Tuesday, September 25, 2007

CPLP Knowledge-based Exam Study Tips

Hi all -

A big thanks to Evette M. in Phoenix, AZ for reminding us of these CPLP Knowledge-based Exam tips:

  • Best Answer - when sitting the exam you are always looking for the BEST
    answer, not just the first correct answer.
  • Ideal vs Reality - the exam is based exclusively on the principles and
    practices outlined in the 2004 ASTD Competency Model, which is not necessarily
    reflective of your current work situation/reality. However, to pass the
    certification process, you must answer the questions based on the ASTD model and
    body of knowledge, and not necessarily on your personal experiences.
  • Study Hard, Study Often - then take some downtime immediately before sitting
    the exam.

>> Specific Examples >>

>> Best Answer Example

Q. Why are learning objectives important?

a. Learning objectives provide a list of topics to be covered in the course.
b. Learning objectives help to frame the content of the course.
c. Learning objectives outline the body of knowledge that learners should know and understand by the time the course is complete.
d. Learning objectives describe what learners should know or be able to do at the end of the course.

Answers A-C are, perhaps, somewhat true - but D is the BEST answer.

It is the BEST answer because it is the most accurate and complete.

>> Ideal vs Reality Example

I sat the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam several years ago and spent long hours with my study group prepping - and arguing - over the exam. The exam is entirely based on the Project Management Institute's "Project Management Book of Knowledge" - otherwise known as the PMBOK.

It has to be based on something, right?

Some of the themes set forth in the PMBOK, I felt, were obtuse - such as PMI's views on 'gold plating' (giving customers more than they ask for).

Personally, I like a bit of gold plating in my projects - over deliver just a little bit. Delight the customer.

In PMI circles that's a BIG NO NO. You deliver *exactly* what you've promised to deliver, no more, no less.

So in prepping for the PMP exam, I'd get a bit miffed whenever I came across a question that obviously asked the "To Gold Plate or Not To Gold Plate" question. I'd find myself wanting to answer from my personal feelings/experience, rather than selecting the answer I knew they (PMI) were looking for.

And, of course, in scoring my practice exams, if I gave into my desire to voice my opinion (to an inanimate object - the practice exam) rather than answer the way I knew I should, I'd inevitably get the answer wrong and get points off on the practice exam.

Silly, right?

So don't do the same on the CPLP. There will be times when what you know - in your heart of hearts to be true - is not the same as what ASTD is purporting, and you'll *itch* to answer the way you want to answer, rather than give them (ASTD) what they're looking for.

Don't do it!

Check your opinion at the door. :)

If you feel strongly about the topic, then voice your concerns directly to the ASTD Certification Institute - but don't wait until the day of your exam and sabotage yourself!

>> Study Hard, Study Often

Studies show that most people take mini breaks - e.g. stare out the window, let the mind wander, etc. - every 25 minutes or so. After 45 minutes of concentration, most people need to move around a bit.

Incorporate these natural tendencies into your study practices by studying in intervals of 25-40 minutes, followed by breaks of 5-10 minutes.

This approach has been found to be more effective than trying to 'cram' for hours on end.

Additional Tip!

The Night Before Your Exam:

  • don't spend all night cramming (it won't help!)
  • relax, take a brisk 30 minute walk outside
  • have some 'down time' before sleep
  • have one last look at your summary sheet before you go to bed
  • have a good night's sleep (studies have shown that 8 hours of sleep the night before an exam improves your grade by 25%, especially on multiple-choice tests)


Featuring books and Owl Study Packs that can be mixed & matched to suit your personal study plan! http://www.cplpcoach.com/products/index.cfm

About the Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) Credential

Curious, but don't know much about the CPLP credential?

Read about it here: http://www.cplpcoach.com/public/118.cfm?sd=2

Upcoming Events

2007 ASTD Leaders Conference (ALC)
Hilton Alexandria Mark Center
Alexandria, VA
October 26-27, 2007
* Pre-conference 10/25

ASTD Chapter Leaders - attend our presentations at this year's ALC!

  • Friday, October 26 - "Do-Re-Mi CPLP: Singing Each Note to Support CPLP
  • Saturday, October 27 - "Solution Symphony: 75 Chapter Leader Tips in 75

ALC is free to ASTD Chapter Leaders - register today!


Twin Cities ASTD - Regional Conference & Exposition
River Centre - St. Paul, MN
November 13 & 14th, 2007

** Visit Owl's Ledge LLC in the Exhibit Hall in St. Paul!

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC - The CPLP Certification Experts

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New CPLP Work Product Areas of Expertise

Hooray! I'm happy to announce that the ASTD Certification Institute is piloting three (3) new Areas of Expertise for the CPLP credential:
  • AOE 3 - Improving Human Performance
  • AOE 5 - Facilitating Organizational Change
  • AOE 6 - Managing the Learning Function

This is a great relief since many candidates felt like they were submitting 'round pegs in square holes' when attempting to submit in AOEs that really don't relate to what they do on a daily basis.

For example, functional managers scrambling to submit instructional design documents - when that's not something they've done in years...

Now the wait is over!

These Areas of Expertise are available to all Fall/Winter 2007 CPLP Knowledge-based Exam candidates (whose work product submission is due February 2008) - if you act fast!

You must notify the ASTD Certification Institute of your desire to participate in the pilot for one of these AOEs - ASAP. You can do that by sending email to certification@astd.org

So - the question is, what are these work products all about? What types of evidence can be submitted for each?

Here's the short list of examples of the types of evidence you could submit for each:

(Note: Always refer to the ASTD CI Candidate Bulletin for detailed requirements.)

AOE 3 - Improving Human Performance

  • Performance plan
  • Appraisal system
  • Team intervention
  • Coaching plan
  • Six Sigma program
  • Succession plan
  • Offsite plan
  • Training program
  • Workspace/workplace redesign
  • Employee Performance Support System (EPSS)

AOE 5- Facilitating Organizational Change - documentation should address:

  • Initial contact or the presenting issue
  • Assessment/analysis
  • Proposal/contract/plan/statement of work (SOW)
  • Facilitated action
  • Results/measurement

AOE 6 - Managing the Learning Function - evidence is one (1) of the following options:

  • OPTION 1: A learning function annual report that you have produced.
  • OPTION 2: A project management report of the development of a learning product, such as curriculum or a course.
  • OPTION 3: Individual documents that you have produced that are pertinent to managing the learning function or a project within the learning function of your company.

The new Areas of Expertise require responses to the same types of essay-style questions as the others - including eight (8) Core Component Questions and two (2) Follow-On Questions.

The Core Component Questions for each AOE address the four (4) main areas - Project Relationships, Planning, Output, and Outcomes.

We're working on tips, tricks and the inside scoop for how best to submit work product for these new Areas of Expertise! Please contact us if you're participating in these submissions and/or you have something to share!

Good luck to all September/October CPLP exam takers! We'll see you on the other side of Phase I! :-)

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC - The CPLP Certification Experts

Announcing - CPLPCOACH.COM

We're happy to announce the launch of CPLPCOACH.COM - the first online community entirely devoted to the CPLP credential!

CPLPCOACH.COM is for anyone and everyone with an interest in the Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) credential - from those who are curious, to CPLP candidates, to CPLP certified, and to ASTD Chapter Leaders interested in starting CPLP initiatives in their communities:

  • CPLP Curious: You are a learning & performance professional seeking information about the ASTD Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) credential. You would like to understand the marketability of the certification and have some insight into the certification process before registering to become a candidate.
  • CPLP Candidate: You are a CPLP candidate studying for the CPLP Knowledge-based Exam and are looking for resources to support your study efforts. You are a CPLP candidate assembling his/her Work Product submission and are looking for resources to help you understand how to assemble your submission packet.
  • CPLP Certified: You are CPLP certified and looking for a way to easily track your recertification credits and stay involved in the growing CPLP community.
  • ASTD Chapter Leader: You are an ASTD chapter leader looking for CPLP resources that you can use to support those interested in the CPLP in your community.
What CPLP Resources and Features are available on CPLPCOACH.COM?
  • Certification tips & tricks from an Expert Panel and other CPLP candidates on the discussion forums.
  • CPLP Bookstore - featuring CPLP Study Packs and books by learning & performance industry leaders for CPLP preparation for the CPLP exam.
  • Online and printable CPLP study materials - for the CPLP exam and the CPLP work product submission - including puzzles, quizzes, work product examples, etc.
  • Insider interviews with and case studies of people who already hold the CPLP credential.
  • Downloadable tools and resources that help guide candidates through the certification process.
  • Searchable library of articles, tips and insider information on CPLP-related topics.

We are very excited - an honoured! - to continue to support the growing CPLP community!

I look forward to seeing you at CPLPCOACH.COM :-)

~ Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP
Owl's Ledge LLC - The CPLP Experts