When it comes to qualifying as a security guard, there are some hurdles to clear before you get there, including taking the ministry-approved training course and licensing exam. Like other major tests, it can help to do some serious preparation for the licensing exam to help make sure you’re adequately prepared for it. Many security providers offer ministry-approved security guard practice tests to help test your knowledge before taking the plunge.
Review Your Mental Checklist Before the Test
Like preparing for the actual licensing test, take some time to prepare for the practice test to help your chances of passing and qualifying. One way of preparing is going through a mental checklist to help review each topic. Some of the areas to keep in mind as you study include:
- Access Control
Access policies may vary from company to company, but it’s consistently necessary to record and monitor who has access to a site. In many cases, sensitive areas and information may be involved so remember that the job includes closely vetting personnel to ensure they’re authorized to gain access.
Remember that you’re meant to check identification to ensure individuals have proper documentation authorizing them to proceed. Keep in mind that visitors’ passes also contain vital information (e.g. their business on-site or whether they need to be escorted).
- Resource/Asset Protection
Part of the job of any security guard is going on regular patrol to identify warning signs of irregular activity. Alternatively, you may be required to use video monitors and alarm boards to detect suspicious behaviour. Review your training on basic security procedures to help remind you of how to conduct patrols alertly and professionally. It’s also a good way to get some reminders on basic security procedures and effective patrol techniques to ensure you stay safe on the clock.
- Emergency Response
In case of an emergency, security guards are often the first line of defence. You may be expected to help contain an emergency situation and provide an immediate response. Quick action on your part may be crucial to minimizing the effects of an emergency. Your knowledge of first aid and CPR training may be invaluable in such a situation. Take the time to review what you know. Test yourself on your crowd control expertise as well; you may also need to help manage a crowd in an emergency.
- Dealing With Other Company Personnel
Like any other job, a security guard can be expected to deal with colleagues on a regular basis. Your duties may include escorting employees and visitors in and out of buildings, and also issuing and retrieving company property (e.g. badges and keys). Training also includes recordkeeping to help monitor security information such as visitor names and dates of visits.
Also, remember that brushing up on company policy is a vital element of the job. In case of violations of policy, knowing the appropriate disciplinary action is key to knowing how to perform your duties on the field.
- Assistance to the General Public
Aside from safeguarding your business, it’s also your job to help ensure the safety of the general public. Review your training on observing and monitoring your surroundings to help watch out for the people around you. Traffic control may be one of your duties on the job, so read up on signals and movements so you can direct drivers properly.
While you’re at it, remember what safety gear to wear to ensure maximum visibility. Above all, when it comes to directing other people, conduct matters. Remember you’re meant to be professional and polite to help the people you’re directing understand the purpose of your directions.
Being a security guard isn’t all patrolling, monitoring cameras, and escorting other people. Your duties also include keeping clear records of your observations and recording them in an incident report log.
Keep in mind that it also helps to report incidents verbally to your coworkers and supervisors. Even when things are running smoothly, keep logging your observations and updating your reports to paint a clear picture of day-to-day activities.
Dealing With Test Anxiety
Reviewing your material before a test is the first step to preparing effectively, but there are other ways to ensure you’re ready when it’s time to take the security practice test. Test anxiety is a common worry for many test-takers, but there are ways to handle the stress and reduce it to a more manageable level.
Here are a few ways you can beat the stress and make sure you’re mentally ready for your Ontario security guard practice test.
- Get Some Exercise
Exercise is a great way to burn off some energy and get your mind off your worries for a while. After you’ve spent some time hitting the books, a brisk workout may be just what you need to relieve the muscle tension and relax.
Look for a workout that works for you, whether doing yoga or jogging around the neighbourhood. Even 5 minutes of exercise a day can do plenty to relieve stress and help you relax. Regular exercise has plenty of benefits including improving your sleep quality, which can reduce anxiety.
- Catch Enough Z’s
Getting a good night’s sleep is key to fighting off your anxieties. Sleep refreshes the brain and recharges you after a long day, giving you the energy you need for tomorrow. Getting enough rest plays a major role in helping you retain what you learn.
Make a point of balancing your studies with getting enough sleep, especially as you get closer to taking the exam. A well-rested mind will keep you sharp when you take the practice test, allowing you to recall what you’ve studied quickly and correctly.
- Build a Support Network
Having a good support network to back you up is integral to fighting your anxieties. Get your personal network of family and friends to help you plan strategies to get ready for the test, and provide the emotional support to help you through this time.
Your professional network (e.g. supervisors, mentors, and colleagues) can provide another vital lifeline that can get you through your test anxiety. Pay particular attention to anyone whose expertise relates to your areas of study. Keep an eye out for any opportunity to learn. Even something as simple as asking the right questions can provide some clarity to a problem that had you stumped.
- Avoid Cramming
Cramming is a common strategy people use to get ready for important tests. However, it is an inefficient strategy in addition to being a major contributor to pre-test stress. Instead, give yourself plenty of time to gradually absorb all the vital information in the days leading to the practice test.
Making a study schedule is a more effective method of rationing your time and organizing your studies. Knowing what to review and when helps you make the most of the time you have, with plenty of time left over to build some confidence and counter the anxiety.
At the Centre for Security Training & Management Inc., we specialize in providing quality protective services and training to produce reliable security guards and private investigators. Call us now at (416) 750-4747 to enroll for our training courses and start preparing for your security guard license practice test in Ontario.