In my last post I got honest with myself – in front of you about my struggle with giving too much focus and then too much effort too one project – neglecting everything else.
One project that has been neglected in the past few months has been my preparations for the Skills Application Exam (SAE) of the process to gain ATD’s Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). Until this Thanksgiving long weekend, I hadn’t put together a coherent study plan.
I sit for the exam on December 13. EEK!
Fortunately, I have been doing some random review of the content over the past two months keeping it fresh from my studies in the spring. I also recently got clarification from ATD Institute regarding confusing documentation regarding the organization of Key Actions that form the core of information and skills to be tested on the SAE.
Candid conversations with Trish Uhl, a CPLP guru and friend, and Roberto Montanez, a colleague and friend I met in the CPLP Virtual study group this spring, contributed great my understanding of not only what is covered on the test but the strategies I need to develop to dissect the cases, evaluate each question, and the physical and mental challenge that this 3-hour, 100-question experience is the SAE. (shout out to Roberto for passing the SAE in September!)
Over the weekend, I came to a process that I think will get me to the finish line adequately prepared for the exam. I’m fortunate that the project I’ve been so immersed in for 6 weeks is in a phase that doesn’t involve me much at all for the next two weeks, so I have TIME.
Beginning with the Key Actions and the subordinate skills listed for each in the CPLP Preparation Handbook, I’m then mapping the essential content from the Knowledge Areas (yes, I’m mapping KA’s to KA’s – but it’s not a 1 to 1 relationship) from the CPLP Learning System to each.
As I forge through the 14 Knowledge area each day, I’m going back to the previous day’s work and noting how that content has been applied in my experience. If I don’t have direct experience in a specific area, I’ll reflect on a possible scenario where it would apply. (Fortunately, with the breadth of experience I’ve had over the years, I have yet to find such a situation.)
There are review materials and strategies that both Trish and Roberto shared with me that I’ll then spend the third element of time each day working through. I’ve even constructed a way of working with Mindmeister in one split screen and the CPLP Learning System in the other (thank you Windows 10) that simulates a frustration that exists with the user interface of the SAE!
I hope this will work. I began this CPLP path just over a year ago and it is a part of a career change process that began almost two years ago. This is important to me. But I have to guard against allowing the pressure to build into a feeling of panic as the 13th comes closer. Time to keep calm and study on!