When to Schedule that Next IT Certification Exam…

November 9, 2018 at 5:25 pm

cert exam

I am updating a whole host of my Data Center certifications and I just had to make some decisions on scheduling. As a result, I wanted to share my thoughts on this topic here, as it is a bit more important than people realize I think.

For this discussion, let’s make an assumption. That assumption is – you have a local testing center that is not over-booked. So this means that you can schedule your exam for whenever you like with just 24 hours notice.

With this assumption in place – what do you do regarding these two main approaches –

  1. Schedule for a date in the future that you want to be ready for.
  2. Schedule for the next day once you verify you are ready.

Here are observations about each approach:

Option 1

  • This can help those that tend to procrastinate and put off studying. Since the exam is scheduled and approaching – you better get studying!
  • This can lead to a pretty major issue. Here it is. You study as much as you can up to the test date. You are unable to study (and lab) several topics as well as you would have liked to and now you just go and take that test and try your best. You pass (barely). Now you move on to the next Cert topic on your list. But of course the issue is, you have some gaps in your knowledge and prep – and now they might NEVER get filled!

Option 2

  • This option is dangerous for those of us that like to put off our studying. Let’s face it – you do not have a firm test date and you might let the process drag on forever.
  • The great news on this approach is that you can be FULLY ready for that exam – ensuring you left no stone unturned.

I always prefer and follow option 2. I use tools to help me (like the Streaks app) to ensure I am prepping for the exam every day. I have had far too many challenges with option 1 – just skating by on exams and then worrying about knowledge gaps.

Whatever path you choose – enjoy the journey!