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How to Pass Any Exam

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When it comes to IT exams, are you afraid of success? So many pros prepare to fail, rather than to succeed. This article by Joe Phillips shows you how to stop sabotaging yourself and how to prepare for success every time. Quit taking exams and start passing them!
Joseph Phillips writes a weekly column on professional certification for InformIT. See all of Joe's articles at Joe's author page.

If you're like most people, you dread taking exams. For some, the thought of an exam is enough to send them into a panic attack. Why do we dread exams? Ok, there's the $100 (or more) just to register for every IT exam available. There's the issue of what your peers and employers are going to say if you don't pass. And there's all the time you've invested when you could have been watching reruns of Fantasy Island. The real problem isn't taking the exam; it's preparing to pass the exam.

Prepare Yourself for Success

I've got a buddy who prepares himself for failure. He doesn't believe it, but it's true. How does he do it? He'll tell himself over and over that he is not good at taking exams. By the time he starts the exam, his brain has been conditioned that it's okay for him to fail because he's not good at taking exams. The moral? Tell yourself that you are good at passing exams. When you register, don't register for an exam—register to pass an exam. I deeply believe that preparing yourself to pass an exam is different from preparing yourself to take an exam.

Your first step in preparing for success is to set a deadline. Not a wavering deadline, either. Pick up the phone, call the testing center, and set a concrete date to pass the exam. Even if the date is three months away, you know it's there, it's real, and you're moving toward it.

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