BenchPrep Team November 27th, 2018
5 Ways to Reduce Dropout Rates for Your Certification Candidates
Signing up for a certification exam is an important first step toward a professional milestone. Certifications are increasingly required to reinforce credentials and to help advance careers, however competing priorities in a professional’s busy life can often impact completion. Mitigating factors are usually to blame for candidates abandoning their goals and failing to sit for their exam, however for every candidate that drops out, your bottom line takes a hit, making it critical to support candidates through the entire preparation process.
Reducing dropout rates is as simple as finding appropriate and creative methods for helping candidates prepare. Keep in mind that exam prep methods that worked 20 years ago may not appeal to the digital-savvy candidates of today.
With adequate exam prep, you’re sure to see a reduction in dropout rates and an increase in candidates that not only sit for but also pass their exam.
Let’s look at some key strategies you can use to reduce dropout rates for your exams.
1. Blended Learning
Learning doesn’t have to be confined to the classroom, but a move to a digital learning solution doesn’t mean an elimination of in-person learning altogether. Blended learning offers avenues to accommodate every learning style by supporting in-person learning with technology, and supplementing digital interaction with in-person instruction.
No two candidates have the same strengths, but outdated learning solutions put all users on the same schedule, using the same material. However, learning is not a one size fits all situation. Personalization is one of the most effective ways to keep users engaged in the material, helping them avoid feeling frustrated and dropping out. Instead of fitting each learner into the same mold, candidates are provided adaptive study tools suited to their specific needs. For organizations that used BenchPrep’s personalized learning pathways, learner engagement increased by nearly 100%. Higher engagement means better preparation and lower dropout rates.
Incorporating technology into your exam prep program opens a number of doors, including the door to gamification. Engagement is one of the best ways to reduce dropout rates, and in addition to personalization, gamification is one of the best ways to engage learners. In fact, 80% of learners agree they would be more productive if their work was gamified. When learning is fun, with gaming elements, badges to earn, objectives to complete, and the slight competitive intrigue that comes with leaderboards, your candidates will accomplish more and increase their chances of passing the exam.
4. Reduce Stress
About 30% of American workers feel that stress has a negative impact on their productivity, while 77% say that an increase in workplace flexibility would increase productivity. Those in the workforce aren’t the only ones impacted by stress. One study estimates that 25% of college students attribute lower grades or their ability to complete a course to stress. Added stress around the pressures of preparing for and passing a certification exam can often be too much to handle and is a common cause of dropout.
While nervousness around an exam is normal, candidate readiness is one of the key factors to reducing stress and dropout rates. Offering an effective exam prep solution is the first step to helping them manage their time, track their progress, and rate their confidence levels to efficiently prepare.
5. Improve Time Management
Rarely do things go as planned. Many candidates that drop out before taking a certification exam do so because they didn’t have the time to invest in the preparation process that they thought they would.
So why aren’t candidates feeling prepared enough for exams to sit for them, and how can you make exam prep more accessible to reduce dropout rates? Traditional exam prep, either exclusively in the classroom or with an outdated LMS solution, can be rigid, cutting into candidates’ personal and professionals lives. Instead of cramming for an exam in a frantic race to the finish line, learners need a study plan that is laid out with enough time to cover the pertinent topics, while effectively engaging them so they don't fall victim to procrastination.
These five strategies will put you on the right track toward reducing dropout rates. But that's not all you can do! Download our free How to Guide to discover more actions you can take to reduce dropout rates.