Going back to school as an adult, or even just taking a professional exam in pursuit of a career change or promotion, is a lot of work, and one major reason it’s so challenging is that it forces you to step out of your comfort zone. After all, if you’ve been in the workplace for a few years, you likely haven’t had to take any formal exams, even if you have picked up some new skills. Not to worry, though – with these four skills and a little practice, you’ll be prepared to study for your next big professional exam in no time.
Explore The Scope
Before sitting down to study for an exam, the first thing you should do is evaluate what you need to know to change careers. For example, some careers require extensive education, including seminars, readings, and even essays, but may not require a test, while others may not have much educational infrastructure but involve multiple exams. Spend some time outlining what you need to know, how that knowledge is evaluated, and what you already know versus the areas you’ll need to spend more time mastering.
Find A Study Space
Where you study is important, and noisy areas with a lot of distractions can be detrimental to your ability to learn and retain new information. It can also be hard to focus if you’re studying in an area where you do other activities, like in bed or at your kitchen table. It’s important to find a quiet place to study, whether that’s a dedicated desk in your home or a local library. It can also help study in multiple locations, because our brains create connections with our environments. By changing your environment, you can actually increase your recall ability.
Take A Practice Test
High school students take practice exams before the SATs and AP exams, and bookstores are stocked with test prep books. Find the appropriate materials for your exam, or choose a test prep program for your industry of choice. This is especially important in highly competitive areas with challenging tests.
So, how do you know if you’ve got the right test prep materials? It depends on your industry, of course, but one factor is the pass rate. For an extremely challenging exam, like the CMA licensing exam, the global pass rate is only 40%, while the pass rate using the Wiley CMA Exam review program is twice that at 80%. Programs for other exams should be able to provide you with similar statistics.
Study With A Friend
While there are lots of study strategies that can help you learn new material, sometimes the hardest part of preparing for a professional exam is staying motivated. That’s why it helps to have a study buddy. Studying with someone else can ensure that you’re reviewing your materials regularly, creates opportunities for you to quiz each other, and can make the process more rewarding and fun.
Changing careers is challenging, and many people worry that it will be too risky or will put them behind their peers who have remained on a particular career path, but the decision isn’t that simple. At the end of the day, you need to pursue a career path that you find exciting and motivating – and sometimes that means taking a leap into the unknown and trying something new.