In order to prepare for the entered apprentice examination, you should commit to memory the questions and answers that make up the exam, including knowing the signs and memorizing your obligation. Since different lodges may observe small variations in their rituals, it is important to obtain an actual list of the questions and answers from the lodge where you will be raised.
The purpose of the proficiency exam for an entered apprentice is to teach each candidate the language of Freemasonry, and impart in him the meaning of the teachings of the entered apprentice degree. While the examination itself consists of the memorization and recitation of a set list of questions and answers, the candidate is expected to internalize the meaning of these words in order to gain the knowledge behind his degree.
During the entered apprentice ritual, the candidate must fully recite his obligation. Additionally, he is given an ancient method through which to study the meaning of the degree, as well as a mentor within the lodge who will guide him through the teachings of his degree. Lastly, the entered apprentice is given his first set of signs and grips, which will be used to identify himself to other Freemasons.