CPLPCOACH.COM - Tip of the Week - #CPLP Knowledge Exam - Study Early, Study Often
Sent Sunday, March 6, 2011
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CPLPCOACH.COM Tip of the Week - March 6, 2011
STUDY EARLY, STUDY OFTEN
It's early March - just a handful of weeks until the U.S. school
system spring break season.
'Tis also the season when the CPLP Knowledge Exam is looming large
over many a candidate's head as each prepares for the 150 multiple
choice, computerized exam.
For most learning & performance professionals, the ASTD WLP
Competency Model describes a field of learning & performance that
is much broader and complex than what they have experienced in real
This often causes anxieties to run high; after all, the
certification ain't cheap and it's been a while since most sat an
exam - any exam.
My advice to you: Study early, study often.
"Early and often" isn't just how we -- here in Illinois -- like to
It's also the mantra of CPLP candidates worldwide as they prepare
for both phases of the credentialing process.
With an exam like this one (one that requires you to apply subject
matter from across nine integrated Areas of Expertise), my
recommendation is to start studying 3-6 hours per week, 10-12 weeks
before your scheduled exam date.
Mileage varies, but this allows most candidates enough time to
study, interact with the subject matter, and practice without
feeling a need to "cram."
Additional study suggestions:
- Put aside a minimum of three hours a week to study.
- Commitment is required - post a Commitment to Certification Code
of Conduct sign at home or in your office (or both!). Include on it
all of the reasons why you've decided to achieve the credential.
The sign can then help motivate you to keep-on-keeping-on during
those days when you feel your motivation lagging.
- Post a study schedule that outlines what days and times you'll
commit to studying. (This could be helpful to family members too.)
- Identify a specific location you can use to hide away during your
study sessions. Making the location part of your routine can
improve your focus and study efforts.
- Use Appendix C in the Candidate Bulletin as a guide to keep track
of the exam objectives you still need to spend some time on.
- Get yourself into a rhythm of studying for about 45 minutes and
then taking a 25 minute break - focusing on something other than
the exam - or nothing at all ("mindful rest periods").
Remember that it's ok, and actually beneficial, to take breaks
during a study session. Even if you're not consciously thinking
about what you've just reviewed, your brain is still subconsciously
sorting and storing the information.
- Gather study materials from a variety of resources - Owl's Ledge,
online, ASTD, your local ASTD chapter, and even your local library
(many libraries at community colleges, in particular, carry the
original resources the ASTD Learning System is compiled from).
As for study resources, you have a distinct advantage over the CPLP
candidates who came before you; never before has there been such a
variety of materials to choose from.
You can self-study, join a study group, attend facilitated sessions
- or combine them as part of your study strategy.
Having so many choices, it can be difficult to decide what's best
* budget - how much do you have to spend?
* objectives - do you just want to pass? or are you also
interested in learning how to put some new concepts & tools into
* personal study plan - what areas do you need to focus on?
* preferred learning style (VARK)
Your visual / aural / read/write / kinesthetic (VARK) preferences
can be used to help you develop additional strategies for learning
and for improving your study skills.
You know best how you:
* take in information
* process information for increased learning
* need to study to perform well on tests and examinations
If your objective is to use the certification process as a means of
improving your own performance - adding tools & techniques from
other learning disciplines to your toolkit - then consider the
learning & networking opportunities presented by participating in
study groups and facilitated sessions.
Online and in-person sessions often present unique opportunities
for candidates representing different disciplines in the learning &
performance spectrum to come together and share best practices.
If this if of interest to you, look for online options, such as our
CPLP Mastery Series:
Also, look to your local ASTD chapter for in-person study groups
and instructor-led training sessions.
For example, here in Chicago we have the CC-ASTD Workplace Learning
& Performance Institute (WLPI):
WLPI curriculum is based on the same ASTD WLP Competency Model as
the CPLP certification, so many CPLP candidates attend one or two
sessions (sometimes the whole series) to prepare for the CPLP
Knowledge Exam and to get to know local learning & performance
Bottom line: It's critically important for all candidates to review
the CPLP Candidate Bulletin, develop a study plan, and evaluate &
select materials based on their study preferences. Most people
require a combination of strategies & study resources.
Tip! Many local ASTD chapters loan copies of the ASTD Learning
System to area members - for little or no cost!
Extra Tip! If you use the ASTD Learning System, note the following:
* The end of chapter questions are not always written in the
same style (multiple choice) or level (application) as the CPLP
Knowledge Exam. Look for alternate methods to help you practice
answering questions similar to those on the exam.
* The ASTD Learning System does not cover all of the subject
matter found on the CPLP Knowledge Exam. A complete listing of all
subject matter on the CPLP Knowledge Exam can be found in Appendix
C of the CPLP Candidate Bulletin.
* The ASTD Learning System went through a series of updates in
March 2009. Regardless if you purchased the books new, or borrowed
them, candidates should check their books to see if they have the
most up-to-date material.
ASTD Learning System content revisions can be found online at:
All in all, studying for the CPLP Knowledge Exam is a process. A
process that, at the start, can seem overwhelming and
Treat it as you would any other major initiative - be strategic;
break it down into smaller, manageable chunks; leverage the right
tools to support your success!
Are you interested in weekly facilitated sessions to help
candidates prep for the CPLP Knowledge Exam? As part of the CPLP
Mastery Series, Owl's Ledge offers a competency-based, online
course using a blended learning approach to help CPLP candidates
prepare for the CPLP Knowledge Exam. Take the 10 minute tour!
Here's to your success!
~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
CEO, Owl's Ledge LLC
© 2011 Owl's Ledge LLC