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One of the most frequent questions the American Board receives from its students is, “How exactly do I study for this program?” That’s understandable as our study materials are online and most of our students are used to using paper and pen when they learn (as opposed to K-12 students today). Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Below are our top 9 tips on how to properly study for the American Board program. We hope this advice helps aid in your success with our program.

1. Plan accordingly

You have up to one year to study for and pass your two exams. Our best advice is, before you even log into your American Board Dashboard on NewMyPass and look at your study materials, plan the next year out. When will you be busy with family and work obligations? When will you have downtime to study? Will you be taking vacation? Is there a date 8, 9, or 10 months out you could set as a testing date goal?

Setting a date

By having a rough idea of your schedule ahead of time, you will be able to plan the number of hours you need to study each week in order to be fully prepared by your testing dates. If you will have no time to study the week of Christmas, make sure you study extra the weeks before and after the holiday. Remember, you will be taking your exams on different days and most people take their exams weeks apart. Be sure to account for this so that you are not stressed for time by the end of your certification year.

2. Take your time!

When planning your year, don’t try to be a super hero! If you go into the program with the mindset that you will study 30 hours a week and be able to test in two months, you will probably fail. Pace yourself!

We recommend you study at least 5 hours per week to be able to complete the program in 8 – 10 months. But of course you have an entire year to finish. You know how fast or slow it takes you to learn new materials. Study accordingly. Also, be sure to leave plenty of time before each exam to review the material you’ve already learned (as opposed to learning up until the day you test).

3. Print off your study materials

bound_spiral_bookDid you know you can print off your American Board study materials? You can! If you learn best by highlighting and writing, by all means, print off our study materials!

We have had students create three-ringed binders to hold their study materials; some even get their materials professionally bound (this can be done at Office Depot or Staples for around $30).

A huge benefit of printing off your materials is the ability to access the study materials when you’re away from the computer. Spending 10 minutes studying in the carpool line, 30 minutes studying while waiting for soccer practice to end, and 20 minutes studying while on your lunch break can really help you learn faster and feel more prepared. Every little bit helps!

4. Watch the webinars

We cannot stress this enough. The American Board website has several webinars that walk you through the program, including a 30-minute video on How to Study. As a bonus, the webinars will help you with your exams too!

Webinars can be accessed on your American Board Dashboard (NewMyPass) and here.

5. Study in long chunks whenever possible

You will have up to 4 hours to take each exam. To prepare for your exams, we recommend trying to sit and study our materials for 3-4 hour chunks whenever possible. That way, when it comes time to take your exams, you’ll be comfortable sitting still and concentrating for a long period of time.

6. Consult your standards

The standards are essentially your syllabus. Know them like the back of your hand.

7. Learn, Master, Repeat

The best way to study is to focus on 2-3 standards at a time, learn them, study them, know them like the back of your hand, then move on to the next 2-3 standards. Reading over all of the standards and glossing back over those standards a few times is not an effective learning method.

8. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to review the terms and formulas that will appear on your exam. Plus, they’re small enough to stick in your purse or backpack to study on the go.

You can also check out the American Board Study Discussion and Support Facebook Group, started by some of our alumni when they were working towards their certification. Keep in mind this group is private and American Board does not monitor nor contribute to the page.

9. Follow Us on Social Media

American Board can be found on several social networks. Follow us on…






Alumni, did we miss any of our favorite study methods? Let us know in the comments below!

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