At what point do you know you're ready to write a certification exam.
I'm currently studying for the ACSM GEI certification exam, and I find myself going over the study materials again and again. Each time I do that I find some topics I need to learn more and understand better. I live in Afica, I don't have access to live workshop and confrences.
Something else that may be of help would be to study the material in different locations. I have a minor in Psychology, and I can actually apply that knowledge here!
I learned in my Cognitive Psychology class that when you attend a class (lecture) it's best to sit in the same spot every time, and sit there when you take your test because that's where you learned most of the information. This way, you have every possible cue for memory recall, which helps you on the exam.
The ACSM exam will not offer this luxury, so it would be best to learn the material in a variety of places. You could even go so far as to use the "method of loci." In short what you do is take a chunk of knowledge and relate it to a location that is meaningful to you. Say for instance, your house represents a certain collection of facts. You break it down by parts of the house and learn to associate certain facts with certain parts of a house. You can add up the parts of your house (facts or knowlege bits) into a big picture that makes sense to you.
In theory, you can learn a certain set of facts "here", walk through that location (literally) and recall those facts, then walk through that location (figuratively) in your mind, recalling those facts as you take your mental journey through the location. It helps with recall because it allows you to better use your working memory (specifically your visuospatial sketchpad (seeing it in your head) and your phonological-articulatory loop (talking to yourself in your head).)
Might be worth a shot...
I think the real key to permanently learning anything is integrating the information into your life. The method of loci makes it easier for some people to do just that.
That is how I approached preparing for ACSM most challenging exam the RCEP. I studied for a year. Please know that I am not suggesting that you study for a year as the RCEP exam is a different kettle of fish all together. All I am saying is study in such a way that you have clear in your mind how the questions on the exam relate to the performance domains so that you can pass the exam.
Esta as you teach our classes try to find opportunities to apply your newly acquired knowledge. In this way you will be successful.
All the best!
every time I read textbooks I find things that I did not know as well as I think I should. It's almost like having layered questions: you only know the second set of questions to ask once you have acquired a certain understanding of the basics. And you can only hope that this never goes away because it is a sign of growth. That way you get deeper and deeper into any material.
ACSM exams are not easy to pass but they are not impossible either. You have set the bar very high for yourself by selecting this organization. Once you have studied all material and feel grounded in it, go ahead and take the exam. I am sure you will do well.
Best of luck!
Both of these upstanding, professional women have offered some great advice. My ACE personal trainer exam was not simple, but I have heard some sob stories about ACSM exams. I don't have a great deal of time in the industry, so I can only offer to you what has helped me and continues to help me as I learn new things.
Take what Joanne said about not being able to "give away what you don't own," and take what Karin said about getting deeper and deeper into the material.
Joanne made a great point about teaching the material to someone else. I find that this is the best way, hands down, to learn anything! Karin made a great argument that can be applied to educating others. As you teach this information to others, you should find that you're mastering it yourself, and it should get easier and easier to explain the information both more in depth and in a simpler way that is easy to understand.
Just like I do everything with my clients, take it a step at a time, and you'll find yourself at that point where the "correct form" comes natural and it makes absolute sense. Take all the advice you can, and when you're ready, you'll know!
I wish you the best, and I hope you have a great exam-writing experience!
I try to approach test preparation as I do physical training and preparation. Schedule the time to study and prepare. Give yourself a timeline and then when you reach the end of your prep time - TAKE THE TEST! One of our worst enemies (and allies) is our own mind. Don't let doubt or fear keep you from taking that final step of taking the exam that you know you have done your best to prepare for, and like sports or any other endeavor, go into it KNOWING that you will not get EVERY question correct, and that "that's ok."
Good luck, you'll be fine.
Good luck! Perhaps one of the most important considerations is that you approach the exam with the confidence that you know the material, rather than being uncertain and fearful that you aren't prepared. It seems that you've prepared very well.