First-time candidates know they need to complete 90 hours of lactation-specific education to meet the IBLCE’s exam eligibility requirements. What they don’t know is how to “streamline” their study to meet the application deadline. Let me give a few tips and a few cautions.
You might be able to shave off a few hours if you’re a fast learner. But more importantly, don’t waste time. You could end up spending 120 hours or more if you don’t use your time wisely and streamline your study.
Get set up to study
So many people lose time trying to get their stuff together before they even sit down to study. I’ve given some tips on what to do before you submit your application.
Map your plan
Instead of sitting down and moving aimlessly, make a roadmap for yourself. Figure out how many days you have, then consider how long it will take you to move through the competencies and the disciplines (and subtopics).
Build in some days off.
You can comfortably do all that you need to do in order to meet the upcoming deadline. But you do need to step on the gas, not the brake!
Tackle the content
Just diving in and reading the words is okay, but not very efficient.
Focus on finishing
The IBLCE says you need to have acquired the 90 hours. They don’t say you need to have mastered the material!
Usually, there’s about 4-5 months from the application deadline until when you actually take the exam. Hence, you still have time to hunker down over the harder stuff.
If you’re taking my online 90-hour course, you must learn enough to answer the questions at the end of each unit. Those questions are much easier than the application-level items you’ll find on the IBLCE exam. But you won’t get credit for completing the course unless you can answer those end-of-unit questions correctly, so get going if you plan to streamline your study!
Speed up the audio or the video
When I calculate the number of minutes/hours it takes for people to complete the course, I assume they are listening to the audio or the video at regular speed. But that doesn’t mean you need to.
You can try listening at 1½ times the speed. If you do that with a 30-minute video, you could finish listening within 20 minutes, and streamline your study.
Read the objectives
I know, I know, people blow by the objectives. But as a very conscientious instructional designer, I am careful to match the objectives to the end-of-unit tests.
For example, if the objective says:
- review, that means I’m assuming you already more or less know the material (usually from your healthcare science course.)
- list, just be prepared to make a list; no details or in-depth description.
- relate, you need to work a little harder; that means you need to be prepared to see the relationship between one concept and another.
- compare, you’ll need to see the similarities and differences of two different things.
- formulate, you’ll need to come up with a course of action for something, usually clinical management.
So don’t overthink the lower-level objectives (e.g., list, identify, etc.) and slow down a bit for the moderate-level objectives (e.g., relate, compare, etc.) and definitely hunker down over the higher-level objectives (e.g., formulate, generate etc.)
Stop obsessing over how long it takes
IBLCE requires 90 hours of lactation-specific education. I use a scientifically-proven method for calculating the number of hours it will take for the reading, listening/viewing, and end-of-unit test items. Furthermore, for years, we have asked course attendees to record how long it takes them to complete the assignments.
Nearly all report 85-95 hours. There are some outliers.
There aren’t any real shortcuts to learning. Get organized with materials, content and study techniques, focus on the objectives, and keep your foot on the gas. Don’t fret about how long it will take. That just saps your energy!
How are you moving along in your 90 hours of lactation education? Have you found ways to streamline your studies? Tell me your tips in the comments below!