After taking the university examination, I was surprised at how much better I performed than I expected. I studied hard for the test and I did all the practice tests that were provided. And like most people who prepare for any type of examination, I also spent a lot of time researching and learning as much information about the examination as I could. You can see some of my notes here.
The key to doing well on this test is preparation. You cannot expect to do well on the exam if you do not have good study habits and a lot of information available to review. My strategy was to take a few practice tests every day and then to create study guides that had all of the material that I needed, but in my own words, presented it in a way that I could understand. In other words, I didn’t want the information to be too simplified.
I created four study guides that I used to prepare for each section of the examination. For instance, I created a beginners study guide for the Innovation Management section that presented the material in a clear manner and in an easy to read format. Then there was a business case study for Innovation Management that presented the material in an engaging way. Finally, there was an evaluation of my knowledge for the Innovation Management section.
My main goal with the study guides that I created was to prepare for each section individually, but also to get a feel for what types of questions are likely to appear. In other words, I wanted to develop my “burning questions.” This was done by sifting through several business case studies and finding out what the key points were that were being covered within the documentation. From that point on, it was simply a matter of developing a study plan based on the material that I had uncovered.
The key to passing the exam is planning – not just in the preparation of the exam itself, but also in the preparation of your study guide. You want to be completely prepared to take the test. And while the study guides that I prepared and actually used were quite thorough and very detailed, it is my opinion that it would be far better to develop a study plan from scratch. Why? Because you don’t know what questions are going to appear on the exam, and you also might develop “phases” where you have many different questions to answer throughout the examination.
And, if you are really serious about preparing for this exam, then I encourage you to devote some time to doing some independent research on the topics that you are going to be asked to discuss on the exam. As an entrepreneur, you already know the key issues that you need to deal with – cash flow, customer service, and the whole M&A process. However, I have seen plenty of times when people who are really serious about this career forget one of the most important aspects of being prepared – “markets and customers.” This is something that is often overlooked during the planning phase of the exam. And, it is just as important to know how to target the right markets as it is to know which markets you should consider for your focus areas.
By taking the time to be prepared, you will feel more confident going into the exam. Not only will you be well prepared but you will also know what you need to know and how to answer tough questions. Don’t forget that if you don’t prepare well, then you could end up giving answers that don’t make any sense. Therefore, I highly recommend that you spend some quality time on the Internet, seeking out resources, getting some studying help, and planning your strategies before you sit down to take the exam.