It’s competition season! While this can be a nerve-racking time, it is also an excellent opportunity to fine-tune your skills. I know one thing that I consistently struggled with when competing was the exam requirement for many events. The test will look different at various levels of competition, but the general principle will stay the same: some form of a multiple-choice exam that will test your skills, intuition and general knowledge about a specific career cluster. The exam will be a significant factor in determining your overall placement.
There are many ways that you can better prepare yourself for the test. Primarily, it all revolves around studying and making the best use of your time. There are many resources on deca.org, as well as online that can help you become more familiar with the content of each exam. I encourage you to go online and find your competitive event. On the right-hand side under resources, there is a practice exam that you should definitely take.
This is a great place to start because it will allow you to gain exposure to unfamiliar terms. Branching off of this information, you can study using whatever method works best for you. One thing that I chose to do was make flashcards for every word that I didn’t know. On the back, I would write the definition, as well as other terms that were closely related. This helped me gain an understanding of not only the terminology but also where it was categorized compared to other fields within the business world. Creating a study guide may also be an alternative option. Find out what works for you and repeat it until you’ve got it down.
After you have taken the practice exam for your event, take sample exams from clusters that are outside of your own. This helps reinforce general business knowledge and also familiarizes you with how questions are asked. Sometimes when you don’t know how to answer a question, you may be able to logically reason your way into eliminating some of the options. This is easier when you are familiar with the exam format.
Finally, reaching out to resources within your community will also give you a competitive advantage when taking the exam. Contacting previous winners and asking your chapter advisor for study methods and topics can help you expand your study materials. I wish you the best of luck in your preparation for the test, and hopefully will see you holding #DECAGlass at ICDC!