We all have to agree that test taking is hard. Even harder, taking an industry-specific exam such as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (or NICET) exam. They can stretch our brains, cause us to stress out a bit, and can make us procrastinate scheduling our first or next NICET exam. But it doesn’t have to be so hard. I’m going to give you 7 tips that will make your life much easier as you study for your NICET exam.
1) Know Your Index(es)
One of the most valuable tools to have going into your NICET exam is a very solid grasp on the index of your codebook(s). Nobody short of Einstein, Shakespeare, or Stephen Hawking could memorize a whole codebook much less two! Besides, who would want to?! (I think we can all agree that I’m no Einstein and neither are you or we wouldn’t be here!) With that being said, the index is going to be your best friend in your exam. Know your way around it.
One of the best things about Fire Cert Academy’s study materials and practice tests is that they teach you how to find the answers in your index by labeling the important keywords to look up in the back of your book.
2) Tab Your Codebooks!
This point dovetails the previous point nicely because once you have quickly found the chapter, article or section where you hope to find the answer to a specific question, your next job will be to quickly locate that spot in your book. That’s where creating permanent tabs in your codebook to label each chapter, article or section comes in handy! Luckily, NICET allows you to tab the main chapters of your codebook but to quote NICET’s Allowable Resources page, “The references must be bound or secured in a three-ring binder with a title page. They may have highlighted text and self-adhesive index tabs or dividers, however they must be permanently attached.” With that being said, tab your codebooks with these guidelines in mind.
Above is a picture of a tabbed codebook to give you an example of what it looks like. Don’t forget to visit our resources page if you need to buy any of the allowable resources for your exam!
3) Review Common Material
No matter what level NICET exam you are taking, with a little research you can find out which chapters or articles are the most commonly referenced on your exam(s) giving you a good idea of where you should spend the majority of your time studying.
For instance, on your NICET level I exam, documentation is heavily referenced (e.g. How long are as-builts required to be stored and where?). So with this knowledge you would want to spend more of your time studying Chapter 10 of the NFPA 72 as this contains many of the documentation requirements.
By signing up for a 1-month, 3-month or 6-month subscription to Fire Cert Academy’s resources, you will gain access to our cheat sheet showing which articles of the National Electric Code (NEC/NFPA 70) are referenced the most on your exams!
4) Review FAQs Forums and Groups
Much information can be gleaned from others in the industry who have either done it before you, or are currently working toward a certification. There are forums that you can review where people have asked the same questions you are wondering. Review FAQs at www.nicet.org
You can join social media groups on Linkedin or Facebook devoted to industry talk (e.g. LinkedIn groups NICET, NFPA 72, Fire Cert Academy, and similar Facebook pages are all great tools where industry professionals have posted valuable information.) Or search for different forums like The Fire Panel Forums or similar pages which have a wealth of knowledge related to these exams.
On Test Day
5) Eat a Solid Meal
Depending on the time of your exam, make sure you eat a good, well-rounded meal to take advantage of the brain power and energy it will give you. We all need nourishment, but your brain especially needs it right before your exam. Eat a healthy, well-rounded meal with plenty of protein, some carbs, and a vegetable or fruit. Just don’t load up on carbs or sugar right before your exam.
Try to do some light exercise like a walk or a short jog to get your blood pumping and your brain working before you head out for your exam.
6) Be early
Nothing can throw your test-taking mojo off like cutting it close for your exam. Leaving yourself extra time when you show up for the test will not only keep you focused and calm, but is a good idea since the check-in process can take time.
Remember to stay calm and focused! You know your index and the material, so don’t stress!
7) Light Review
Don’t study heavily the day of your exam. Studies have shown that this makes a person more susceptible to brain fatigue during exams. Just do a light review if anything and go over some key terms or the common material like we discussed in tip #3.
That’s about it!
Remember, NICET is a fantastic way to not only make yourself more valuable to your company, but to also increase the knowledge base of your industry as a whole. Indeed, many studies have illustrated, that those who possess at least one level of certification in NICET not only had little to no difficulty finding a job, but were more sought after by companies, made higher salaries, and occupied higher level roles within company hierarchies.
So stop procrastinating! Take that NICET exam you’ve been considering taking, schedule your exam, and start studying!