How Do I Study for the Vet Tech Exam?

Published on August 1, 2019 by arothstein

Woman working on computer to study for VTNE exam

Ready to take the VTNE but need to prepare for the vet tech exam? Many vocational schools offer vet tech programs that prepare students for the VTNE exam. Here are some other ways to prepare for the vet tech exam to become a certified vet tech.

What Does a Vet Tech Do?

A vet tech provides support to a veterinarian in caring for companion, farm, and exotic animals. The role of a vet tech is multi-faceted since it includes treating an array of medical conditions, performing diagnostic tests, assisting in surgery, administering medications and vaccines, and assisting the veterinarian with dental procedures.

The veterinary technician profession is one of the fastest growing in the country. The number of pets in American households is increasing and the advances in veterinary medicine has increased the demand for qualified vet techs.  To become a vet tech, graduates must pass the VTNE vet tech exam.

The National Exam and How to Prepare

The National Exam is created to provide the necessary credentials for graduates who are entry-level vet techs in the United States and Canada. The VTNE consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. Graduates taking the test have four hours in which to complete the exam.

The most effective way to ready yourself for the Veterinary Technician National Exam is to study with practice tests and materials on the American Association of Veterinary State Boards website.

The AAVSB offers several versions of the Veterinary Technician National Exam practice tests. The practice tests are created so graduates can gauge what their strengths are and in which areas more study is required before taking the exam.

General Test Taking Study Habits

The most effective study habits can improve a student’s ability to retain more of the information they read. Some of the study habits that can help you to achieve higher scores on the VTNE exam include:

You Study Environment

One of the first factors to consider is the environment you choose in which to study. You’ve investigated many places on and off-campus as a student. One of your favorite study spots is an excellent choice when you’re studying for the VTNE as long as it’s conducive to study. Your study areas may include a favorite coffee house, the library, study hall, or a quiet spot in the student lounge.

A Positive Attitude

Your mindset will go a long way in effective study habits. If you approach studying for an exam with a negative attitude, convince yourself you won’t do well, or compare yourself to other students, you probably won’t get the grade you need.

However, when you’re preparing for an exam, choose to be positive. Remind yourself of your abilities and skills and put aside any personal problems that might be going on in your life. The main thing when you study for an exam is to be focused.

A Realistic Study Schedule

Be realistic about your study schedule. Everyone has commitments that must be adhered to. Make sure when you plan your schedule, you allow adequate time for studying when you aren’t worried about rushing off to a job or another commitment. Cramming for an exam is never a good idea.

Minimizing Any Distractions

Keep distractions at a minimum. If you choose a place to study that’s bustling and noisy, you won’t get much accomplished. Studying in your dorm room might not be the best choice when your roommate is chatting, the TV is on, or you’re on the phone.

Effective Vet Tech Exam Study Suggestions

Chunking is the term used by psychologists to put pieces of information together and is a method commonly used by students when preparing for an exam. A lot of students find it easier to retain information when they use an outline. Putting together the basic components and connecting concepts is an effective method used by a lot of vet tech students.

Before you leave for the library or wherever you’ll be studying, decide what you need to bring with you and what can stay at home. A lot of vet tech graduates keep notes on their laptop when they’re studying for their exam. However, a laptop is one way to easily get distracted.

Checking your social media news feed, playing video games, or texting are fine at other times, but not when you’re prepping for the vet tech exam. A better plan is to bring a notebook and pens to take notes. Leave your phone in your backpack while you’re studying, and you’ll get a lot more accomplished.

Flash Cards

One of the best educational resources when you’re studying for the vet tech exam, is flash cards. The reason that flash cards work so well is that they’re an effective tool to promote active recall, which aids the brain in working more efficiently.

Although flash card apps are available to download when you have a lot of facts to remember, making your cards can create stronger neural pathways, making it easier to go back to information that you need to review for the vet tech exam.

The process of learning includes:

A concept of cognitive psychology is known as picture superiority effect, which explains that people tend to remember imagery much better than they do words. It’s advantageous when you make your flash cards to include a lot of imagery.

Memory Games

Mnemonic devices or memory games are methods of remembering smaller pieces of information by using word association. When you’re studying for the vet tech exam, memory games are one of the most effective tools to take advantage of.

Coming up with sentences or phrases pertaining to the topic are often easier to remember than learning specific terms. The reason that memory games are so effective is that when you combine visual images with words, you use more of your brain, which translates into improving your memory.

Study for the VTNE in Groups

The primary reason that group study works so well is that a student can accelerate their learning process when they study in a group. The acceleration process works by talking through the topic, quizzing each other, and comparing notes. Here are some benefits of studying in a group.

Procrastination Isn’t A Problem

When students study independently, they may put off study for one night if they have other plans or don’t feel like studying. Study groups meet at set times, so there’s no excuse not to prepare for the vet tech exam.

Study in a Group

It can get monotonous when you study by yourself. Discussing the topic and listening to others in the group can give you a different perspective on the material.

Learn the Material Faster

Students who study in groups usually learn the material faster than those who study alone. If you don’t understand some of what you’re studying, you can learn by asking others in the study group rather than being puzzled over the material. You may be able to help another person in the group that doesn’t understand a question or concept.

New Perspectives and Enhanced Study

Students can gain new perspectives and enhance their study style by working with a group. Students working in a group have the opportunity to observe different study style and incorporate those that they think will work best for them.

Filling in the Gaps

Students can share their methods for taking notes with everyone in the group. You may learn a technique you hadn’t thought of before. The group can go through their notes and make sure there isn’t anything they’ve overlooked.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

One of the most important things you can do before taking the vet tech exam is to get a restful sleep the night before. A good night’s sleep before you take a test is necessary to store memories and for memory recall. Restful sleep enhances the ability to concentrate the next day.

Waiting until the day before the exam and staying up studying all night is likely to result in a much lower grade than if you had been better prepared. When you’re taking the vet tech exam, you should get eight hours of sleep the night before; or six hours at a minimum. Here are some suggestions for getting a good night’s sleep.

Get the Best Sleep to Study
  1. Eat your last meal of the day at least two hours before you go to bed. A heavy meal before you go to bed can keep you awake, especially if you’re feeling tense. Avoid eating spicy or rich foods, because you could have a digestive upset in the middle of the night. If you feel hungry before you go to bed, have a light snack.
  2. Eat foods that can help you to go to sleep faster. Whole grain cereals are rich in B-6, which helps to produce Melatonin that can help you to sleep. Walnuts and almonds contain Melatonin and Serotonin that can help you relax. If you like salads sprinkle some of the nuts over the greens.
  3. Make a cup of Chamomile or Passionfruit tea. Chamomile tea with a little honey is relaxing and can help to induce restful sleep.
  4. Put the phone down, stop texting, and do something relaxing like reading or listening to soothing music before you go to sleep.

Eat Before Taking the Test

One of the most important things to do before you take the vet tech exam is to eat healthy to ensure the best performance. You should eat foods that contain Omega-3 Fatty Acids like walnuts, cashews, and hazelnuts. They are good choices if you don’t like fish.

Nuts, seeds, beans, and eggs provide you with amino acids that motivate you and aid in mental acuity. Eggs can be eaten for breakfast, with yogurt, cottage cheese, or hard cheese. You can eat some of these foods as a snack if your vet tech exam is later in the day.

Your Plan for Study

When you’re preparing for the VTNE, the first thing to do is to know your learning style. Everyone has their own method of studying. Where you choose to study is a matter of personal choice. The main thing to remember is to be consistent with your routine and to stay focused.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about how to study for the vet tech exam interest you? Need to start a program to become a veterinary technician first? With an associate degree in veterinary technology, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills you need to start an entry-level career as a veterinary technician. Broadview University has been part of the community for more than 40 years, so we’ve developed connections that can help move your career forward. After completing our accredited degree program, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Passing the VTNE allows you to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), a designation that will give you a competitive advantage when you enter the job market.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a veterinary technician and working in veterinary technology.

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