Have you been following the #accredchat Twitter discussions each Friday at 1pm EST? Unfortunately, I was unable to attend last week's chat about best study practices. I encourage you to go online and check out the fabulous tips offered by those who have been there and successfully passed the APR exam.
This Sunday, 28 June, I sit down to complete my APR exam. Here is to hoping that third time is the charm! What have I done differently to study this time around?
- Enlisted the help of a Study Fairy (fancy phrase for Study Buddy). Thanks to Sherry Carr Smith (@prcarrs), who has quizzed me on elements of the Study Guide two-to-three times a week for the last two months.
- Use flash cards! The black and white of the Study Guide blurs to gray after combing through the material for a long time. Your eyes skip the key points and you relax without digesting the study material because you feel you already know what is being highlighted. Stop the laziness and keep yourself on your toes! I used Cobocards because I could create my flash cards and share them with my Study Fairy. Subscribe to the RSS feed of my flash cards and use them to help you prepare. (I have some more decks to publish...getting around to that!)
- Set a target. I set my test date, then working backwards from that date, created a Google Calendar of dedicated study days/times. I mapped out which sections I would study and when my Study Fairy would quiz me on competence of each topic.
Here are some great tips I selected from the #accredchat conversation 19 June:
- @KrisTK: The more senses you use while studying helps get info into diff parts of brain -- read it, speak it aloud, write it down.
- @ljstarnes: My prep: APR study guide, supplemented by Cutlip textbook. Made copious notes, which helped engrain info into my brain.
- @ljstarnes: When studying, focus on the KSAs that will be most of test-theory, ethics, research, crisis comm etc.
- @vanhoosier: Concur it is helpful to review theoretical concepts. Talking through communication models w/peer is crucial.
- @ljstarnes: re study groups, ask your APR chair to help start one. Chair has access to supplemental study mat'l thru PRSA.
- @Samjb: Finding a study buddy and an accredited mentor are absolutely essential. Then set deadlines & a schedule and stick to it!
- @Samjb: Spend time with people who have become accredited recently--they can give you a fresh and accurate perspective on the exam.
- @Samjb: as Dallas APR Chair, I hear good things about the PRSA online course. Not a boring online thing, meaningful interaction w/peers.