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How do I integrate an Online Registry Review program with an upcoming credentialing exam?

In the last blog, I opened a comparative discussion on Live vs. Online Registry Review preparatory strategies.  The feedback we received was very gratifying, and welcome.

Pegasus Lectures has never believed that “one size fits all”, especially with something so critical as preparing for a credentialing exam.  In today’s business world, the drive for “efficiency” and cost-cutting often leads to diminished personal interaction with individual customers.  Our process is quite to the contrary.  We actually prefer talking to each customer, especially students and those preparing for a credentialing or board exam.

PassLogoBy interacting directly, we are able to get a sense of each person’s individual challenges and career goals. Since our inception in 1992, we have offered the Pegasus Pass Guarantee, a commitment to work alongside you to achieve results. By developing this relationship with you, our customer, we can better work to align the right preparatory tools for your success.

One question that resulted from our two previous blog posts involved the aspect of timing.  How do I integrate an Online Registry Review program with an upcoming credentialing exam?  The importance in understanding the paradigm shift for preparation between Live versus Online resources cannot be understated … and deserves some explanation.

First a brief mention of how people often (incorrectly) approach timing relative to live seminars.  Since most seminars focus on memorization and gimmicks to recall specific terms, instructors often suggest for the exam to be taken immediately after the review.  This is based on their having attempted to cram content into your head, and hoping it sticks … before it “leaks” out.

fmiele_live2In contrast, my approach has always been to focus on teaching the content so that the student actually understands the material, leading to a very different optimal timing.  Generally, if the student does their pre-class work before the seminar, the ideal time to take the test (for most students) is about 4 to 6 weeks after the course.  This gives the student time to develop a true understanding of the concepts and then the ability to answer any variation of a question asked on the exam.

ColorComputer_NewFrankBut what about online courses?  I again propose that it is better to take your exam about 4 to 6 weeks after completing the eCourse.  As with our live seminars, Pegasus Lectures focuses on having you truly understand the content, which requires time and iteration.  For most people, the best approach is a system and strategy that helps you to quantify your weaknesses once you have completed the eCourse.  This is why I strongly recommend utilizing a well-designed exam simulation program in conjunction with online education courses.  Considering the cost savings associated with using online versus live review (travel and lodging), you can actually afford to combine these powerful tools (online education modules + exam simulations) and still pay much less that if you go to a live seminar.

calendarLogistically, it makes sense to schedule your exam AFTER you have completed the eCourse AND you have determined where you are in terms of understanding (if you are using an exam sim, this would be after you have taken the first simulation exam).  If you are passing, or close to passing the exam simulation, scheduling the exam a few weeks out makes sense.  If your simulation results indicate that you are not very close to a passing score, then you might need a little more time and study to be truly ready before taking the exam.  Ultimately, I want your testing experience to be positive … because you are truly prepared … not a stressful time during which you are praying to get lucky to pass.

mindI sometimes hear people say:  “I need to do a live review seminar because that is the only way I will be forced to concentrate on the material.”  As I referenced in the previous blog, this reasoning does not take into account how the human brain and memory encoding, storage and retrieval work.  You will achieve superior results by studying in smaller blocks of time repeated over consecutive days and weeks, rather than longer duration studying over fewer days.  The more frequent encoding of related materials through your short-term/working memory will solidify over time into long-term memory…which is then more easily accessed and recalled.  This does not happen when you get a 12-hour blizzard of PowerPoint slides and some tricks and gimmicks to mimic content mastery.

Pass_StampThis is not to say that live registry review seminars have no place in 2015.  My point, however, is that today you have online options that did not exist even five years ago.  Repeating from how I started this discussion on December 17th, your most inelastic and precious commodity is time…and success in our professional field associates with efficiency and conservation of this resource.

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