A new year brings new beginnings and with it, new resolutions. When we set New Year’s resolutions, we are applying the very important concept of self-efficacy. This means that by virtue of aspiring to a goal and following through on it, we have a sense of control over what’s happening in our lives. To keep your resolutions this year, it’s important to have structure in place, to keep you motivated. Using Pass the OT is a great tool to guide you and to keep you on track.

Firstly, you need to start by taking action now, not tomorrow or next week, but right now. Do not wait for the “right time” because the right time is actually now, and procrastination means waiting for never.

Here are 7 steps to help you keep your resolution to pass the NBCOT® exam this year.

1. Recall Your Purpose
Reminding yourself of why you’re studying can be an excellent way to motivate you to study. Consider why you chose to be an OT/OTA in the first place. Take a step back and review your long-term goals and what you intend to achieve as a result of your studies. Your goals can motivate you to persist in your studying for the exam.

2. Set a Well-Defined Goal
Without a well-defined goal you may feel as though you have no direction and you may lose interest and stop what you have started doing.


3. Take the First Step3. Take the First Step
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you have a lot of exam preparation to do. When you become overwhelmed, you may find it hard to know where to start and the temptation to procrastinate can present itself. In this case, begin by taking a small first step; act first and the energy to keep going will spark itself as you take action.


4. Keep to a Study Schedule
For some students, keeping to a study schedule or routine allows them to stay motivated. With a schedule, you’ll set up specific study times across days, weeks, and/or months. This can help you stay focused on the bigger picture and help you sustain your focus. Pass the OT offers our members set study schedules to help you feel organized and to give you structure.

5. Break Tasks into Manageable Chunks
By dividing up a task into smaller chunks, you’ll be less likely to feel swamped and unmotivated. Pass the OT has taken the entire syllabus and broken it up into specific modules. To simplify learning the material, each module consists of Topics which have highlighted worksheets, videos and audios.

The Pomodoro Technique can be used to help you structure your study time. This involves simply dividing up tasks into, say, 15-minute or 25-minute intervals. This shorter time span prevents you from feeling intimidated by the task and losing motivation. It lets you achieve a more powerful focus. In between the intervals you can get up and have five-minute breaks during which you can do whatever you want. Even short breaks and small rewards can have a positive impact on your motivation levels.

                    The Pomodoro Technique
• Identify a task or tasks that you need to complete.
• Set a timer for 15 or 25 minutes.
• Work on a task with no distractions.
• When the alarm sounds, take a 5-minute break.
• Repeat the process 3 more times.
• Take a longer 30-minute break and start again.


6. Join a Study Group
Study groups are great ways to stay motivated. You are already set up with an established study group at Pass the OT. We host weekly group calls which students are encouraged to attend and participate in.


7. Create a Study Space
Create your ideal study space at home. Your study environment should be clean, quiet, organized, and comfortable. Remove any distractions and ensure you have comfortable seating. Switching it up by studying at the library once in a while can also help you keep motivated. Some people prefer not to study in a completely silent environment. In this case, playing relaxing background music or nature sounds, or heading out to the local cafe could help. Turning off your phone and using website-blocking extensions for your browser are other ways to eliminate distractions and make the most of your study periods.