Editor’s Note: Trainer Chris Ward is studying for Microsoft Lync Server certification. This is the third in a series of posts during which he’ll share his experiences and advice.
I am the worst when it comes to procrastinating. That’s why my days need a bit of planning. My daily routine used to be something like this:
- Wake up
- Drink coffee
- Shower and dress
- Drive to work
- Work at whatever seemed important
- Drive home
- Eat dinner
- Record Nuggets
- Watch Dr. Who with the kids
Notice No. 5? That’s where I usually winged it. But winging it doesn’t cut it when you are trying to pass three exams in three months. Especially when you are pulling down a full time job, plus other extra-curricular activities.
So, what I’ve been doing is slicing up No. 5 into easy-to-chew, bite-size pieces that will ensure I’m getting my study on — and still accomplishing my goals. Let’s face it, there’s always work to be done as a CBT Nugget trainer! Here’s my drill:
- Watch one Nugget. Take notes. Highlight anything important.
- Spend 30 minutes reading/reviewing the notes from previous Nugget.
- Launch a Transcender practice exam and run through an “Open Test” that chooses just a few questions. If I don’t understand a concept, I write it down and study, “Why this is right? Why the others are wrong?”
- Break time! (Five to 10 minutes)
- Work on other tasks for a few hours.
- Eat lunch and watch another Nugget at the same time.
- Read notes from the morning Nugget.
- Complete other tasks.
At work, even if your boss hasn’t asked you to pass an exam, it’s a good idea (and it doesn’t hurt to try) to approach him/her with this drill and say something such as, “I’m working hard on getting this certification which will benefit the company, as well as myself. Can I have an hour in the morning to watch a Nugget?” If that’s not possible, with mobile apps and offline training available, you can go out to lunch and watch Nuggets during that time.
The important part, gang? Consistency. Even if I don’t get to do all of what I put down on my drill, I still do my best and forget the rest. Move on. You still will be getting the info you need. If you have time in the evenings and a virtual lab environment, that’s even better!
So keep it up! I’m working hard and will touch base with you as I move on to the 70-412 exam. The 411 exam is scheduled and I’m racing to the finish line of that leg. Until next time!