4 Tips to Designing an Effective Certification and Test Prep Program to Drive Success
Are Your Certification Candidates Ready for their Exam? How Prep Programs are Falling Short.
Certifications are an important gateway for professionals to advance their skills and take their careers to the next level. Whether a learner is required to attain certification for a specific role or is looking to proactively upskill their knowledge, lifelong learning is fueling more urgency for people to get training on new skills needed to get ahead. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center Survey, “The State of American Jobs,” 87% of workers believe it will be essential for them to get training and develop new job skills throughout their work life in order to keep up with changes in the workplace.
While the need for competency-based credentialing is more prevalent than ever, important factors throughout the prep process can make or break learner success. Proper preparation not only requires time, but also effective, on-demand, and engaging resources to keep a learner interested and on track. Fear of failure and feeling overwhelmed often results in candidates dropping out, however, there are ways to improve your program and prevent your learners from running into these roadblocks.
Ensuring your certification prep program is designed to drive success
Committing to a certification prep program is just the first step in taking a high-stakes exam. For many learners, following through with a study plan, scheduling a time to take the exam, and ultimately passing the exam can greatly depend on the learning experience along the way. Is your certification prep program designed to guide candidates through an effective learning journey that sets them up for success? We work closely with credentialing organizations to answer and solve this question, providing the following solutions to reduce dropout rates and support learner success. Here are 4 tips to designing an effective certification and test prep program to drive success for your learners and candidates.
1. A fully comprehensive prep program
Many of today’s learning tools only focus on managing the process but lack the capabilities to enhance the experience. A successful program must offer learners the right tools to efficiently prepare and improve readiness. Engagement drivers such as practice tests, flashcards, video, and gamified features help learners become more familiar and comfortable with the exam material, reducing anxiety around what to expect when it’s time to take the exam.
2. Comprehensive remediation
While practice tests and other characteristic features of an exam help create familiarity with the exam itself, remediation tools offer learners a deeper understanding of the skills being tested and thus require learning. If a learner gets a practice question wrong, a digital platform can guide a learner back to a relevant lesson, providing additional information and context around a particular topic. Effective remediation tools ultimately save a learner time from having to go back and search through an entire course for the right answer, while also helping them identify where their strengths and weaknesses lie to better manage their study time.
3. A community of learning
Building a community of learning can help ease anxiety and make learning more enjoyable. Interactive discussion boards provide an outlet for learners to ask questions, share ideas, and clarify information they might not be sure of in regards to certain questions or exam modules. Games and achievement badges provide a sense of friendly competition, motivating learners to perform at their best and learn more. Incorporating these peer-to-peer features in your learning program can have a major impact on engagement, resulting in reduced dropout rates.
4. Reasonable expectation setting:
Bite-sized learning modules are a great way to help learners move through a program at a pace that is best for their schedule and timeline. Busy professionals are more likely to stay engaged with a prep program if it allows them to accomplish study tasks in between meetings, at home after work, or on weekends. A digital, self-paced platform provides that flexibility, encouraging users to manage their time based on their own learning needs.
Focusing on the candidate journey
Credentialing organizations are realizing they need to reevaluate the effectiveness of their prep program to keep up with digital transformation, meet the needs of today’s professional learners, and drive engagement with their programs. The migration from books, instructor-led training, and other outdated learning formats to digital can disrupt a learning program if the transformation isn’t completed in a seamless manner.
BenchPrep's partnership with HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®), a premier, nonprofit credentialing organization for human resources, demonstrates how an organization went from identifying shortcomings in their learning program to transforming it into a successful driver for growth, resulting in an improved experience, thanks to BenchPrep’s comprehensive platform.