Your success in the chartership exams is the result of many factors, the most important of which is your knowledge of course. There are still however so many other things you need to fine tune before that crucial day, in order to get that desired ‘Pass’ result.
If you haven’t joined one already, it might be a good idea to do so straight away. They are a place to communicate with others about the areas that you are weak, ask experienced licentiate members questions or even offer your help to others with less knowledge.
To find out if there’s a study group in your area, talkinglandscape.org is a good place to start. It’s part of the Landscape Institute’s members network, giving you the opportunity to link with other members on the Pathway. There are also very useful resources available after registration that will definitely help you in your preparation.
Make sure you get there in time! There’s nothing worse that getting started with apologies about being late. Other than this, there’s a risk that you might not even get accepted for the day’s exam if you are really late, because the examiners are working on a timed schedule, allowing specific time for each candidate (approximately 45 minutes) as well as some time to make some notes after having seen the candidate.
Before getting to the exam centre allocated for you, an email from the Landscape Institute’s examinations manager will be sent out giving you all instructions of appropriate arrival time and directions to the location of the exam centre (it’s either London or Manchester). If you’re not familiar with the city you’ve selected or have been placed elsewhere if the positions for that exam centre have been filled, it’s very important to check on travelling times and distances from your location using online services like Google maps.
It’s not everything but it sure helps to create a positive impression when you meet someone for the first time. Dress in a professional manner without going over the top however. Smart casual is a safe way to go, it’s unlikely that wearing a tie is going to improve your chances of passing, but similarly wearing yesterday’s t-shirt will not impress the examiners either.
The examiners are there to help you prove to them that you ready to become Chartered, so don’t make it more difficult for yourself by stressing more than you need to. This obviously comes down to how well prepared you are, in order to keep the conversation flow going and provide confident answers to either long or short answers.
QUALITY OF ANSWERS
What the examiners want to see, is your understanding of the syllabus on your everyday working life and how you’ve managed to associate the projects you’ve been working on with sections of the syllabus.
Short and right to the point answers is more valuable to them, than using your time to fill up the 45′ mumbling in general. The examiners need to tick lots of boxes in questions across the syllabus in a relatively short amount of time and every second counts. Try to show that you own the answer and that it’s the result of practical experience (where applicable).
There will obviously be a point where due to lack of everyday working experience, you’ll have to provide a simple textbook answer. That’s still acceptable, as it tells the examiners that you at least are aware of that subject and you know how to address it if you ever come across it.