On a break from work in my neighborhood Starbucks I notice a student with a pile of books on the coffee table in front of him. With a sense of accomplishment I think to myself: “That was me one year ago.” Hydrocarbon chemistry, oil exploration, CTL technology, and all the other fun topics required in the ERP curriculum had taken the better of me then. Ah, the good days.
While it was very enjoyable to learn something new from scratch, the huge amount of study material was a bit overwhelming. The fact that I had started about two months too late for my schedule to be relaxed exacerbated the situation. In hindsight, if I did it again, I would certainly start at least six months before the actual exam, just to have enough time for review and solving practice exams.
My study strategy also left a lot to be desired: As I had learned in university, I read all the required material in the GARP curriculum while taking notes first that I later revised and practiced. With this old school approach, I needed a lot of time just to get through the original readings. I also had to travel a lot for work, which took out extra time from my study plan that I did not have in the first place. I would have helped me a lot had I been in the review stage already at this point.
Luckily, I was able to take off five days before the ERP exam. This made up for lost time a bit and enabled me to thoroughly solve the one available practice exam and go through all of my materials. My exam location was somewhat convenient (UCLA Los Angeles), but I still wanted to know where exactly I needed to go for the exam. This was a good decision as it helped me arrive relaxed at the test center on the test day. The actual exam was a bit of a blur; I was surprised about the ambiguity of the questions. In the practice exam this was not the case, so you should prepare to really know the material inside out.
How happy was I when I received the email from GARP in January of 2011 that I had passed the ERP exam. Surprisingly, I had cleared almost all of the topics in the upper band, so my study strategy had been successful after all. I could have saved some time in my preparation had I been organized a bit more. Starting earlier would have been a big relief also.
You will be in the exact same situation after you have taken the exam. Good luck and all the best for your ERP exam preparation!