Meta-analysis of Exam-preparation, Certification-preparation or Test-preparation Courses

I am building a course to prepare a student for an exam. It’s not as easy as you would think it would be. I’m finding it strange to do even simple things, like apply Blooms to the performance objectives.

So, I’ve decided to take a step back. I wanted to look at the body of work that already exists for cert-prep. I started by looking at technical cert prep courses offered by the big guys (IBM, Oracle, etc). I didn’t really find anything, even though I really wanted to find examples of cert-prep courses for working professionals (and not K-12 or higher ed).

There really wasn’t much out there for technical working professionals (software engineers, in particular). So, I had to delve a bit into the world of higher ed certprep. I’m not disappointed though. I think I got some good information.

Below, I’ve made a few lists of aspects of cert-prep courses that I reviewed.

(WIIFM) What students liked about various cert-prep courses

  • Ability to review materials as many times as needed
  • Knowing what topics focus on
  • Knowing how deep to go on any given topic
  • Building confidence, feeling prepared
  • Organizing information
  • Understanding the difficulty level of the exam
  • Accessible in remote geographies
  • Realistic exam experience

Examples of performance goals

  • NN% of students who took the cert-prep course passed the test
  • Over NN of all successful exam takers used our class to help them pass
  • Candidates who use the exam-prep see their scores improve by an average of NN%

Examples of performance objectives

  • Prepare for the exam
  • Gain the tools and skills you need to pass the exam
  • Focus your limited time and resources
  • Focus on the information most likely to appear on the exam
  • Master the exam materials
  • Prepare with a comprehensive practice test
  • Analyze your test readiness
  • Identify areas for further study with topic-focused chapter tests
  • Identify test-taking strategies

Types of mock exams and exam assets bundled with the course

  • Multi-question practice exams
  • Pre-test evaluation
  • Per-module, topical questions
  • Realistic test-taking environment
  • Explanations of why exam question answers are right or wrong
  • Weekly pop quiz
  • Proctored exams

Instructional content formats offered

  • Static print or multi-media content (including books and workbooks)
  • Streaming video
  • Live delivery

Exam aids

  • Study tips
  • Printed flash cards
  • Online flash cards
  • Audio review flashcards
  • List of key terms
  • Cheat sheets

Social services offered

  • Discussion forums
  • Comments from students who have previously taken the exam
  • Email support
  • Phone support
  • Blogs
  • “Live agent” chat

Exam-prep add-on services

  • Custom study strategy
  • Online tutoring
  • On-site tutoring
  • Topic-based refresher
  • Job interview prep

Other assets offered

  • “Insurance” – gain access to materials until you pass
  • Detailed reports highlighting strengths and weaknesses in each content area
  • Personalized study plan with daily goals
  • Self-directed learning path (choose your adventure style)
  • Instructional e-games

Examples of cert-prep courses and some etc links (you can click these)

Let me know with a “like” or a comment if you found this post useful.

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