Do you enjoy learning new things? If you ask most professionals, the answer would be a resounding yes!
Do you enjoy taking tests? This question is a bit trickier. As professionals, the result of passing tests can be grand, especially if they lead to an industry certification. However, most people do not enjoy taking tests, both throughout the schooling years and then especially as adults.
Perhaps this is the reason a lot of industry professionals shy away from certifications. Personally, the fear of tests quadrupled once I was out of school, due mostly in part to taking tests less frequently. The less I took them, the more tests became an unknown and study techniques were lost.
When studying recently for a certification test, I revisited old techniques to find which ones would work best for this type of test. Below is a list of a few that helped me along the way. Please note, many study methods exist, this is just a short snippet from personal experience!
- Take a study course with fellow test takers. This is one of my favorite methods. It isn’t always possible due to time and money constraints, but when possible, learning the material together makes the process more fun. These courses also help to make sure you stay on track with reading a certain number of chapters each week, thus eliminating procrastination.
- Learn by doing. Learning styles vary, but one of the best ways to remember information when studying is to translate what you are reading into your own words. A colleague used this method when writing out flashcards with key terms. My way was to have the laptop out while reading and to take notes as I finished each chapter. The key is to actively learn the material, especially for those that can get lost in the words of a book (myself).
- Research the certification and tips that organizers and fellow test takers provide. One of the best pieces of advice that I received was to analyze each question and figure out exactly whose perspective the question is written. Is it written from the perspective of the CEO? A staffer? Such small details can affect the answer, and most of the time in multiple choice tests both answers are provided to further test how well you read the question.
Hope these methods come in handy when preparing for your certification tests and remember the hardest step is signing up!