Here are some of the things I've been telling hopeful Certified Residential test takers recently.Are you using Compu Cram? I used it every study session. I was able to buy Henry Harrison's book used from another local appraiser who just passed his exam. I also studied the questions in "Questions & Answers to Help You Pass the Real Estate Appraisal Exams" by Fisher and Tosh.Compu Cram is online and costs $69 (www.compucram.com). AL or AR tests are very much the same now. Just more questions on the AR I believe and maybe they're a little harder. So, CompuCram was a great help. Take the tests until you are passing them at 90% or higher and you'll be fine. Write down the stuff you miss and look up the answers and write those down too. Writing it out seems to help memory. Concentrate on your weak areas, that will make the most difference during the test.Use one or two of the study books and get to know your HP-12C real well. That will give you a lot of confidence when you need it during the test. As far as the calculator goes, until you take the test, do all of your calculations on the HP 12C. That way you will get used to its somewhat reverse functionality. Don't skip the HP 12C, you will need it for some of the questions.Here is a web page tutorial on the functions of money calculations on the HP 12C - http://www.tvmcalcs.com/calculators/hp12c/hp12c_page1 Remember, concentrate on your weak areas, like Math and Stats or whatever you feel is your weakest area. I feel that strategy will benefit you the most when you take the test.Really commit yourself to prepping on the stuff you are having trouble with. Reviewing the material you know will make you feel good, but it won't help you pass the test.
Don't do marathon study sessions. Your brain will burn out. Break it up into 2-4 hour segments and do something else in between. Do an overall review the day before the test and be sure to get plenty of sleep the night before. No all night cramming. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the exam site so you won't be in a panic when you arrive.
When you take the test - use a test management system.On a blank sheet of scratch paper make three columns and do the following:1. Answer any question that your are sure of and move on.2. Any question you think you know, but are not sure of, put that question number on the paper in the first column. You may come across a question later that jogs your memory or answers all or part of the question.3. Any question you really don't know the answer to, put that number in the second column. If nothing comes to you later, guess, as there is no penalty for a wrong answer. I would leave these for last as it doesn't take much time to take a wild guess.4. Put all of the math questions in the third column. Math takes a different kind of logic than the other questions and it takes too much time for your brain to adjust. Answer all the math questions at the same time. You might want to do these second so you don't run out of time.For those of you who have taken the test and did not pass: Now that you've taken the test once, you know how serious you need to be about preparing, so you should do just fine next time.Anyway, good luck. I hope your studying goes well. Email me if you didn't understand any of the above advice or if you have any more questions?