Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3…

I’ve barely begun the third part of my PRINCE2 course on Pluralsight and I’m already itching to find out how far I’ve progressed. I’m going to partially blame Barbara Oakley’s Learning How To Learn course for this, as she describes testing as one of the best ways to learn.

mic_test

Unfortunately, Pluralsight doesn’t follow the format of other online courses I’ve taken, so I didn’t realise that they had practice questions until I started writing this post! Anyway, I found them and completed one set and am happy that with my progress from the course so far, but I was so curious before writing this post that I resorted to looking to outside sources.

One free online test I found (which also offered extra testing for a fee) was in the same format as the PRINCE2 exam would be (60 questions, multiple choice), but gave a 3 hour window to answer the questions. I whizzed through it, putting best guesses for the parts I haven’t studied yet, and finding that the key things I would need to remember for the exam would be the terminology and minimum requirements for each process/theme. When the results came in, I managed to hit 68%, with a pass being 55% and over, huzzah!

So at this point it seems like I’m ready to take the foundation level exam at least, but I don’t really like taking chances, especially based on just one positive result. I remembered seeing some PRINCE2 courses over on Udemy and with them still being on sale (they’re almost always on sale), now would be a pretty good time to check them out.

With very little searching I found myself a PRINCE2 cram course, which offered all the knowledge needed to pass the foundation level in 7 days, with practice exams included! So I’ve just started that and it really is a cram course, in half an hour it’s touched on everything up to the mid-point of the business case theme that I completed on my Pluralsight course over a week ago. The course is delivered really well and I’m pleased with the pace of it. I’d been getting a bit distracted with my other course because the progression is slower, but it is geared towards people studying for either the foundation or practitioner level exams, so at the end you would be expected to have a really good understanding. With a cram course, the goal is to fit everything into your head that you need to pass the exam, no more than that.

So after going through some of those videos, I decided to try out one of the Udemy practice exams and came out with 65% this time. Not as good as before, but I hadn’t really picked up anything new and there is bound to be some difference between exams, especially with so many guesses! Unfortunately, my hopes at being ready for the actual exam were dashed when the cram teacher gave 70% as the pass rate.

But, I’m happy that it makes sense. If you want to be sure that you’ll pass the test, you should be able to consistently hit a good pass rate in practice. Anything could happen on exam day that would throw you off, or they might put in a lot of questions you haven’t studied for, so it’s better to be over-prepared and I’m certainly not that.

Anyway, I’m still pretty proud of that mark because I have only really done the fundamentals and business case theme in depth, everything else I have a vague idea of but certainly not enough to tell people that I know PRINCE2, so I’m going to finish the cram course and see how things turn out then.

Testing, it sure beats the hell out of guessing you’re doing okay! (And look properly for tests when doing your online courses, they’re usually hanging around somewhere).

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