Study for and Take the Appropriate Tests

Regardless of your age, in order to enter some paralegal educational programs, you may have to take certain tests. Of course, in order to become recognized as a certified paralegal, there are additional tests that must be taken. To get on the right track, you need to know how to study for and take the appropriate tests.

Students across the U.S., who are just exiting high school, must take and receive acceptable scores on the ACT or SAT to enter most bachelor’s or associate’s degree programs. Older adults who have not previously attended one of these programs are often required to take placement or adult assessment tests in order to enter one of these degree programs. If you are choosing to work toward a bachelor’s or associate’s degree, you will need to determine the appropriate test for your situation.

There are no passing or failing scores for entrance exams or placement tests. In other words, you cannot fail this type of test. There are, however, certain scores you must receive on entrance exams in order to be accepted to different universities or colleges. This will vary depending on the school. Similarly, a placement test will show the administrators your level of skill and capabilities in the various subjects. The key is to do as well as possible to gain entrance into the school or program in which you wish to partake. For a placement or assessment test, individuals should brush up on computer knowledge and basic skills learned in early education, such as vocabulary and reading skills, basic math, and science.

Paralegal certification exams are for after an individual has met the prerequisites for taking the exams. Depending on the particular exam you are taking, there will be different prerequisites. The National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA) offers the Paralegal Advanced Competency Exam (PACE) to those who want to be a registered paralegal. To take this exam, you must have a degree from an accredited university or college and several years of practical paralegal experience; the number of years is dependent upon the level of education.

Similarly, the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) offers a different exam to obtain the title of certified paralegal. To take this exam, there are comparable prerequisites, such as a specific number of years experience and graduation from a paralegal program or accredited college or university. Attestation from an attorney is required for those entering with only experience. Without meeting these requirements, you will be unable to sit for the exam.

Both the NFPA and NALA provide studying materials for purchase. You may also find comparable practice tests online, in multiple study guides found at bookstores, or in self-study courses on the Internet. In your area, there may be study groups or test preparation centers, such as KAPLAN, to aid you through the studying process. Cramming the night before this type of test is not possible; test-takers should prepare well in advance.

For all the above types of tests, you can prepare by brushing up on regular study skills. Review the subjects in which you need the most help and spend more time on those difficult subjects. Learn as much as possible about the exam you are taking prior to entering the testing center. This will help tailor your studying, as well.


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