Taking a certification exam is the final leg in what can certainly seem like a momentous endurance race, even if you've run a final leg many times before. Ask anyone who has ever completed a marathon: Sometimes the hardest part of the race is making that final push to get across the finish line. After all of the ups and downs, twists and turns, it's sometimes hard to know whether you've got enough left in the tank. Are you going to make it all the way to then end, or will the final crushing mile be the one that breaks your stride, leaving you wishing that you'd done a little bit more to prepare?
One way to gauge your preparation is by using practice and exams and quizzes to check your level of knowledge about exam topics. If you can fly through a handful of multiple-choice quizzes without even needing to pause before clicking the correct answer, then your preparation is probably pretty solid. Likewise, if you can get a passing score on a practice exam, then your odds of getting a passing score on the real thing are probably pretty high. Quizzes and practice exams can also give you a sense of where you're weak, and even provide some concrete data points to guide further study.
Practice exams and quizzes are often included in courseware packages like the ones we sell here at TestOut Continuing Education. Many people, on the other hand, prepare to certify without using a particular training product. And sometimes it's nice to get your head out of a particular training product and test your mettle on something that wasn't prepared by the same team that compiled all of the videos and simluations you've just been watching.
An excellent source of both quizzes (free) and practice exams (for a price) is GoCertify. GoCertify posts two new certification practice quizzes every week, and each quiz provides feedback to help explain why your answers are either correct or incorrect. There are quizzes available that address a variety of different popular exams from certification organizations. For example, you can take a set of eight quizzes that address each of the eight knowledge domains for (ISC)²'s popular CISSP credential individually. Another eight-quiz set covers the four job practice areas (two quizzes apiece) for ISACA's CISM certification.
So if you're nearing the end of your certification race, and wondering whether or not you're as prepared as you ought to be, remember that quizzes and practice exams can play an important role. Don't hit the wall before you get across the finish line!