I know this is a little different than most of the halachic questions on the site, hopefully the answers will serve as a resource to future students. I am not yet a certified sofer, I am a student who has been studying for a year with a local sofer in New York. I am working on my first megillah and getting ready to take my test. My question is whether any of our veteran-sofer members can provide advice to someone like myself. For example, tips for the certification exam, any materials (outside of the mishna berurah or kesses hasofer) that are helpful to prepare. Of course I discussed this with my teacher but I am interested in hearing more opinions/advice.
In addition, I would appreciate advice on some more mundane matters including: sources for safrus supplies in america and any tools that your recommend/can't live without. Again, I am hoping your responses to this post can serve as a resource for other budding soferim.
Thank you for all your advice and Good Shabbos.