Creating a Mind Map
Practice exams are useful for creating a mind or memory map. Mind maps are a tool used to help you remember key formulas, process inputs/outputs, concepts, definitions, and the like, during the actual examination. To create a mind map, use the feedback gathered from practice exams to identify concepts, skills, or technologies where you struggle or need extra practice. Associate these elements with related symbols, key words, monikers, drawings, or phrases. Anything is acceptable as long as it triggers your memory so you can recall the facts associated with the symbol or phrase.
Ideally, mind maps should be no more than one 8-1/2 x 11-inch sheet of paper, front and back. Not only should you memorize a mind map, you should be able to reproduce it within ten minutes. Many certification exams provide you with scratch paper to use during the exam. If such paper is provided, use the first ten minutes of the exam to reproduce your mind map. This serves several purposes: First, reproducing the mind map calms your nerves and clears your mind as you focus on a familiar task. Second, the mind map information is now documented in written form. When you encounter a difficult exam question, simply refer to your mind map to refresh your memory. It may take a little time to create your mind map from the feedback gathered on your practice exams, but you’ll find that it’s time well spent.
Regardless of the type of certification you seek, practice tests are useful in providing feedback on your understanding of key concepts, skills, and technologies to be tested. Remember to take practice tests at the beginning of your preparation to assess your current knowledge. As skills are mastered, continue to take practice tests to assess your progress. Use the feedback gathered to create personal mind maps. With a little planning, practice tests can be a powerful aid in creating your study plan and assessing your ongoing progress toward your goal.