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How to Study for Water Treatment License Exams – Part 6 of 10

Learn the Language

Next to mastering the subject of math, learning the language of the water or wastewater field is the quickest way to get a broad understanding of the subject matter covered on certification and license exams. If you don’t understand what the words on the test mean, you can’t play the game. But if you have a good handle on what the various technical words used in the test questions mean, you are halfway to choosing the correct answer.  If you don’t know the meaning of some of the words used in the questions, you will simply be guessing and have only a 1 in 4 chance of choosing the right answer. (In some states it is a 1 in 5 chance since there are 5 answer choices.)

Learn the Key Words and Concepts

Remember those operator training manuals I referred to earlier? They have wonderful glossaries giving definitions of the technical jargon used in the questions on certification exams. A really effective use of your study time is to learn the meaning of the words that are contained in those glossaries. By understanding the definitions of the words used in questions and answer choices, you will be able to identify wrong answer choices that the examiners put in as “distractors”.

Don’t Fall Prey to the Distractors

Exam writers use “distractors” that sound good and technical and are often a tempting choice for those unsuspecting test takers who haven’t taken the time to learn the language of the water or wastewater industry. Don’t let that be you!

Each subject matter lesson in the American Water College exam prep courses begins with vocabulary words. Although this may seem boring, it helps to ensure that you don’t fall for the “distractors” on the test.


  • Learning the language of water and wastewater is a quick way to understanding the big concepts covered on license and certification exams
  • Understanding the language will help you avoid getting tricked on your exam by the “distractors”
  • American Water College exam prep courses provide you with the key vocabulary words you’ll need to succeed on your next water or wastewater certification or licensing exam.