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
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
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
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.
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.
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.