, , ,

After a few interesting days in Washington, D.C., last week, shaking hands and meeting the people hoping to be members of the 2014 agent class, I got to talking to several people about the test. I’ve compiled a few texts from the test-takers to give you an idea of what to expect if you’re one of those folks hoping to sit for the exam someday.

“It was no joke. . . I was prepared, it was just harder and worded much more difficult than the practice test. LOL my mind is mushhhhh.” — The first part of this sequence (“It was no joke”) was the first response I got from any of the test-takers (I’ve worked with several of them in the run-up to the test) and was completely unsolicited. This is when I first started to understand that this year’s exam was quite a challenge.

“If I have to do it again, I will do it from memory. Open book slowed me down. And I didn’t need to have to look on all of them. Some yes.” — This is a pretty classic response. Having a chance to refer to source materials tends to lessen people’s intensity when it comes to studying. If you don’t have the answer when a tough question comes along, you have a tendency to look it up, which is natural. Where it really trips you up, however, is when you don’t know an answer (or aren’t sure) on a medium or even easy question. You wind up using time you don’t have. Three hours goes quickly.

“It’s tricky definitely. Thank God I double checked and double checked.” — This is a luxury you don’t have if your strategy is to leaf through the source materials and try to find the answers. Review is key but only if you have time left after you finished Question 60.

“I think it went OK. I don’t want to be too confident . . . lol. It took mostly everyone the entire 3 hrs to take it.” — This response came from one of the most prepared test-takers in the room this year, based on what I know. This tells me the test may have been a little tougher than last year. Each year actual certified agents make up questions for the test. Maybe this year they came with a little hotter stuff.

“The questions are worded very uniquely. . . exam was hard to understand. A lot of unnecessary wording.” — Once again, this tells me they made this year’s exam a little harder than previous tests. The wording is always the part that makes things confusing, but it seems the questions this year were layered with more ‘goop’ than usual.