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Boost Your Success: Options to Study for the IBCLC Exam

Woman sitting on bench considering options to study for IBLCE exam.

For some, preparing for the IBCLC® exam might appear to be an easy task (it’s not!) For others, others it can seem like a really daunting feat, especially when there are so many options to study. You’ve learned a lot of material when completing your 95 hours of lactation specific education.

BUT, that doesn’t mean you learned the right material. Or remembered any material.

Nevertheless, thousands of others have faced that exam and passed. You can, too. You need a plan to prepare. You have some options to study, and today I’ll walk you through those choices.

Comprehensive structured review course

If you’re an avid follower, you know that I’m a proponent of a comprehensive 95-hour course. It just makes sense. A comprehensive course is a must when you face a comprehensive, career-critical exam. You need a curriculum designed by someone who has actually taken the exam.

The same is true for reviewing. In my opinion, your best option is to choose a course that is carefully structured around the IBLCE’s Detailed Content Outline.

In my Online Lactation Exam Review I’ve organized tons of materials you’ll need to review so you don’t have to spend time digging up information.

It’s a mixed media course, so you don’t go cross-eyed reading long pages of text. Many people have told me how much they enjoy the 5-6 minute audiocasts because they can fit them into the few non-chaotic moments they have to study. Others say how they multi-task while they listen to audiocasts!

I give plenty of written notes. Not a true transcript; just some notes. And more links to more resources that you would have thought to look for yourself.

I offer several packages in my Online Lactation Exam Review so there is one for every situation and budget.

Drills to test your knowledge

You want to pass the exam on the first try! One of the best options to study and test your knowledge is drill questions. Drills are broken down by discipline, which allows you to see areas of weakness.

These are laid out in fairly short sets; 25 or so in each set. I recommend allowing yourself a maximum of 45 seconds for each question in the set. So that’s about 18 minutes per set.

Okay, the IBLCE gives you more than 45 minutes per question. But trust me, my drill questions are easier than the “real” exam questions. However, they give you a great foundation.

Later, you can push yourself on the harder questions in my practice exams.

Practice exams

Practice makes perfect! Practice exams help you get a feel for what exam questions might be like.

My practice exams are about as close to the real thing as you’re ever going to find. Just like the real IBCLC exam, my Practice Exams:

  • have a total of 175 items (questions)
  • are written at the application level
  • contain photos
  • cover all 7 major disciplines
  • cover all of the 11 chronological periods
  • give you a written report that clearly identifies the disciplines where you were strong, or weak.

Unlike the real exam, you can re-use them many times as options to study. You can even scramble the order.

As the exam date approaches, they’ll help build your confidence so you walk in ready to pass on the first try! Buy the individual practice exams, or packages with multiple exams. (That’s 525 total!)

Focus on the photos

Photos make up a large chunk of the exam. Last time, about half of my exam included photos. The time before, I got a LOT more than that. Take this seriously.

People who don’t do well with the text-only test items usually do even worse with the photo-based items. Get my free advice from my post on photo recognition.

My Guide to Decoding Lactation Photos course will help you to work with visual information. In addition to being a great option to study for the IBCLC exam, you’re able to earn CERPs/contact hours after passing the exam. It’s a great value and a solid tool!

“I received my score a few days ago and wanted to let you know that I got 91%. I credit your materials … for making this possible.

Though I found all your material helpful, the Picture Perfect workbook [Guide to Decoding Lactation Photos] was tremendous. I feel that working through that alongside The Atlas really helped me extract so much more knowledge than I would have gotten just studying The Atlas alone. I began reaping the benefits even before the exam, as I worked with moms.

Thank you all, again, for the amazing support and quality exam prep materials.”

-Amy H., Harrisonville, Missouri

You’ve spent months, maybe years, completing your lactation education hours. Take the time and effort to prepare for the exam so that you can pass on your first try! Walk into the exam with confidence and arm yourself with the right tools!

What options to study are most appealing to you? Have you started studying yet? Tell me in the comments below!

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