Practicing for important or difficult tasks is incredibly common. From sports to music to cooking, practice is an essential learning tool that can exponentially increase one’s likelihood of success. A nursing assistant practice test is another application of the practice principle. Commonly stated as “practice makes perfect,” the real principle behind practice is not mere repetition, but repetition of the correct material or procedures. “Perfect practice makes perfect” is far closer to the truth, and illustrates the necessity not only of practicing for your nurse aid test, but also practicing correctly for your nursing assistant test.
What to look for
The fact that nursing assistant practice tests are widely available through a number of sources can be just as much a curse as a blessing. While it is easy to find practice tests, it is not always easy to discern the tests that offer mere practice from those that offer perfect practice.
The best nursing assistant practice tests are those that most closely simulate the actual tests in division of content, length, and difficulty. The best practice testing services will also score your tests in the same way National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) tests are graded. It may also be tempting to choose a free test over its more costly alternative, and certainly there is a place for free tests, but do not dismiss paying a nominal fee for practice a test (or tests) to avoid paying a higher fee to take the actual test more than once.
The division of content in practice tests is important to establish your thinking in preparation for the actual test. For instance, should you spend 40% of your time studying emotional and mental health needs and 3% studying basic nursing skills? The answer, or course, is no. Adequate practice tests will breakdown their contents something like the following: 7% activities of daily living; 37% basic nursing skills; 5% restorative skills; 10% emotional and mental health needs; 3% spiritual and cultural needs; 10% communication; 15% client rights; 5% legal and ethical behavior, and 8% member of the health care team.
Length is another important test feature, especially as you near the end of your preparations. Not only is knowing the material crucial, but so is having the ability to last the entire testing period, which is typically about two hours. If your practices tests never last over an hour, you will only be prepared for an hour.
Nursing assistant practice tests that are not as difficult as the actual test are similar to tests that are half the length of an actual test: their practical value is severely limited. Try to find practice tests that are of similar or greater difficulty than the actual test to ensure the best results from the actual test.
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