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Test Take Strategies

  • Approach the test confidently, take it calmly.
  • Remember to review in the weeks before the test.
  • Don’t “cram.” Be careful of your diet and sleep…especially as the test draws near.
  • Arrive on time…and ready.
  • Choose a good seat. Get comfortable and relax.
  • Bring the complete kit of “tools” you’ll need.
  • Listen carefully to all directions.
  • Apportion your time intelligently with an “exam budget.”
  • Read all directions carefully. Twice if necessary. Pay particular attention to the scoring plan.
  • Look over the whole test before answering any questions.
  • Start right in, if possible. Stay with it. Use every second effectively.
  • Do the easy questions first; postpone harder questions until later.
  • All CST program questions are currently weighted the same.
  • Determine the pattern of the test questions. If it is hard-easy, etc., answer accordingly.
  • Read each question carefully. Make sure you understand each one before you answer. Re-read, if necessary.
  • Think! Avoid hurried answers, guess intelligently.
  • Watch your watch and “exam budget,” but do a little balancing of the time you devote to each question.
  • Get all the help you can from “cue” words.
  • Rephrase difficult questions for yourself.
  • Choose the “best” of all the possible answers
  • Refresh yourself with a few well-chosen rest pauses during the test.
  • Use controlled association to see the relation of one question to another and with as many important ideas as you can develop.
  • Answer all questions.
  • Now that you’re a “cool” test-taker, stay calm and confident throughout the test. Don’t let anything throw you.
  • Edit, check, proofread your answers. Be a “bitter ender,” stay working until they make you go.

Remember this is an open book exam. Bring at least the following:

Surveying and Mapping text book(s)


Safety and first aid book (Red Cross)

A loose-leaf binder with sample equations and your review notes

Certified Survey Technician