What to Expect From an Exam Prep Course
December 9, 2016
What to expect from a course.
What to NOT expect in your course..
What YOU can do to improve your chances of passing the exam.
What You Can Expect From an Exam Prep Course
To ensure the greatest customer satisfaction and the highest success rate for course participants, this article will explain what you can expect to experience from the course you are going to take, and, just as important, what you will not experience.
This article will briefly discuss the goal of the course, the documents involved, expectations about the course and what your responsibilities are in regards to study, and participation. Also, this article will attempt to make it clear how you can increase your chances of passing the exam you are scheduled to take.
Information About the Course You are Taking
The course that you are registered in is an exam preparation course. This means that the course is designed to assist individuals to pass the examination that the American Petroleum Institute (API) has created. The information in the course is based entirely on the Body of Knowledge and Effectivity Sheet that API publishes for the examination.
The Body of Knowledge (published by API)
The Body of Knowledge is the document that explains what topics are covered by the exam, what information candidates can expect to be tested on, and what documents may be referenced. It contains specific topics and subjects that will be included on the examination. Candidates will want to review the Body of Knowledge carefully, making sure that they are familiar with everything covered in the Body of Knowledge. While not everything that is on the Body of Knowledge will be asked about in each exam, candidates should be prepared and understand that anything listed on the Body of Knowledge could potentially be asked about in the examination. The Body of Knowledge for your exam is available at www.api.org
The Effectivity Sheet (published by API)
The Effectivity Sheet is a list of Codes, Standards, regulations and other documents that are to be referenced by candidates for the examination. The Effectivity Sheet is very specific about the edition of the documents that are to be used for each exam, as the questions will be based on that specific edition.
For example, many API exams reference ASME documents such as ASME Section IX, or ASME B31.3. Each time these documents are updated or released as a new edition, there are changes in the content, sometimes major changes. Attempting to use a different edition than what is referenced by the Effectivity Sheet creates the very real possibility that you will be preparing using the wrong reference. Many of the API exam questions deal with specific wording, specific references, and are very exact in how they are structured. Using a different edition than what is listed on the Effectivity sheet is not recommended.
It is very important to note that the Codes and Standards listed on the Effectivity Sheet are very often NOT the most current edition. The Effectivity Sheet is available at www.api.org
What You Can Expect in This Course
An exam preparation course is not like other training courses and programs. To make sure that expectations for the course are accurate, you can expect the following from your course with Kinetic Inspection & Testing:
- You will be given information about your exam and exam day.
- You will receive detailed instruction regarding the Code documents included in the exam on topics such as navigation, cross referencing, looking up information and recognizing keywords and subject matter in the different documents.
- You will be given training on the reading of exam questions.
- You will be given training on the reading and comprehension of Code documents.
- Individual instruction and assistance with subjects during and after class time will be available.
- Practice questions and practice exams to review and study from will be included in the material.
- You will be given instruction regarding study habits and examsmanship.
The overall objective of the course is to assist you in passing the exam you are scheduled to write. Everything in the course material and the instructor’s presentation is geared toward that goal.
What You Should NOT Expect in This Course
Course participants will be able to benefit fully form the course they are taking if they know not to be expecting certain things. This course will NOT do the following:
- This course will not teach you how to do your job. It is designed to help you pass the examination.
- This course will not teach you everything in the Code, it will cover what the Body of Knowledge and Effectivity Sheet say is required for the exam.
- This course will not tell you that what you do in your daily work is “right” or “wrong”, rather the course will tell what is in the Code, and how to use it on the exam. Application of Code knowledge on the job is not the goal of the course, though it will of course be discussed.
- This course will not be enough to train you for your career. This is one step in the many training steps that a well-qualified inspector requires.
- This course will not guarantee that you will pass the exam. There is a great deal of work and personal responsibility involved in preparing for and passing the exam. The course will provide structured information and practical study tools, but without your participation, study and effort, it will not be enough.
Accurate expectations will help you make a better decision regarding training, make your course more enjoyable and increase the benefit you receive from the course.
What Will be Required of You to Pass the Exam
As mentioned above, this course on its own will not be enough to get you through the exam with a passing grade. While they are not rocket science by any means, API exams are very challenging. Worldwide, almost 50% of the people who write an API exam fail it on the first attempt. There are some very basic steps that you can take that will greatly improve your exam performance and increase your chances of passing the exam.
You will need to do the following:
- You will need to complete the pre-class work, using the Codes and documents you will download and working through the practice questions and notebook material.
- You will need to review your work, determining what you did wrong if you made a mistake, and what you did right if you got the answers correct. It is not enough to have guessed.
- You will need to attend the entire course. Don’t be late and don’t leave early. Be there to benefit from the instructor.
- You will need to do the homework in the evening during the course. This will help you to retain the information covered during the day. Let’s face it, talking about Codes for 8 hours is pretty dry. If you do not review the information by doing the homework, you will not retain the information for the exam.
- You will need to study. There will be two practice exams and many practice questions in the pre-class and in-class notebooks. Make sure you do them, and when you are finished, do them again. Repetition is the key to remembering.
- You will need to ask questions. Make sure you ask questions when you are unsure, don’t understand or want a better or different explanation.
Most the exam is closed book. This means that if you do not have the information memorized, you will be at a serious disadvantage. The exam will ask questions based on the exact wording in the Code, and this may be different from what you do in day to day work. Without studying you will be unable to determine what the exam questions are asking about.
It has been proven over many years that those who participate, prepare, study well and ask questions pass the exam, almost 100% of the time. Those who don’t do the pre-class work, spend the course texting, sleeping, daydreaming and do not study or participate, fail almost 100% of the time.
You will get out of the course what you put into it. The course cannot account for personal ability, personal scheduling before the exam (kids getting sick, wife having a baby) or other problems, but it can do exactly what it is designed to. It can prepare you for the examination if you participate, study well and ask questions.