We strongly recommend careful preparation, even for degreed professionals who have passed other certification tests.
Preparation makes all the difference. In general, we recommend that you train and study for a minimum of 30 hours.
We want you to succeed. Please take advantage of this advice and IAPP resources to get through exams with as little anxiety as possible.
Tips for effective studying
Completing a training course doesn't guarantee passing an exam. Additional preparation is essential, so:
Self-assess – Each IAPP exam comes with two tools for determining how ready you are:
- The body of knowledge is an outline of the information covered in the exam. Use it to identify topics you are and aren't familiar with.
- The exam blueprint tells you how many questions to expect on each topic. Use it to map out a study strategy – allowing more time for topics with many questions, for example.
Use your textbook properly – Start by reading the table of contents. Note which topics are new to you. That will give you a feel for how much study and review time you need. When you start reading:
- Highlight important points in each chapter
- Copy out key passages; it will help you remember them
- Review each chapter to make sure you've captured the key points before moving on
Create flash cards – As you read your textbook, articles, web pages, etc., copy new terms onto notecards. Write their definitions on the other side. Quiz yourself. Use the IAPP's glossary of privacy terms to look up unfamiliar terms and make flash cards of them also.
Form a study group – Discussing the material with your co-workers and colleagues is a great way to remember material and understand it more deeply.
Learn in context – It's easier and more interesting to learn a subject you're going to use in real life. IAPP publications and resources show how privacy affects our lives and businesses. Get familiar with privacy news and issues by signing up for the IAPP/s Daily Dashboard, Privacy Advisor, and Europe Data Protection Digest. Subscribe to the Field Fisher Waterhouse and DLA Piper privacy blogs and the Bird & Bird data protection newsletter. Also, compare what's going on in privacy today with your job. What privacy issues could affect your work and career?
Use questions to find answers – Every training course comes with sample questions to help you review what you've studied and identify weak areas. Re-read notes and chapters on those subjects. Ask your study partners questions. Search for articles that approach the subject from different directions.