Many students study for the OT exam by taking as many practice questions as possible. However, we believe it is important to become an expert on each topic and then taking a test on that topic to really reflect your abilities. Many students like to spend time reviewing all content, however we think this is a waste of time. We recommend going over information that you don’t know or keep getting wrong. If you are starting to read something that you know very well, skip it and move on. Don’t waste your time on things you already know, focus on the areas that are difficult for you. You can always jot down or make a flashcard on the material you need help remembering. If you feel you are week in a specific area, for example SCI, you might want to volunteer at a SCI clinic for a day for observation. By seeing a C6 SCI patient and observing their daily routines, you will be able to understand the diagnoses better and have an easier time with retention for answering questions on the exam.
It is helpful to become comfortable with reading an exam question, identifying the stem of a question, and synthesizing the information to determine the best answer. I recommend taking one day to take a test and the next day to review your answers. If you don’t have time to answer 100 questions, try to take 50 or 100. By taking these tests, you are learning what areas you need to study up on more and the style of the test questions. Rather than focusing on your score, focus on what you know and what you don’t know. Reviewing your answers is one of the most important parts to studying for this exam. Focus and pay attention to WHY your answer is wrong. What are these questions telling you?
Specific material you don’t know (i.e., specifics about precautions, diagnoses, equipment)
Practice Domains you are unfamiliar with
Faulty reasoning/second guessing
Not taking enough time/taking too much time
Changing your answer and going against your first instincts
Minimize distractions: Create a study environment that is free of email, internet, phone, and other distractions. Set aside a specific area for study, whether it is an entire room or your desk or kitchen table, and study there most of the time. If you are tempted to get online or procrastinate, tell yourself you can do that at your next break.
If you are really tired or not focused when studying, the best thing you can do is take a break, change your environment, exercise, get some fresh air, and listen to a Pass the OT audio recording.
Mimic test conditions: As you work through practice questions, try to mimic test conditions by taking timed tests, not consulting your notes, and practicing your testing strategy.