Your success in the chartership exams is the result of many factors, the most important of which is your knowledge of course. There are still however so many other things you need to fine tune before that crucial day, in order to get that desired ‘Pass’ result.
If you haven’t joined one already, it might be a good idea to do so straight away. They are a place to communicate with others about the areas that you are weak, ask experienced licentiate members questions or even offer your help to others with less knowledge.
To find out if there’s a study group in your area, talkinglandscape.org is a good place to start. It’s part of the Landscape Institute’s members network, giving you the opportunity to link with other members on the Pathway. There are also very useful resources available after registration that will definitely help you in your preparation.
This is an area that can often be the reason why some candidates eventually fail in the exams and it’s coming down to the realistic or not so realistic progress evaluation from the mentor. The scores in various areas of the syllabus are an important part of the information that the Supervisor will have before he or she confirms whether a candidate is ready for the exams. An inaccurate judgement accompanied with similarly inaccurate comments by the Mentor, might mislead both the Supervisor and the candidate on what the candidate’s actual level of preparation is.
It’s not on your benefit as a candidate to receive high scores if you don’t yet deserve them and display progress that is not actually there, as this will be eventually uncovered once you’re in front of the two examiners that expect you to deliver what you’re claimed you know. Be realistic and honest during your self assessment and even if your Mentor thinks that you’re ready to move up a grade but you’re not feeling ready for that level yet, just discuss this with your Mentor and suggest a target date by which you’ll work towards improving that area and fully deserve the higher score.
On the other hand, if you feel stronger in an area than the low score you’ve been given by your Mentor, you should challenge it by requesting more relative questions that could prove your competency in that area. However if your Mentor doesn’t feel comfortable with you levelling up, you should again set a target period and study area to focus on that will help you achieve that level without a doubt.
There’s nothing worse than taking the exam with inflated and false confidence as a result of an inaccurate assessment by your mentor, only because you want to get through this process as fast as possible. You may not even feel ready when you’re just about to take the exam and have doubts but it’s most likely that you will know that you’re ready when you’ve truly reached the right level.
The examiners are there to help you prove to them that you ready to become Chartered, so don’t make it more difficult for yourself by stressing more than you need to. This obviously comes down to how well prepared you are, in order to keep the conversation flow going and provide confident answers to either long or short answers.
QUALITY OF ANSWERS
What the examiners want to see, is your understanding of the syllabus on your everyday working life and how you’ve managed to associate the projects you’ve been working on with sections of the syllabus.
Short and right to the point answers is more valuable to them, than using your time to fill up the 45′ mumbling in general. The examiners need to tick lots of boxes in questions across the syllabus in a relatively short amount of time and every second counts. Try to show that you own the answer and that it’s the result of practical experience (where applicable).
There will obviously be a point where due to lack of everyday working experience, you’ll have to provide a simple textbook answer. That’s still acceptable, as it tells the examiners that you at least are aware of that subject and you know how to address it if you ever come across it.