Something I’ve noticed about many of the people that take the review course; they’re shy. When I teach the class, I encourage and plan for questions. Now, in some of the class formats, there isn’t a large amount of time for questions, so I make sure to tell the participants about study groups, on-line discussion groups, and any other resources for enlightenment. One thing I recommend to everyone studying for the exam is to find a ‘study buddy’ to work with, and this should be someone (if at all possible) who is also studying for the exam. Why? Because they’ll speak the same language you do. Studying with a spouse or friend may work for you, but I’ve heard some funny stories about mix-ups that have occurred because the study partners’ understanding of a word or phrase was different from that used in the BOK.
Many of the regional associations sponsor study groups, or have member volunteers to answer questions about the exam. There are others who read the AFP discussion group postings and respond to them via email. There are many people willing to answer questions and clarify the material.
There are also all the ‘Test your understanding’ questions at the end of a chapter. I’ve found the most effective use for those to be two-fold. Most importantly, for any chapter that covers a subject you feel you are competent in, flip to the end and answer the questions first. Check your answers. If they are correct, then move to another chapter. If they’re not correct, then back-up and study the chapter with an open mind. Remember – What is in the text is what will be tested, not how you do your job!
The other use for these questions is in that last week before you take the exam. You’ve spent hours over the last several weeks studying the material and learning it as best you can. The exam is coming up and there is absolutely not enough time to re-read the entire book. Mark the questions at the end of each chapter and use them to guide your review before you take the exam.
- Fred Butterfield, CTP