothing seems impossible to accomplish when the tasks are broken into small and more manageable tasks.

Exam takers have three defined stages in their journey: decision, preparation and examination. The most challenging stage, without a doubt, is the preparation stage because the candidate must sort through a high volume of material that will be covered in the exam, and review or study that material in a relatively short period of time.

Do not let the amount of study material frighten you for a second. Break it down into small, more manageable parcels and distribute them over the available time. It will all seem easier to tackle.


Nourishing a constant sense of success and accomplishment allows you to move forward toward your goal, every day. Make constant inventory of what you already did and feel good about it.

When a long period is required to prepare for an exam, feeling good about the task of studying will make things flow easier and more enjoyable. Maintaining discipline in following your study plan becomes natural, and you will advance toward your desire goal of passing your exam by conquering concepts, gaining confidence and mastering the process better every day, one step at the time.


Any challenging goal one embraces in life is a potential opportunity for growth and expansion. During your journey to prepare for an exam you will have wonderful opportunities to free yourself from bad habits, negative thought patterns and toxic feelings, and push yourself beyond them. To succeed, expand, and become a better you is part of the challenge you embrace when you engage in a long- term preparation for an exam.

Commit yourself to continued personal improvement. Decide to add personal value during your journey as an exam candidate. You will need that attitude because under the pressure of time and the weight of tasks to complete, negativity creeps in and can expand easily with the potential to take control of all your moments.

Marianne Williamson’s “A Return to Love” has this inspirational paragraph on growing that offers a challenging for every reader. 

The passage says: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”


The happiest day of your entire examination experience is the exam day. It is a day of relief. A winning intention, a focused attention and a relaxed state of mind and body is what you want on your exam day. How to prepare for that day?

There is no better way to prepare for the exam day than through the powerful practice of autosuggestion, by using tools such as visualization and affirmations.

The mind is stimulated with imagination and thoughts, pictures and words. Humans are programming themselves continually with mental pictures and an inner dialogue. It is possible to program oneself consciously, intentionally and purposely by choosing the images and words that will bring the desired successful results.


Exam candidates need a unique mix of knowledge, study and exam strategies, self-confidence, stamina, and determination to be successful in the examination room. Passing the exams on the first attempt is possible for any candidate who learns to manage the preparation process and the exam day.

Your power to manage your exam preparation process and its result comes from managing weighted factors over which you have a relative level of control such as personal attitude, study and exam strategies, and the material you use in preparation.

Managing your attitude is key to your success because your attitude reveals how powerfully committed you are to the goal of passing your exams. You, and you alone, own your power to “say yes” to what is meaningful to your goal or “say no” to what is not.


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