Organizing a Successful Study Group
The Commission for Case Manager Certification® often receives inquiries from candidates requesting advice on how to get ready for the CCM® exam. We have gotten feedback from some individuals who have taken and passed the exam. Many noted that study groups were one fantastic way to prepare.
Studying in a group can help you to determine what you know—and don’t know. Joining a group will stop you from procrastinating, there’s no opportunity to pull out your phone or check your Facebook page.
The most efficient study groups are between three to six people. Enlist those that are serious and committed to passing the exam. Don’t just concentrate on friends! You may be easily distracted by other topics.
Plan the meetings for the same time and day. This will make it easier for busy case managers to schedule around their case load.
Try to hold the group in a place with little distractions. Work may not be the place if you feel you will be interrupted.
Talk about each person’s goals. Establish what you want to accomplish. Understanding that “I want to pass the CCM® Exam” is the objective, that is not clear enough. Decide on what domains and information you need to focus on. Give the group a timeframe of when you want to have the studying complete.
Set guidelines. Assign each topic to a member. Focus on the group member’s strengths. Teach other what you have a firm grasp on and learn from others who know information better than you do. You may surprise yourself with how much you know!
Be prepared. Prior to the meeting, all members should commit to having assignments completed and material read. To ensure this, don’t take on too much material for one session.
Designate a moderator to stay on topic. Appoint a member each week to avoid getting off schedule. The group leader should contact each member prior to the next meeting with details and assignments.
Challenge each other. Ask members to explain their reasoning for their conclusion. The discussion will help you to retain the information.
Make it fun. Come up with games to break up the monotony. Jeopardy is one suggestion. Bring chips, dips, cookies, etc…!
Some of the same steps can be applied to a virtual study group. You will need to decide on a shared materials/collaboration space. Google Docs are a convenient option. Maybe it’s Skype or GoToMeeting to hold a study discussion. Google Groups and LinkedIn Groups are an easy way to set up online study groups.
Adding study groups to your preparation for the CCM® Exam may not only lead to better test scores but also the ability to grasp concepts and retain information to apply it in the real world.