Everyone has their own unique style when it comes to getting information into their noggin’. Test prep can take many shapes and forms, and what works for one person might not work for another.
Prepping for a board exam can be incredibly stressful. The weight of your career decisions rests on the outcome! (No pressure, right?) To cope with this stress, test prepping can manifest as several different approaches: the WINGER, the PROCRASTINATOR (aka, CRAMMER), and the TORTOISE.
The Winger is the person that lets go of the immediate stress the exam is putting on them, and puts it out of their mind. They know it’s coming up, but they have confidence in the amount of information they have stored in their brains. The have an uncanny ability to refresh the knowledge and consolidate retrieval just by existing….or so they think. These test takers waltz into their exams and take a gamble that they will have all the answers (or at least enough to pass!). Depending on the type of test you’re going to take, being a Winger can work OK. Think 100 level undergrad classes. ABPN, PRITE, NP, or USMLE? This might not be the best approach.
The Procrastinator (aka, Crammer) is similar to the Winger. They also put off prepping for as long as possible. But while the Winger tends to follow through on their approach, the Procrastinator usually gets MORE stressed by avoiding it, and ends up cramming as much studying in as possible in the last day or so leading up to the exam. Cramming can be beneficial when compared to not prepping at all, and for some individuals, cramming is their sole means of test prep. Can it work? Probably. Is it great for your mental health? Not really.
Lastly, we have the Tortoise. This name harkens back to Aesop’s Fables, as it should, because this test prepper takes the slow and steady approach. Plunking along, little by little every day, this prepper integrates new bits of information into their mental arsenal. They challenge the knowledge they already have to increase retrieval. The process starts closer to a few months ahead of time, as opposed to overwhelming themselves with whole textbooks 48 hours before their next exam. Instead, they have time to relax and take in some self-care in the days leading up to the exam so that they are refreshed and ready to go.
Is any one of these approaches superior? Research would suggest there is favorable option- we’ll let you decide which one you think it is 😉 In the meantime, if you’ve been relying on being a Winger or a Crammer up to this point, let this blog be your sign to give the Turtle Club (yes, that’s an early 2000’s movie reference) a chance. Give our question banks a try- FREE- using our Free Trial! Or if you’re ready to take the plunge, check out our Question Banks and find the perfect fit for you! Or, contact us with any questions you have so we can help you prep in the best way for you.