Making the best use of your materials
So the day has finally come. Your exam preparation materials have arrived on your doorstep. You carry them inside, carefully rip into the box, and start unpacking. And the materials keep coming. Like clowns out of a VW. And you sit down, and stare, and wonder…where should I start?
There are several different combinations of materials you can purchase from ACE to prepare for your exam – some of which include practice tests. I’m going to cover the basic study material for Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor –which includes the manual, Master the Manual workbook, Home Study Program (Home Study Course, flashcards, study planner, Audio Study Guide CD), and Musculoskeletal Anatomy book.
If you are preparing for the Lifestyle and Weight Management Certification, or the Advanced Health and Fitness Certification, you may have the manual and Master the Manual. The same ideas apply to preparing for these certifications.
All right, where to begin? Let’s start at the beginning – it’s a very good place to start.
First, commit to the study planner (12 or 20 week) or sign up for the Study Coach email program (12 or 20 week). I blogged about this earlier, but the most important thing to remember is that a study planner/coach program keeps you on track with your studies. These programs also provide information about when to take your sample test.
Next, gather up your manual, Master the Manual, and Home Study Guide course book. The following list details your plan of attack:
- Open your manual and read the first chapter.
- Use the Home Study Course book as a type of note-taking device. The Home Study Course book can help ensure you are picking up on important words and concepts.
- Once you have finished the chapter, open up your Master the Manual book. Go through the corresponding chapter in Master the Manual and see how many questions you can answer without referring back to your Manual or Home Study Course. After you’ve answered all you could…open up your Manual and work on answering the rest of the Master the Manual questions for that chapter.
- Turn to chapter 2 in your manual, and repeat.
The flashcards sent with the Home Study Program come in ‘groups’ of chapters. You might want to wait until you’ve gotten through a few chapters before pulling out those flashcards. Carry them around with you and review them when you have a few minutes. It’s a good way to review key concepts – especially once you are further into the manual and want to look back to earlier chapters. But don’t forget the key factors when using flashcards!
The Audio Study Guide CD included in the Home Study Program goes chapter by chapter, so you can listen before or after each chapter – depending on your preference.
Finally, with the Musculoskeletal Anatomy book the initial thought is to review this during the anatomy chapter of your manual (usually chapter 2). But don’t stop there! This is a book you can, and should, refer back to during your study period. If you’ve got questions as to how, check out the blog post on studying Anatomy.
As you are studying just remember…there’s no rule that says you can only read the materials once! If you’ve got questions, call up one of our Education Consultants at 1-888-825-3636 x782