I’m currently studying for an industry certification and the original plan was to sit for the exam in May this year. At least that was what I had planned in December last year:
- Do the three prerequisite courses online, one per month starting January.
- Leaves me one month in April to recap what I had learn.
- Sit the exam in May.
Simple really. That was until real life happened. I know full well that I won’t be studying after work or on the weekends, so I asked for two hours during work to study when things get quiet. It started off well, but life is what happens when you plan. Problems at work occur and things happen that need my attention, and I’d lose my concentration. And you can’t avoid phone calls, emails, and meetings.
May arrived and I was never in a position to sit the exam; I had only done two of those courses by then. Plus the exam costs $900 so I really want to be 100% competent. The company will only pay for it if I pass. So I decided to aim for the next exam coming up in December.
During the past 4 months, I went through the course again except this time with a thick text book – 15 chapters, 700 odd pages, as an intensive guide. I’m almost there. I think.
Going through all this renewed my admiration for those who can juggle everything in life and study. I remember back in my uni days, being in awe of friends who had to work long hours on top of their studying to cover rent and living expenses. Even more so when they do well.
After graduation, I know of people who did their MBA courses part-time after work. All this when they have kids. There are the accountants who have to sit for the CA or CPA units and exams. There are the doctors who are studying for specialities, which can go on for a few years at least, when they are already working insane hours. I really shouldn’t be complaining right?
I thought that I would have sat my last exams once I graduated from uni. Exams have always struck me as an unrealistic method of judging someone’s competence, especially when it’s the only form of assessment. I’d much rather essays and research papers because that is closer to how we solve problems on the job. And with the Internet, who memorises anymore?!
But as long as there isn’t a faster and more efficient way to weed out candidates of lower quality than having exams, and as long as society still has a hard-on for extra letters on our business cards, we just have to suck it in and just plough through it. And that’s a bitch. 😛