Career / Career Progression

5 Final Steps for Passing that Cert Exam

by Josh Adams
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Published on November 14, 2016

We're getting really close to the end of the year a lot closer than you think. Maybe you're sitting there thinking, "Hey, there may be just enough time for me to get one more certification ahead of the new year." But what are the next steps?

The Accountability Coaches here at CBT Nuggets gave us the rundown on what you should think about when preparing to take an exam for that new certification.

First, you should have already seriously thought about how much time you're going to need to pass this exam.

Keeping the good study habits that you've used up until this point in mind, think methodically and honestly about how much time you'll need to really understand all the pieces to pass that exam. Can you realistically master the topic in a few weeks? Or do you maybe need more time than that? Be realistic in thinking about how much time you'll need to pass the exam with flying colors.

And, don't forget to factor hands-on labs and practice into this equation. Hands-on experience is required to be successful. Concepts without practical application can easily be forgotten and become useless. Hopefully you have considered this extra time commitment in your plan for how much time you're going to need.

Next, watch the course!

Training videos are always smart to check out when determining whether you're ready to get certified. Our trainers explain concepts in ways that are easy to grasp. We bet you've already watched the video we have on the exam you're hoping to pass, whether it's Cisco CCENT/CCNA ICND1, CompTIA Network+ N10-006, AWS: Certified Solutions Architect Associate, or even something else. These videos easily show you what getting one of these new certs is really all about and give you the special flavor our trainers have to offer.

Third, take that (practice) exam.

Our coaches recommend taking a Transcender Practice Exam immediately after you watch a video. Just breathe, and answer the questions, trying to recall as much from the videos you just watched as you can. The Transcender Practice Exams break down results categorized into different course objectives, similar to the actual certification exam. Take a test, and then see what information stuck and what didn't.

Keep these results in mind when you're deciding how much you need to study up on each objective before taking the actual exam!

Now, it's time to review.

You've already set some realistic study goals for yourself. You used the course objectives to break down your studies into specific phases, and used your time wisely. You crafted your study plan based on your proficiency of each objective.

Now, it's time to set goals for each week, maybe even each day, between now and your exam date. Set calendar reminders to stick to your goals, because we all know that life gets hectic and things sometimes slip our minds.

Here's the thing with these goals: they absolutely do not have to be set in stone, and they probably won't be.

You are totally allowed to adjust your timeline, dependent on how your study time is going. If you aren't fully understanding a concept that you thought would only take a week to grasp, that's fine. Just make sure in your study plan to give yourself room to adjust! If writing it down is helpful to you, go ahead and do that.

Laying out a framework will make it that much easier to hold yourself accountable.

Don't feel overwhelmed. We can help!

Passing a certification exam is a lot of work. It's a lot to manage, especially if you're trying to do it alone. Luckily, we have a solution! Our Accountability Coaches will help you go through each step of the process, and provide personalized guidance for you to make sure that you're able to meet the goals you set for yourself.

When training with CBT Nuggets, whether you're still in your free week or not, you get an instant connection to our Accountability Coaches for free! Learn more about Accountability Coaching here and see if it could be the right step for you.

If you follow these steps, there's no reason that you can't have a realistic, achievable plan to move on from that initial step. Keep your training and certification goals in mind, and use CBT Nuggets to conquer your certification(s).


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