What I've learned on this journey

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  • #1519362 Reply
    lostinwonderland
    Participant

    The journey is finally over and I thought I would share some things I’ve learned along the way before I disconnect for awhile.

    I used a study app to keep track of the real hours I was studying. With so many distractions, you can easily waste hours that you think you are “studying” on social media/tv/phone. I also have no real concept of time and would read a chapter for what felt like over an hour and check the timer to find only 30 mins had passed.

    I would have studied more efficiently/and in a different order if I had it to do over again. At the beginning, I had no clue how to study for these exams and wasted a lot of time. I would get hung up on trying to get my average to a certain target in each study unit before moving to the next. I always ended up pressed for time right before the test and had to gloss over some sections. The exam WILL find those weak areas and beat you repeatedly with them.

    The study plan I should have had from the beginning:

    1st- I would have purchased Ninja Notes and read over the notes before starting the section. This provides an overview of what you will be working on and lays the groundwork. I always made the mistake of buying the Ninja notes when i was about 2 weeks out and in panic mode trying to tie it all together. The Ninja notes definitely helped and I’m 100% sure they are the reason I passed my last exam AUD even when I was only able to put in about 50 hours of study time)

    2nd- Read the book to build the foundation/review what I had learned in college. (This helped a lot although it might not work for some)

    3rd- Work the MCQ and take notes on the topics I had trouble with. Work MCQ for a section and then move on to the next instead of getting stuck trying to hit your target average. The time goes fast and you will end up short on time if you get hung up on a chapter. (I really wish I did this in the beginning!!!)

    This part is really important. While working MCQ, read the explanations and try to understand why the answer is correct/why the other answers are wrong, etc. Take notes from these explanations. Just hammering MCQ questions is not enough if you don’t really understand the topics. Focusing only on hammering hundreds of MCQ each day leads to memorizing and not learning/understanding.

    Review Ninja notes and MCQ handwritten notes during the week (I would study during lunch and also stay over after work and review notes before i went home for the night)

    Read the book again while mixing in MCQ (I always tried to read the book multiple times and I believe this was what helped me pass)

    Go back and re-read the topics that I continue to have issues with on MCQ

    Each week do a mix of MCQ from the sections that I have worked on so far. This keeps the topics fresh and helps you retain what you’ve learned.

    I never felt fully prepared for any exam and would panic right before the exam and look for options to reschedule.

    Quality is better than quantity. Instead of mindlessly pounding MCQ, work through them slowly and read the explanations and try to understand the concepts. I think many people go wrong because they hammer MCQ and start to memorize instead of actually learning. Possibly when people take the exam, they see a question/answer similar to their testbank and pick the answer based on the answer they memorized because of the similarity. That’s my theory anyway.

    The exam is important but don’t completely neglect your friends and family. An hour lunch with friends will not kill you and will actually do you some good to get out and have a change of scenery.

    If you fail a section, DO NOT study as if you only need a few points. You WILL get a COMPLETELY different test so do not try to study based on what you remember from the exam you took.

    Good luck to everyone that is still going through this process.

    “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop”

    FAR 09/16 - 75        1st attempt, 110 hours
    REG 01/17 - 73, 82  Passed on 2nd attempt, 117 hours total
    BEC 12/16 - 77         1st attempt, 50 hours
    AUD 03/17 -78        1st attempt,  52 hours

    Gleim book and test bank, supplemented with Ninja Notes

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  • #1519371 Reply
    ellejay
    Participant

    Thank you for sharing, and congratulations on being done!

    AUD - NINJA in Training
    BEC - NINJA in Training
    FAR - 63
    REG - NINJA in Training
    FAR - 63, rematch February 2018
    #1519404 Reply
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Number three and understanding why an answer was incorrect were key to me. I don't subscribe to theory of doing a certain number of questions. As you said quality over quantity.

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