At this time, it’s expected that the March/April IBLCE exam won’t be held. Earlier, I had some suggestions on how to study when you find out that your exam is postponed, and that’s all still true. But, with your “March” exam now being in September, are you worried that you’ll be forgetting information you’ve already learned? If so, here are some pointers.
Remember, this is common
It’s not just you. So, don’t beat yourself up too much.
Over the summer, it’s not uncommon for primary school students to lose retention of material they learned during the school year. I’ve heard it referred to as the Summer Slide, Summer Slip, or Learning Loss.
Obviously, you’re not a student in primary or high school. But as you’re preparing to take your IBLCE Exam, face the fact that you’re not exempt from the Summer Slip. Not by a long shot!
Studies show that students in higher levels lose more retention over the summer. In fact, on average, most students lose up to a month’s worth of learning over summer vacation.
How do you avoid forgetting information you’ve worked hard to remember?
Use a study guide
Keeping yourself on a schedule will help you keep using the material on a regular basis. While you may not need to study as hard as when you learned the content for the first time, adhering to a schedule helps to keep information fresh.
Use material daily
You may not have the same opportunities to study as you did before teleworking, distance learning, and stay at home orders went into effect. Just like in the workplace, it’s important to keep using the material you’re reviewing on a regular basis. Reviewing each day, even if it’s just for a few minutes, will help you to avoid or minimize forgetting information over time.
Do you have a study buddy? An accountability partner? I’ve explained why an accountability partner is important, and how to use that model to your advantage.
Having someone to chat with using terminology will help keep those words fresh. Terminology is one of the most critical aspects of passing the exam. If you don’t know what the term means, you certainly can’t answer an application-level question related to the term.
Flashcards can also help you to review material and terminology.
Master the material
Researchers at Nagoya University in Japan have found that mastering material by developing your own competence is more effective than comparing your own performance to others. By striving for mastery, you avoid forgetting information and having issues recalling information later on. (Otherwise stated, you’re comparing your yesterday’s performance to your today’s performance.)
If you are enrolled in my 95-hour lactation-specific course, there are plenty of quiz questions and other learning activities to use. Even if you complete the course by May 29, all of those materials will remain in your account for several months, so use them again. And again!
Take a review course and practice
If you haven’t already done so, now is a good time to take a review course. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, we have canceled long-running, globally-recognized live review course this summer. But you can still get my online Review course. The audio format is great if you’re on the go. But I’ve also provided a bound companion guide (hundreds of pages!) of outlines and notes.
Working on drills or practice exams will help identify weak areas and help you to guard against forgetting information. We’ve had excellent feedback from hundreds of Exam candidates and re-certificants who have used these in the past.
The bottom line on forgetting information
The best way to avoid forgetting information is to use it often. You may have heard “use it or lose it.” This is true! If you don’t use the information you are at risk for forgetting information.
How are you studying to avoid forgetting information you’ve learned? What techniques have you found to be helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below!