How to Pass a Notary Exam

A notary public witnesses signatures to prevent fraud.

A notary public is a state officer who can serve as a legal witness. The most common duty of a notary is to witness signatures on contracts. The process for becoming a notary varies by state. In some states, applicants must merely fill out a form, become bonded and pay a fee. In others, applicants must take a seminar or pass an exam. In states that require exams, notary applicants must carefully study the laws and prepare for the test.

Determine what content will be on the exam. Notary exams are different in each state. Find out what the notary exam is in the state that you live in by contacting the state organization that administers the test. In New York, this is the Department of State. Ask them for an outline of the content that the exam covers.

Take any required courses. California, for example, requires that anyone sitting for a notary exam for the first time must take a six-hour seminar. In other states, a notary public may be able to take courses from private companies as a way of preparing him for the exam.

Take a practice test. Prepare the test setting to as closely imitate the test-taking conditions as possible. You might be able to get a sample test online or from the state organization administering the test. Score the test and identify those areas where you missed questions.

Study the areas where you scored poorly on the practice test. Make flash cards to learn important facts and laws. Read those regulations again. Write two to three questions on each topic as a way of studying.

Get a good night's sleep before the exam. Don't stay up all night studying. You'll be able to concentrate better and stay focused if you are well-rested.

Eat a good breakfast. Consider eating foods that can promote energy and memory. Researchers at MIT medical suggest eating bananas, almonds, natural peanut butter, fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of dark chocolate and green tea, tuna, salmon or walnuts for memory and concentration.

Stay relaxed during the exam. Test anxiety can cause you to freeze up and forget things that you learned. Breathe deeply and stay focused on the question that you are currently answering.

As a professional writer since 1985, Bridgette Redman's career has included journalism, educational writing, book authoring and training. She's worked for daily newspapers, an educational publisher, websites, nonprofit associations and individuals. She is the author of two blogs, reviews live theater and has a weekly column in the "Lansing State Journal." She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University.