Certification Training Study Tips
You have chosen to be the master of your future IT career and that is admirable. Now that decision
has been made, the implementation phase begins, so here are some certification training study tips, to ensure you make the make the most of your time and efforts
You have decided which career-/industry-oriented certifications you want to take. You may even
have already attended class. Congratulations. You have taken great steps.
If you haven’t yet decided on a class, take a look at some of the courses we have on offer.
If you are not quite sure, contact us to chat about what you are looking for.
Now you have to put in some study time to prepare yourself to sit the exam(s). How on earth are you going to do that? Hopefully, this blog and our certification study tips will give you some inspiration and save you from this…
Study Tip 1 – Father Time
Finding time to study is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks. I think I would be very rich if I had been paid just one penny for every time I have heard the phrase “I don’t have time to study”.
Our lives, today, are so busy and demanding. Our bosses want more than a day’s worth of work for each day in the office. Our families want us to be available to pay them attention, or to do chores/jobs around the house, or attend family events. Our friends want to socialize. We are being pulled in so many different directions all the time. How can we possibly find any extra time for career-related study? Life is already so busy – there is no extra time left!
This is where you have got to be super-organized. During the time you are studying, you may need to schedule everything out and stick to it… but you have to be realistic in your expectations of yourself.
First and foremost, in order to be effective, you must get enough sleep. Of course, you can stay up late to study, and be tired in the morning, but this is really not a good, long-term solution.
When we skip sleep, we are far less effective at work and at life. Our thought processes slow down and even our physical and mental health can be adversely affected.
A solution? Get up a little earlier. Maybe 1 hour. This is a good goal. That 1 hour is often referred to as the “golden” hour and can be worth so much more than the sum of a mere 60 minutes. Those precious 60 minutes can be used for quiet study because the “insanity” of the day has not yet begun: your family/roommate/dog/boss/distraction-causer is still tucked up in bed fast asleep. You will have successfully created the quiet time to sit and dig deep into your study.
Your body will even get used to the routine after a week or two and you may find that you do not need an alarm clock! The summer months, when the sun rises early, are great… winter is a little harder because it is dark, but your body will still know when it is time to wake up.
This has a number of added benefits: you would be studying when your brain is most awake; you are not as likely to be disturbed; and you won’t be late for work!
Study Tip 2 – Stake Out Your Territory
Even if it is a simple table in a corner, it is important to have a little area that is your “haven” in which you can set down a book or two and shut yourself off from the hubbub of everyday life.
You need to be able to sit comfortably, in a well-lit area, and to concentrate. If you are surrounded by noisy people moving around and disturbing you, you might want to rethink your choice of territory.
As with all territories, if you choose to study in a location where other people are nearby, your “territory” may need to be “defended” every once in a while. If people see you sitting and reading, they may think it is acceptable to come over and start chit-chatting with you. This can completely break any level of concentration! (We have heard that the “silent, expressionless stare” works well in this circumstance. LOL)
Study Tip 3 – Create a Schedule
This is an effective tool, but you have to work backwards to go forwards!
What am I talking about? Determine your endpoint. What date are you going to sit your exam?
That is your schedule’s starting point.
Next you need to determine how much study you actually need to do. There are multiple parts to this:
- Is there a textbook? How long is it? How many pages can you comfortably read per day?
- Are there practice exercises that you should be doing? How long do each of them take?
- Are you the kind of person who needs to review all the materials, once or twice, after
your study program is complete?
- Now add all these up.
- Then figure out how much time you have available to study.
- Determine how many days you would need – in an ideal world.
This is your “ideal” certification training study plan.
Compare the number of days before sitting your exam, to the amount of study you need to do.
What is the result? Do you have enough available time?
Now ask yourself some questions:
- Do I have enough time available or do I need to do some recalculating?
- Without adversely affecting my job, or my future plans, it is possible to put the exam date
back a bit, to match my currently available time?
- If I cannot put off the exam date, and I need more time, how can I best accomplish this?
(See also “Father Time” section, above.)
Now solidify your Certification Training Study Schedule plan. Physically write down the section/chapter/module numbers that you need to cover during each study period. Check them off as each study period goal is accomplished. If you can get ahead of schedule, do so. Don’t let the schedule slow you down but try to not fall behind.
Now you have created the plan – stick to it!
Additional Certification Training Study Tips
Make sure to reward yourself for reaching each study period goal (no matter how small)!
Check out these useful links that could help you in your planning:
- A helpful schedule-creation tool: https://www.academictips.org/acad/timemanagement.html
- Some more advice: https://www.wes.org/advisor-blog/time-management-balancing-activities/
If you are looking to advance your IT career and would like to learn more about how we can help, contact NC-Expert today.