If you’re planning to take the CTP Exam in the June-July 2011 testing window, you might want to consider starting to study for the exam on Feb. 1st. At a minimum you should setup a three month study schedule, which in this case would be March – May.
But, by adding February to your study plan, you give yourself an additional month to allow for the inevitable ‘schedule slippage’ that occurs because of conflicting demands on your time.
Here’s some suggestions on how to develop your study plan:
1) Perform a cursory review of the BOK to identify your knowledge gaps. These are the chapters that cover those areas of the BOK which you have had little or no exposure to in your professional career.
2) Prioritize these chapters in descending order of importance based upon the number of exam questions related to each of these chapters. Since the chapters don’t necessarily have to be studied in sequence, you can setup your schedule to study the chapter with the most questions first and then continue in a similar manner through the rest of the list. (The Certification Candidate Guide contains the list of questions per chapter and a lot of other important information.)
Also, schedule time in your study plan to revisit those chapters that have the most questions as well as to review the chapters where you’ve had “hands- on” experience with the material just to make sure you haven’t missed something outside of your experience that the BOK covers.
3) Prepare a calendar based on your prioritized list that indicates what you plan to study on a specific date, at a specific time and the study time allocation.You might consider breaking down each chapter into study categories such as; terminology, concepts and calculations, if any.
4) I suggest that you prepare a ‘hard copy’ calendar for each month and make copies of it that you place in prominent locations to serve as a constant reminder of what’s next in your study plan. And finally, across the top of each month print:
“ FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION”
-George Schilling, CTP