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I recently sat for and passed the Relativity Certified Administrator exam. Getting the exam results was a huge relief, as you can imagine. I attribute the results to my general working knowledge of Relativity and method of attack when studying for the exam. While everyone has their own study preferences, I’m sharing the steps I took to help prepare for the exam in the event they can help with your progress.
- Make Time: This is probably the hardest thing to do, especially when your workload gets full. I made a point of setting a one hour calendar item every day to keep me focused. Some days I didn’t get to study at all, while others I was be able to devote more time. Do this as soon as you register for the exam because time will get away from you.
- Download the RCA Study Materials and Access the Test Environment: Start out easy. Download all of the study materials and hands on data. Print them out if having a hard copy helps the study process. Set up your RCA prep environment credentials and appropriately configure your RDC.
- Review the RCA Exam Study Materials: The Exam Study Materials will start to get your mind in prep mode. It walks through Relativity’s recommended study plan, has some quiz-type questions, tips on navigating RDC errors and permissions, and all four Hands-on Projects.
- Work through the RCA Exam Workbook:
- Complete all of the Exam Workbook tasks. The exact tasks are not per se on the exam, but it will help to build your knowledge of what to expect on exam day.
- Read through all of the Special Considerations, highlighting any items that you didn’t know off the top of your head. Flag all of the Special Considerations sections so you can easily navigate to them when studying.
- Answer all of the Knowledge Check questions cold. Track which questions you answered incorrectly. Did you see a trend on what you missed? If so, those items should be topics of more focused study.
- Work through the Hands On Cases:
- Try to complete each Hands-on Project with as little assistance as possible. The tasks completed in the Exam Workbook should have served as the building blocks for the Hands-on Projects.
- After going through each of the Hands-on Projects, complete each one again, trying to go from memory as much as possible.
- Once you feel comfortable with the Hands-on Projects, chart out all necessary steps (by task or in functionality order) to help prep for the day. This step helped me organize all of my thoughts so that when exam day came I was able to work through the project largely from muscle memory, even with exam day nerves.
- Attend the RCA Q&A Webinars:
- Relativity offers Live and Recorded RCA Q&A Webinars. Sign up for as many as you can attend and observe all of the recorded sessions. This is honestly one of the most effective things I did to prepare for the exam. Listen to them with a word document prepped for notes. The Q&As have the same format every time: (1) General info on the exam, (2) Demo of a specific task, and (3) Open time for Questions and Answers. I had a template prepared to quickly get started on my notes. Be aware that the recorded demos start right at the demo, skipping the general exam information.
- Come with questions for the live sessions. I sat in on a few where only a handful of questions were asked, so it was truly a missed opportunity. However, note that there is a limit as to what the Certification team member can answer in order to be fair with the exam process (i.e., detailed required permissions related to a task will not be provided).
- If you want to be particularly thorough, integrate the notes from the Q&A session into your Hands-on task chart (mentioned above), to ensure you are consolidating all study materials.
- Share your notes with other team members registered for the RCA.
- Review other Recommended Documentation: The study materials includes hyperlinks to other recommended documentation. Be sure to review those, especially on topics that you know are weaker areas of Relativity for you.
- Re-review the RCA Workbook Special Considerations and Knowledge Check Questions: During your free time, re-review the Special Considerations and Knowledge Check questions. After my first run of going through the Knowledge Checks, I wrote the answers next to the questions to make my study process more efficient.
- Flashcards: At one point very early on, I started making hand-written flashcards. However, I found this to be too time consuming. I do think flashcards are an excellent method of studying and it is something that can be shared with colleagues. I would use the same methodology as marking up the study materials: focus on items that look like perfect exam fodder. There are also third party applications that provide flashcards for the exam. I ultimately preferred reviewing the materials myself and determining what I thought would be best for me to focus on, so did not use handmade or third-party flashcards.
- Reach out to colleagues: What do you do if there is a Hands-on task that you simply can’t work through? I reached out to a colleague who had a strong familiarity with the knowledge I lacked and set up an internal training session. I let him know my thought process and where I kept running into problems and he then walked me through how to do it. I made sure to take notes and integrated them into my task list.
- Online Quiz: Don’t forget to leverage the RCA online quiz to see if there are any topics that require further attention.
- Reach out to the Certification team: Relativity’s Certification team is also available if you have any questions. This isn’t something I leveraged, but a colleague of mine did when she was preparing for the exam. This resource is likely limited in the same way as very specific questions during Q&A Webinar sessions, in that there may be a limitation on what can be answered.
- The week prior: Re-review all of the highlighted Special Considerations, Supplemental Review Materials, and Knowledge Check questions. Either re-execute all of the Hands-on tasks or review the prepared tasks lists and the Q&A Webinar notes.
- The day of: Get a good night’s sleep, a good breakfast, and drink plenty of water.
Good luck on exam day!