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Police and Law Enforcement Home    >    Promotional Exam Resource Center    >    The Importance of a Study Partner

Promotional Exam Resource Center

Police and
Law Enforcement News


The Importance
of a Study Partner
Police and Law Enforcement News
Monday, January 14, 2013 8:03 a.m.


The vast majority of those studying for the upcoming sergeant's exam will not utilize a study partner. This is especially true in smaller agencies where promotion seekers don't want to chance giving their competition an edge.

This is a disastrous mistake.

The study partner is one of the best kept secrets for excelling on a promotional exam, even if you work in a smaller agency.

There are two keys to making the study partner strategy work: the person you choose as your partner and the study partner agreement.

Having a study partner is not about meeting once a week and chatting about various promotional exam topics while the two of you kill a plate of nachos and twelve-pack of Corona.

It is about honoring an agreement based on a highly organized, overall study strategy.

The agreement between two study partners is simple: I will do everything in my power to make you come number one, and you do the same for me.

Study partners will not hold back. They will share every strategy, tool, and resource with their partner. They will give everything they have and push their partner as hard as possible. They will stop at nothing to make their partner come out number one. And if both sides honor this, it is a win-win situation.

Now that you know what the agreement entails, it's time to choose your partner.

Don't just pick the guy with whom you share a fantasy football team. Who do you know or work with that would be willing to truly honor the study partner agreement? Who do you know that will be completely committed to this exam and will push you hard.

He or she doesn't have to be in your circle of friends, on your squad, or even on your department. Who do you know that is testing at the same time as you that will honor the study partner agreement as described above?

Once you have selected your study partner and are sure that both of you are on the same page, the two of you need to assemble a strategy. The strategy should include the agreement, a list of expectations from each of you, and a schedule for when you are going to meet and what is going to be discussed.

Every few days you and your study partner should exchange a ten-question quiz containing the hardest, but relevant, questions you both can construct. You can write the questions as you review your materials each week.

Every week, you and your study partner should exchange a 50-question test containing the hardest, but relevant, questions you can construct.

In your weekly meeting (weekly at the minimum), you should quiz each other on the specified subjects of the week. It is expected that there will be an oral component to this exam, so frame these questions in the form of an oral interview to begin sharpening your oratory skills.

What you will eventually learn is that the true benefit of the study partner technique comes not from the quizzes, tests and questions your study partner gives you: it comes from you preparing the quizzes, tests and questions for your study partner. The benefit comes from you having to learn a topic so well that you can teach it to someone else. Of course, having someone teach you a new topic area each week and push you helps too.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” This so perfectly sums up what a well-executed study partner agreement can accomplish.

Obviously, your entire existence cannot be devoted to the study partner relationship as you have to primarily focus on your own preparation. Having said that, you do have to make a serious commitment to each other and honor it.

Keep studying!







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