Wesley Cash, Noria Corporation, March 22, 2022  |  Congratulations! You’ve completed your training, and now all that’s left to do is become certified by ICML. But when should you take the certification exam? While the decision is ultimately up to you and your schedule, sooner is almost always better in my experience as an instructor. Students tend to have the best command of the information during or right after they have been immersed in it for a 3-day training course.

Schedule Ahead

There will never be a better time than the present. At Noria, we hold public trainings across the United States, live online in our virtual classroom, and on-demand via pre-recorded courses. Each training method has its own strengths, but now that ICML offers online certification exams, this advice applies to every kind of training: apply before you train so that your test session is booked and ready to go within 10 days or so of your training. That may seem daunting if you’re not already confident with the material, but if you take a quality training and use a few study tools at your disposal, even students who are not so confident about passing have surprised themselves many times after a 3-day course. 

Don’t Miss the Career Opportunity

If you spend the time to get trained, taking the next step of adding those extra letters after your name can shift your career into a higher gear. The supply of skilled workers is short these days, so certified skills bring a sense of security for both you and your company. It’s all too common for someone to book a class, intend to take the test, and by the time they finally get around to it, they have lost the freshest memories from class demonstrations they saw and stories they heard—then eventually it’s time to either take the training again, or try to study by yourself (and no one likes that, trust me).

Study for a Day

At our public training events, there is a good reason that we always schedule a paper test session with ICML for students the very next day after the course ends. We do this because we’ve found that having the option to test immediately works best for most people. But if fear of failing keeps you from scheduling your test, try this: complete the training, gather your study materials, and spend a night with flash cards and a couple practice exams. You might be surprised how well you do even after a day, giving you time to book an online test quickly. Of course, I don’t take the test myself every year, but from the courses I’ve taught with Noria and the tests I’ve had ICML join us to proctor, I have found those who take the exam the day after the course have a higher rate of success as opposed to those who decide to wait and see.

Use Study Tools

If you’re reading this blog post and still weighing your options, I recommend going to ICML’s webpage, signing up for the exam, and then spending even just one additional day studying. This includes using the different tools available to you as a student. Ask your training provider for any study tools they may be able to offer, or use a resource like the Noria Academy app, which has over 300 flashcards and several mock tests that students can use to gain more confidence in the material.

Remember, you have been trained for this certification test. You know the material, and you have options to help you feel prepared. Taking the test as soon as possible only increases your chances of success.