Commentary

December 6, 2013

Develop a study plan that works for you

Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Edem
51st Maintenance Group superintendent
In most cases, this method of “study” in preparation for any assessment or examination will not be very successful. Being fully prepared and ready requires more time than just a glance over; you must digest and absorb the PDG, CDC material and any other career field requirements to do well.

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea – The weighted airman promotion season is back; chief master sergeant promotion testing period has just ended while senior master sergeant, master sergeant, technical sergeant, and staff sergeant cycles are fast approaching.

My message, if you don’t read any further, is to study for promotion – I mean really study for your promotion.

For our enlisted force, this is one thing that always amazes me; many people just don’t study for their Promotion Fitness Exam and Specialty Knowledge Test. If you observe the average scores for these tests over the years, the majority hover somewhere around a 55 to 65 percent.

The one thing I have always had in my favor with regards to promotion is that my peers did not always study, so I thought to myself, why not use this to my advantage? The strange part about it is that when asking those not selected for promotion if they studied, most will say they did. However, when you really peel it back, what they actually did is just read the Professional Development Guide, or PDG, or glance over their Career Development Course, or CDC, a few times.

In most cases, this method of “study” in preparation for any assessment or examination will not be very successful. Being fully prepared and ready requires more time than just a glance over; you must digest and absorb the PDG, CDC material and any other career field requirements to do well.

For me it is best to know the material and know how it applies. After 26 years I still reference those books to remain well-versed in my job and as an Air Force professional. Find the method that works for you and stick to it.

A first step in the right direction may be to set a goal and develop a plan to tackle it in a way that helps you retain the most information and understanding. Things like making flash cards, notes, using audio aids, setting study time/duration and/or changing venue (home, library, community center) may assist you in staying focused and on course.

Just reading through the books provided will not get it done. Most of all, you have to commit yourself; this can even be a family commitment for some.

Personally, every time I prepared for an exam, my wife and children didn’t see much of me, especially at night or on weekends. My family understood that in order to put a study plan into action and effectively achieve a goal, I needed to isolate myself in a separate room, or go to the base library.

To be entirely prepared you must be prompt and reliable with honesty to yourself in planning, scheduling and execution. Additionally, total commitment to the mission and your job while simultaneously taking advantage of this systematic developmental opportunity will go a long way towards ensuring success.

So think about it, do you want to get promoted, expand your level of leadership and accept more responsibility? If so, it starts with a real study plan, one that works for you Ö and staying devoted to it.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Life is moving, move with it

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga.†-†”You can’t be neutral on a moving train” is a famous quote, and the title of a memoir and documentary about the life of author, historian and activist Howard Zinn. What this means is that things are happening all around us, and everything in life is moving in a certain direction....
 
 

Analog Leadership in a Digital World

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.†-†In today’s military, every service member is a leader, and we all live in a “digital world.” Look around any gathering of people; most of us are online with some form of computer or electronic device the majority of time we are awake. At home station or deployed, portable electronic devices...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - Where do you invest your time?  When you have an extra hour in the day, what is your focus?  If you are like most people, you will put time and energy into things that are more concrete like finishing a...
 

 

Leadership Lessons: Who would you follow?

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D.†-†Over the last year I have enjoyed reading articles from our wing leadership on their perspectives and experiences which have made them better leaders. I have great admiration for their words of wisdom and have benefited from their shared experiences. When I was asked to write a leadership piece I...
 
 

Is the Air Force in you?

OXON HILL, Md. – When I think about being a good Airman first, there are two quotes that have framed my focus. The first came from Chief Master Sgt. A.C. Smith, the command chief master sergeant for the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. It was part of his address to the...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - Professor Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School is amazed at the fraction of students who give so little thought to their purpose in life. He recognizes that finding your purpose is not always easy even for Harvard students.  He decided...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>