What's Your Certification Advice?

The latest episode of ASQ TV is about certifications. Not just ASQ certifications, but all professional certifications.

There’s a lot of anxiety associated with certifications. And that’s too bad because certifications advance your career, increase your body of knowledge, provide proof to current and future employers about your skills, and, of course, potentially increase your salary. Year after year ASQ’s annual survey of quality professionals’ salaries shows that certifications help people stand out and increase pay.

If you’re thinking of sitting for a certification and looking for guidance and advice, I encourage you to watch this video interview with cert expert Jim Rooney, who holds nine certifications. Jim shares good and somewhat surprising advice about certifications—such as, take the exam later rather than sooner. Take your time and study.

If you hold a professional certification, I’m curious about your certification tips and tricks. What study techniques and strategies helped you navigate the test?

Update: Some Influential Voices bloggers shared their advice for passing certification exams. Take a look!

Dan Zrymiak: ASQ Certification – Perspectives From Shill to Stalwart to Scholar to Sage.

Rajan Thiyagarajan: Professional Certification–A Key Differentiator.

Manu Vora: A buddy system, and other tricks.

Anshuman Tiwari: Looking at certifications as filters, catalysts, and accelerators.

Edwin Garro: Preparing for a certification from the perspective of a cert “coach.”

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3 Responses to What's Your Certification Advice?

  1. Paul Ipolito says:

    “Take your time and study” is the best advice for exam prep. There really is no shortcut method. I used the Quality Council of Indiana materials and the ASQ Handbooks to certify as an Engineer, Auditor, Manager (I just dated myself!), and Technician. There is also a tendency to overload on reference materials on exam day. Unless you have everything tabbed or highlighted with a suitable method for you, you might regret bringing too much material. Follow all of the standard test- taking rules; stay calm, don’t spend too much time on a question, use all of the available time, etc.
    The bottom line remains the same- hard work will pay off. Best of luck to all.

  2. Jim Magditch says:

    Best advise I had received is….”Go through the entire exam in one single step – answer all the questions without opening any references. This way, you just go back to re-consider those questions that you need more research to answer correctly.”

    This advice was a tremendous time saver and allowed opportunity to really dig for the correct answers on questions that originally had me puzzled. Keep track of the various questions – usually a list of the question number(s) skipped over – on a separate sheet of paper – to keep things organized.

  3. Calvin Peck says:

    Study, study, and study some more. Give yourself enough time to study and learn the BOK. QCI and ASQ books are fantastic resources. Focus on weak areas, if I could not get 80% or better on a section exam out of the QCI book, I would go back and study the section again (and continue until I would get 80% or better). Take the exam latter verses sooner.
    Plan your exam (and trip)the evening before, pack your reference materials, books, calculator, pencils, parking money, snack money etc. I like to take a vacation day the Friday before the exam, to do some last minute mental reviewing of the BOK so I can look up any of my noticeable weak areas.
    Go to bed early the night before, and get up early the day of exam. Eat, 4 hours is long time when you are hungry and thirsty.


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