March 15, 2010, 04:41PM PT in Exam Preparation Blog |
How Long Does it Take to Prepare for My Test?
When counseling exam candidates, ACE recommends candidates take approximately 3 – 6 months to prepare for their certification exam. A suggested study timeline is available on the website to give you an idea of what we are looking at.
But that won’t work, you say. I have to get my certification by next month or I’m going to get fired! Can’t I take the test before then?
Of course you can. There is nothing stopping you from taking the exam as soon as you consider yourself ready. And there’s not really anything stopping you from taking a year to pour over the intricate details of your certification materials.
However, the 3 – 6 month timeline we recommend is based on the material you need to cover and comprehend and what we’ve found is an ‘average’ time to get through this process.
So why the range of 3 – 6 months? And where do you fit in that? It depends on what you bring to the study table. If you have an educational background in your certification area…you might only need 3 months. Work full time while raising a family? Maybe six months is a more realistic goal for you. Not working right now, holder of another NCCA certification, and desperate to get out of your parent’s basement? You’d be surprised what motivation does for study focus.
Regardless of the time you have, the goal is to make the most of it. We’ve heard the smart study tips since grade school – study in a quiet place, use different forms of learning like flash cards etc. to help you learn, draw up an outline of your attack plan (hint, study coach!) and so on. Don’t forget to utilize your human resources as well. Talk with the people around you – partner, spouse, roommate – about your need for a quiet place and time to study. Ask if someone will help quiz you on your anatomy or if you can use them as a pretend client (Imaginary friends make the best clients). Have your support team remind you and encourage you as you prepare to sit for your exam.
So can you prepare for your certification exam in a month? Sure. I bet some people have done just that. But I saw a comment on the discussion board last week that went something like this (and yes, I’m paraphrasing) ‘You can zoom through the book and learn just enough to pass the test, but have to reference your manual every time a client has a question. Or, you can take your time to study and absorb the material, leaving you more confident in your ability to handle whatever comes your way.’
Questions? Contact an ACE Education Consultant at 1-888-825-3636 x782.