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Prepare for an Exam 30 Days from Now: You Can Do It!

Woman sitting at table with review materials.

Are you taking a comprehensive, career-critical exam in 30 days? Yikes. The mere thought of it can be a little mind-boggling. Maybe you don’t feel prepared … don’t know where to start …want to stay in denial about how doggone hard it is. But it’s time to prepare for an exam 30 days from now, so you need to hunker down.

Master the mundane

I can almost hear you saying, “Marie! No! You just said hunker down.”

Well, yeah.

But you need to first have the peace of mind that everything is in order so you don’t fret about it when you hunker down, or you quickly fix it before you hunker down. Be sure you:

  • Read the rules. All of the stuff that the IBLCE™ sent you about security, timing, and more.
  • Have two forms of identification that are exactly the same. I mean, exactly the same! I’ve known of people who were not admitted to the exam because one form of identification said something like Mary Smith and the other one said Mary Q. Smith. So, make sure you’re in compliance. If not, quickly fix that now.
  • Line up whatever you need to get to the testing site or do home proctoring. Don’t bring any anxiety onto yourself on the big day.
  • Line up everything else you need: The boss’s approval for the day off from work, the babysitter and a back-up babysitter, the hotel reservation if you’re staying overnight somewhere, and whatever else you need in order to make yourself totally available to take the exam.

Determine your areas of weakness

You don’t have time to mess around learning or re-learning the material you already know.

One of the best ways to start identifying your areas of strengths and weaknesses is to buy my 7 Discipline Drills. These are arranged according to the 7 disciplines of the IBLCE Detailed Content Outline (which is how they design the exam.)

You’ll be able to quickly see where you’re strong, and where you need help.

As you prepare for an exam 30 days from now get more tips here.

I’ll bet there are topics you hadn’t thought about. Don’t be surprised to see a few that leap to my mind:

  • Paced bottle-feeding
  • LGBTQIA issues and answers
  • Breastfeeding in emergency situations (wow, we’ve had some of those lately!)
  • Newborn gut and the microbiome
  • Milk sharing, cross-nursing, community-based milk (Stay tuned for a blog post on milk sharing.)
  • Anything having to do with communication; I suspect that since the IBLCE now requires 5 hours of communication training for first-time candidates, they will hit that harder on this year’s exam than in the past. (If you’re a newbie, buy my 5-hour course that to fulfill your eligibility requirement; if you’re a re-tester, my course is probably way more than you need.)

No, no, I do not expect any questions on COVID. Why so?

First, because we don’t yet have enough information on COVID and lactation. I don’t see how they could write a defensible test item.

Second, because I’d imagine it’s very hairy to construct an exam with colleagues around the world, many of whom have all sorts of practical issues. My guess is that IBLCE will recycle at least some questions already in their test bank.

Take a structured approach

Let’s face it. There isn’t a study in the world to support the practice of a last-minute cramming or burning the midnight oil. And that usually happens when you just plain procrastinate, or when you don’t know how to structure your time every day.

As you prepare for an exam 30 days from now use my simple structure for doing 30 minutes a day.

My live course has been running several times a year since 2004. (I even did one in early 2020!) But if you’re waiting for my live course this year, that ain’t gonna happen!

The online course is almost as good — you just can’t see my smiling face! But you can most definitely hear my voice. This seems to have had an effect I hadn’t anticipated.

Several online participants have told me after their exam, “I could hear your voice in my ear when I was taking the exam!” Many 6-12 minute audio sessions in this course allow you to review in small chunks as you prepare for an exam 30 days from now. Squeeze in a few minutes of studying whenever you can.

Use some free or low-cost resources.

I’ve got a ton of stuff. Flashcards, a 1000+ list of terms you could encounter on the exam, and more. Definitely listen to my podcast with Melissa Bedward as she describes the ups and downs of home proctoring.

I also have a slim booklet and ebooklet on Test-Taking Strategies.

If you’ve failed in the past, consider my book, How to Pass the IBLCE Exam This Time.  

Get the BEST free resource!

I’m running a few FREE “Monday with Marie” sessions.

In this free session, I’ll take any questions. That’s right, any questions!

I’ll answer questions related to the exam, exam-taking, exam strategy, or anything else you have questions about. (If you want to ask me about how to make a Fleegle heel on hand-knitted toe-up up socks, you can ask that, too! I said anything! Just ask!)

Sign up NOW! It’s free, but we have a limited number of seats!

What can I do to help you prepare for an exam 30 days from now?

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Breastfeeding and Lactation: What is the NICU Nurse’s Role?
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