Prepare to CertifyTAKE THE TEST
Read a book in English
If you have decided to become a certified privacy professional, good for you! By sharing my experience with you I hope I can make it easier to get your certification on the first attempt. There is no reliable data about the percentage of persons that pass their certification exam the first time, but from different sources I heard that about half of the participants fail their first try of, for example, the CIPP/E exam and for the CIPM exam only a third will pass the first time. So, this is not a gimme!
I suppose that the success percentages certification exams directed at the United States' laws is a bit higher, because it must be slightly easier for native English speakers than for a lot of Europeans. Again, I have no solid data on the matter, but it seems logical. The language barrier is also what this Exam Tip is all about.
If you have trouble with reading English, that would be a first hurdle to take, before taking your certification exam. The language used in the exam is not unlike the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) texts in the articles and can be hard to understand. Obviously, the texts in the exam are of a legal nature, and although I suspect the creators have tried to avoid the legal jargon to some extend, it still can be very difficult if you’re not using such language on a daily basis. (And, as you can see in these texts, even if you do...)
Certification exams usually have a few study cases on which several questions are based. Each of these cases contain a lot of text and can be very confusing. One of the cases, I remember from my exam, is about an insurance claim from a data subject, and there are so many parties involved that you would have to read the text three times to make sense of it. At that point there is the pressure of the running clock and all of a sudden 150 minutes doesn’t seem like it is enough anymore.
If you’re not speaking or reading English on a daily basis, start to do that! It helps a great deal if you just read a book in English, or even better, while you are studying for the exam, read the articles and recitals of the GDPR a few times. You should definitely ‘learn’ the articles as well, but just getting used to the language should help a lot already. In our trial exam on www.privacy-exam.com/exams we have included five ‘home made’ study cases, each with about four questions, which should help you get familiar with the circumstances of an official certification exam. Especially, because the clock is counting down here as well and the pressure is on!
I hope this Exam Tip will prepare you just a little better for your exam. If you need more tips, please visit www.privacy-exam.com. Good luck!
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