Here’s everything you need to know to pass the MCM written exams:
Before you get here, read the prerequisites.
Do the demos. Run the scripts. Explain them out loud. Teach the workings to your pet hamster. Be completely comfortable with everything covered in the prerequisite reading. The one week of training is nowhere near enough to take you from zero to hero, as they say – if you don’t already have a very solid background in the material, you’re not going to make the cut.
I was the first guy to finish the two-hour exam on Monday morning, and as I waited for the other candidates to finish, I thought I’d done really well. But as each attendee came out and we talked about our experiences, we realized that we hadn’t done quite as well as we’d thought. Within an hour, we were all pretty sure we were on the borderline between pass and fail, and perhaps even trending toward the fail area.
Our results were delivered via email, and I breathed a big sigh of relief when I saw that I’d passed. Unfortunately, two of my colleagues didn’t make it, and I was really surprised. I wouldn’t have correctly predicted who was going to pass and who was going to fail.
Looking back at the test and looking forward at this week’s material, I’m pretty concerned about my chances on the next exam. I’m going to have to study my rear off, because I really, really want to pass these tests the first time. If you fail, you don’t get to retake the exams right away, which means the material is going to slowly trickle out of your brain. Your best shot by far is passing that first exam.
I’ve started to settle down into a schedule:
- 5 AM – wake up, read the news, hop in the shower.
- 5:30 AM – drive to Starbucks or McDonald’s to get coffee and breakfast
- 6 AM – arrive in the classroom to start studying
- 8 AM – class starts
- 6-6:30 PM – class finishes, attendees talk for a while to decompress
- 7-7:30 PM – go somewhere for dinner
- 8-8:30 PM – arrive back at the hotel room and crack the books open again
- 10 PM – go to bed
I’m selfish – I get 7 hours of sleep – but I’ve seen other attendees sending emails until 1-2AM, quizzing each other through our distribution list. I can’t operate like that. The less sleep I get, the less focused I am during the day, and the tougher it is to really absorb some of the monstrously detailed material. We take a 5-10 minute break every 60-90 minutes, and I find it helps to take a walk outside to see the sun and get some fresh air.
Random unrelated quote:
Attendee: “Why is it that all the instructors know you?”
Me: “I’m huge on MySpace.”