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Post Info TOPIC: How long should you study for the Sgt exam?
cat


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How long should you study for the Sgt exam?


Is it me or do some people go overboard? Some guys at my command have been studying for over a year! others are saying they need 10 months!

It seems like those who do well do about 6 months.  Honestly, I'd go nuts if I had to study for a full year. Also, from experience, those that study 10-15 months usually fail. They burn out way before exam time.

 

How about you? 1. How long did you study. 2. Knowing what you know now, how long should you have studied (what's ideal)?



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I studied 1.5 years for lt....started one hour a day for 5 days. Finished over 8 hours 7 days a week. Stop listening to others and do what works for you....are you prepared for the hardest test ever?? If you answer no...your not doing enough.

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I started the classes in March...just really attended and listened/followed along. I really started studying in June by going to the library and outlining every packet for a couple hours a day. As it got closer, increased study time. I def didn't study for 1.5 years and 8 hours a day like the guy above me....scored in the top 25% of the 2013 test



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Hello Cat person,

There is no simple answer to this.  I can only tell you what worked for me.  5 to 6 months of studying was more then enough for myself.  How much did I read each day?  Some days I read 2 or 3 hours, some days I read 30 minutes... I would even go days here or there without reading at all.  You can burn yourself out.  If your one of those people that can read something twice and can remember key facts you won't need as much time to study.  If your someone that struggles with reading comprehension and remembering facts then I suggest you start studying now.  It could be the difference between a 69 and 70.  Whatever class you take try to keep up with the lessons.  You won't have any trouble with that task with this much time to study.  I also recommend reading straight out of the patrol guide. I can't stress that enough.  RisingStar has created a patrol guide that is the same as the Departments but with enhancements.  Its something to consider.  Elite's guide is pretty good as well.  Also, I'm a big crammer.  The last month I do a skim read of the whole guide, reading things I believe they may go to.  I've been pretty good at that.   Again, this is just my advice.  You have to do what is best for you. This was best for me and it worked.  I passed 2 tests so far.   One last thing, take every schools in basket.  Pony up the money and do them unless you are an in basket guru. 



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zoozoo373 wrote:

I started the classes in March...just really attended and listened/followed along. I really started studying in June by going to the library and outlining every packet for a couple hours a day. As it got closer, increased study time. I def didn't study for 1.5 years and 8 hours a day like the guy above me....scored in the top 25% of the 2013 test


 This was for lt test....different exam and different level of competition....if you think a few months of studying will do for a competitive/hard lt exam...u may find ursekf falling short



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I would read the patrol guide from now. It is important to understand the language used in the guide as this is what DCAS uses.

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That has to be the stupidest question I've ever read. stop making excuses. 



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NightOwl wrote:

That has to be the stupidest question I've ever read. stop making excuses. 


Why is it stupid?  This guy clearly thinks a year and a half is an awfully long time to stay focused for a single exam. I agree with him. No matter how hard the exam might be, NO ONE should be studying for a year. As someone above posted, those who claim to be studying for months on end rarely pass.

 

For a Sgt's exam, six months of dedicated and smart studying will be sufficient. I strongly advise that your main study material be the actual Patrol Guide. Use the study guides of whatever school you choose as supplemental material to the PG.  Pick up the intensity and duration of your study sessions as you near the test date.

Although this is a bit off subject, but if you are one of those people who have test anxiety, definitely brush up on test taking techniques as the date nears.



-- Edited by 96Times6 on Sunday 3rd of January 2016 07:27:48 AM

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study with the key... 



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Lu515 wrote:

study with the key... 


Lol!!! The Key has been irrelevant for so many years now. Every other sgt is fuming at them because they told people to not study this, not study that, and it showed up on the exam! The Key is done. They do nothing to innovate and keep up with the times. Best bet is to study by yourself and cut the gimmick. Rising Star is the reason why I got my promotions.

I'm curious to see what their new Patrol Guide will look like. If it's anything like their questions they will clearly deliver the most bang for the $ 



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Two problems w rising star...1..u sure as hell better be self motivated to study. 2...the classes..yano got me some pts last test by just going to class..u won't get that w rising star...just mho

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Mike has energy, I just don't like his notes and tips. I think they point out the obvious. For example, in 203 where it says Chaplains and surgeons have the assimilated rank of inspector his notes says "chaplains and surgeons = simulated rank of inspector" His notes are full of that. I'm like really? You cant properly explain continuous events to me but you're pointing out inane stuff? That's why I'd like to see what this essential guide looks like. It has the potential to be a game changer.

Anyway, to each her own. Do what works for you is probably the best advice anyone can give you



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Myth: People forget material that they study too much.   This myth is patently absurd.  Reviewing material again and again never causes someone to forget something.  Need proof?  Think about this:  If you review your phone number or address over and over, do you think youll forget it? Of course not! This idea comes from the fact that test anxiety sometimes makes you forget material that you thought you knewbut which you didnt.  Suggestion:  Make sure you know the material well, before test day, and theres less chance of you freezing up on the test.



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eze


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NightOwl wrote:

Myth: People forget material that they study too much.   This myth is patently absurd.  Reviewing material again and again never causes someone to forget something.  Need proof?  Think about this:  If you review your phone number or address over and over, do you think youll forget it? Of course not! This idea comes from the fact that test anxiety sometimes makes you forget material that you thought you knewbut which you didnt.  Suggestion:  Make sure you know the material well, before test day, and theres less chance of you freezing up on the test.


 

To add to that: make sure you understand what you're reading and how test writers can get you!

 

For example, a relatively easy procedure, PG 202-14 Desk Officer, Step 43, states:

"43. Do not permit unauthorized person behind desk except the following persons when performing their official duties:

a. Members of the Service

 

b. Judicial Officers

 

c. Medical Examiner or assistant

 

d. Corporation Counsel or assistant

 

e. Comptroller or assistant

 

f. District Attorney or assistant"

 

Seem simple enough, right? But test after test they get people who memorized and studied because they didnt understand what they were studying. For example:

  

1. For "a. Members of the Service" the test writers could use obscure department titles like "Attorney for the Department Advocate" or "Department Accountant" or "Department Chemist" and students will mark it wrong because it's not familiar. We get excuses like "I thought they were trying to trick us because the only attorneys allowed behind the desk are DAs or Corporation Counsel." They didnt make the connection that these titles ARE members of the service! Right now this seems obvious, but come test day when you're sitting in your exam room it may not seem that obvious (until after the test)

 

2. In attempting to memorize procedures students miss key elements, like "when performing official duties"! The above list of people can't just come behind the desk anytime they want, they have to be performing an official duty.

 

How do you avoid these mistakes?

  

1. Take a 1-2 seconds to think about how a procedure will come up on a test, like the example above about "Members of the service". If you don't make the connection while studying you wont make the connection on test day, no matter how "obvious" it is.

 

2. Notice that Judicial Officers dont have "or assistant"

 

3. The remaining actors have "or assistants". Either memorize them or use acronyms or mnemonics to help you remember, such as:

2 CDs. or think of a Doctor for the CDC

 

2 CDs

 

Corp. Counsel

 

Doctor (Medical Examiner)

  

Comptroller

 

District Attorney

 

Or CDC Doc.

 

Doctor (Medical Examiner)

 

Comptroller

 

DA

 

Corp. Counsel

 



-- Edited by eze on Sunday 3rd of January 2016 03:05:07 PM



-- Edited by eze on Sunday 3rd of January 2016 03:12:25 PM

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i dont know about you all....but when they announced this test....i got depressed for the ppl studying. Everyone starts out so strong...you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE IN FOR COME MONTHS INTO THIS....i dont want to alarm anyone, but this is prob one of the worse periods of my life studying for these damn tests. EZE your question gave me chills just thinking about that crap again lol

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sgt2be wrote:

i dont know about you all....but when they announced this test....i got depressed for the ppl studying. Everyone starts out so strong...you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE IN FOR COME MONTHS INTO THIS....i dont want to alarm anyone, but this is prob one of the worse periods of my life studying for these damn tests. EZE your question gave me chills just thinking about that crap again lol


lol! Hopefully they helped.  



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FYI; the schools do their best to guide students in the right direction. As for a Sergeant test if you don't go to a class you will never understand and master an In-Basket. Don't listen to people who have failed; speak to the bosses in your command and ask for their advice and opinion.



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eze wrote:
sgt2be wrote:

i dont know about you all....but when they announced this test....i got depressed for the ppl studying. Everyone starts out so strong...you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE IN FOR COME MONTHS INTO THIS....i dont want to alarm anyone, but this is prob one of the worse periods of my life studying for these damn tests. EZE your question gave me chills just thinking about that crap again lol


lol! Hopefully they helped.  


 eze you have an amazing course. If you were to ever think about expanding it with classes even if taped may expand your profits further. Keep up the good work



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eze


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On Point Info wrote:

FYI; the schools do their best to guide students in the right direction. As for a Sergeant test if you don't go to a class you will never understand and master an In-Basket. Don't listen to people who have failed; speak to the bosses in your command and ask for their advice and opinion.


 I agree and disagree with you on this one. The in-basket can be intimidating for some, but the classroom is usually the worse place to learn the in basket since it forces you to go as fast as the class. Our in basket can be done on your own pace--which increases retention. We explain all the tips and tricks and are available 24x7 for support. In baskets are ideally taught one-on-one.

With that said, in baskets are generally the easiest part of the exam. Generations of test takers have made it out to be much harder than it really is 



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Eze,

The last in basket was something out of a horror movie.  It was the hardest part of the the LT test.  Also, for whatever reason many people still get tripped up even on easy inbasekts.  It should be easy if you learn the techniques and are familiar with Dept. paperwork.  But for some it just isn't that easy.



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Not 10 months    They will have 2 full cycle of sgt classes before october.  Wait untill april/may to think about it.  Read some of the Stuff people in the command will get or some stuff off of the intranet untill then.  



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bigfoot45 wrote:

Eze,

The last in basket was something out of a horror movie.  It was the hardest part of the the LT test.  Also, for whatever reason many people still get tripped up even on easy inbasekts.  It should be easy if you learn the techniques and are familiar with Dept. paperwork.  But for some it just isn't that easy.


It was hard, but it really shouldn't be. That's why we started covering the in basket a few years ago. Hopefully you had our Operations Order packet And misc items we sent out on week 20biggrin



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It's a memorization test. Read a few books on memorization and studying techniques before you do anything. If I ever study again it will be the 1st thing I do. The classes breeze over this but it's not enougb. I can't recommend any specific books but a little online research should be good enough. If you take a class and genuinely do your work and keep up with their curriculum you'll be fine. It sounds simple enough but it's a lot of work. What was said above is true. The questions come from the PG. Read the PG and use the notes as a supplement.

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Everyone is different.  I did 2 hours a day, nothing more nothing less, 6 days a week for 6 months.  Never opened the patrol guide.  I just read 'The Key's' notes over and over again.  Got an 85.



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A sgt exam can't be compared to this lt exam....if u think 2 hrs would do it...ur in for rude awakening w a test like last

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eze


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sgt2be wrote:

A sgt exam can't be compared to this lt exam....if u think 2 hrs would do it...ur in for rude awakening w a test like last


 Absolutely! This is what I keep telling people. Study as if you are going to see a difficult exam. If it is difficult, then you're covered; if it's easy, then you're also covered.  Either way you win.  



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I passed 2 exams with the key packets. Read them over and over again you will be a Sgt.

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Rising Star is definitely the way to go, especially with this last lieutenants exam. They were the only one who covered the Operations Orders. Also, on the past sgt exam they were the only school that covered the judgment scenarios.
They earned my business especially after this past lieutenant exam. Inspector Raganela was instrumental in helping formulate protests. He even went down to DCAS and walked them through the appeals, taking the time out to read and edit appeals--for those that needed it! lol
The problem with the schools is when they run out of time they start cutting corners. You cant speed up and you cant slow down. Study on your own time and that's 2 hours a week extra of studying instead of driving back and forth to class and waiting



-- Edited by jill72 on Sunday 3rd of January 2016 10:13:39 PM

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"just read the packets!" lol!!! yeah, ill be a sergeant if I just read the packets...eventually! maybe not this test, maybe not the next, but eventually I will!
Man, I wish it were that easy. I've tried that. fast track, key, elite, academy stuff....still here. still a PO man.


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I was top 200 names for the 2011 test and one of the elite 128 for the 15 Lt test by just studying key packets. Sorry OVERHALF some are just smarter than others. To all future Sgt. Don't waste your time on the patrol guide! I know so many bosses that just studied class material and never opened the patrol guide. Remember study smarter not harder. Reading the guide 6 times means nothing if you can't get an answer correct.

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Actually, that's how my partner and I passed the 2013 test. We just kept reviewing the Key packets over and over. However, we did go to the Key's In-basket portion of class to learn how to break down the in-basket and my partner did go to all the cram classes (Elite & the Key) so take it for what it's worth.

We did not touch the Patrol guide at all. However, I don't think this strategy will work for the next test since DCAS seems hell bent on making the tests harder and harder.

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sgt2be wrote:
eze wrote:
sgt2be wrote:

i dont know about you all....but when they announced this test....i got depressed for the ppl studying. Everyone starts out so strong...you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE IN FOR COME MONTHS INTO THIS....i dont want to alarm anyone, but this is prob one of the worse periods of my life studying for these damn tests. EZE your question gave me chills just thinking about that crap again lol


lol! Hopefully they helped.  


 eze you have an amazing course. If you were to ever think about expanding it with classes even if taped may expand your profits further. Keep up the good work


Thanks, Sgt2be. We are definitely headed that way. We do occasional pop-up classes around the middle of the course to make sure everyone is on track; we'll also do one for this exam sometime around May.

Good luck!

Ed



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eze


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You can't go wrong studying the Patrol Guide. The mistake I see is students reading it over and over again without taking the time out to see if they understand what they are reading.
Everyone is different; some can read the material once and "get it". I was fortunate to be one of those people. Others require more time and effort. You have to assess your own strengths and weaknesses in order to determine the best approach for YOU.
Our study system keeps this in mind. Even our new Essential Guide is designed that way--for example, even for acronyms, for many procedures we will give you a few so YOU can select what will work for you--what you will associate with that procedure (along with notes, tips, and tricks that we've learned and perfected throughout our years of taking exams and from preparing thousands of supervisors get promoted)
There is no one-size fits all. For those who need it we'll gladly assist you in designing a study plan.

Best of luck!

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If you have a life between now and Oct you are not studying hard enough

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cat


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Doing a quick survey at work from the young bosses who did well it seems that rising star is really the way to go. def. a must if you want to do well (or better than you would have done by going to class alone).


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one segment of the patrol guide id say definitely avoid and just read the packets.....Cims
it is practically written in another language lol, decent sized section and usually only 2-3 questions...the guides get you through the likely testable material and have been right on in the past

as for the rest of the guide, you should read through it at least once...get an idea for how the procedures are written...a big thing on some of the questions is the order of when things are supposed to happen in a procedure...which imo, the best way to get a handle on is by having read the procedure

best advice tho...practice questions practice questions practice questions...the sgts test has repeated a lot of questions over the past 3 exams...so you will very likely see almost exact replicas of prior year test questions so getting familiar is a huge help.

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GDASSCLUB wrote:

I was top 200 names for the 2011 test and one of the elite 128 for the 15 Lt test by just studying key packets. Sorry OVERHALF some are just smarter than others. To all future Sgt. Don't waste your time on the patrol guide! I know so many bosses that just studied class material and never opened the patrol guide. Remember study smarter not harder. Reading the guide 6 times means nothing if you can't get an answer correct.


I'm gonna add to this sentiment,  I passed 2 out of 2, including the fabled LT exam, by studying packets only. You still have to put a lot of time into memorizing though. Don't interpret this as "I can read these packets once and I'm good to go." I read every packet at least 5 times, some more like 10 times.



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couldn't DISAGREE with you guys more about the patrol guide..... I read and memorized the patrol guide. But and heres the big but....whos right? neither of us, its all about what works for you and that is the right answer

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cat wrote:

Doing a quick survey at work from the young bosses who did well it seems that rising star is really the way to go. def. a must if you want to do well (or better than you would have done by going to class alone).


 IMHO you def need to buy the rising star questions. Excellent practice. 



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Lt Exam Wars

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I agree with SuMadre Above It was indeed a Good Investment...Tough & Tricky Questions...

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Yano's Elite Guide is awesome but his questions are too easy and they are NOT written in the correct test format. The Key's questions are very good but their classes and packets now suck. They spent the last Lt exam prep class telling us students to "not read this" from many packets. It was a joke.

I say buy Elite, pay for rising star and try to exchange or go halfsies to get key questions



-- Edited by Su Madre 24 on Monday 4th of January 2016 04:49:49 PM

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Good Luck To All...winkimage.jpeg



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sgt2be wrote:

couldn't DISAGREE with you guys more about the patrol guide..... I read and memorized the patrol guide. But and heres the big but....whos right? neither of us, its all about what works for you and that is the right answer


I can understand why you would say that. You, however, studied for q8 months. That's how long it would take to learn directly from the patrol guide. I studied 6 months and my son was born halfway through, I wouldn't have had time to read that whole book. I guess that's the difference between the 10 extra points higher that you scored.



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Has anyone noticed that the only people posting on this f*cking 2016 Sgt Exam forum are Sgts?

They should rename this the EDP-free 2015 Lt Exam Forum

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What worked for me... I took Elite and went to the Key and the Academy for the important sections
I started reading the PG 1 hr a day right before they announced the test (about 2 months before) But I honestly dont think that help me... I was just lost. Once the test was announced I started studying 2 hrs at home and during my meal time. Once it got closer to the test I used to go to the library for as long as I could take it. During my RDO's I used to study for about 6 - 8 hours and when I had to work I used to study about 4 hrs a day plus whatever I was able to study at work (flash cards while doing CRV and stuff like that) I always read the PG first then the packets and I always read the section that Mike was going to teach before his class.

I also went to the Key for the most important sections plus the crams and in basket, plus the academy classes for those important sections.
I am not going to lie I was overwhelmed with all the packets I had... I didnt read all those packets because my main source was the PG then Mikes packets and his online questions. but I liked to answer the questions from those other packets weeks after I had read that section to see if how I was doing.

The next 10 months will be a challenge Just keep your eyes on the price and take it one week at a time.

Good Luck to all



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Questions. Questions. Questions. Questions.

Pick a class to attend. I don't want to say one is good and others are not. I failed multiple sergeant exams without attending a class before the 2013 exam. I attended The Key. I liked it. I did very well. I'm not going to say it's better or worse than the other classes because I didn't attend those.

Whichever class you choose, network with your friends who are going to the other classes and share the questions. You will start seeing patterns in what you are answering correctly and incorrectly when going over hundreds of questions for each PG section. These will guide you to what you should be focusing a bit more on.

The people who are "studying" a year and a half out aren't. They are reading a book that isn't meant to be read cover to cover. In my experience, I disagree with reading the book cover to cover. It is such a jumble of nonsense I felt it was so monotonous to read I found myself getting confused over simple procedures.

Follow the class schedule. Don't burn yourself out killing yourself 8 months before the exam.



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6 months everyday for an average of 4 hours per day. Read the PG in full at least once to understand the language used, use the study packets to come up with lists, acronyms, other tricks to remember things, and attend at least once class weekly consistently to give you proper structure in your efforts. Also a letter scrambler app on a smartphone can help come up with clever acronyms to the many lists throughout the PG. The Key packets, questions, and exam rewrites are good. Elite has the most resources in the LMS, stream lesson videos, online questions, and of course the Elite Guide. Rising Star has the most brutally difficult questions that prepare you the best in that if you are acing them, you are ready for anything. Not a fan of the RS notes though, but their questions are really the best.

You can cover the legal bureau bulletins the week of the test just studying judge Walsh's little red book- the Legal Guide that he usually releases every year. Its about 250 pages of actual interesting reading with memorable scenarios exam writers cannot stray too far from. The PG is completely boring and torture to read, Legal Guide is far more fun but you might only see like 2-3 questions from the LBB's.

As for Penal Law, just review the 7 index felonies, bribery, photographable offenses, fingerprintable offenses, family offenses, the crimes that appear throughout the PG that tend to get combined into both a PL and PG question.

Stuff worked for me passing multiple exams having a good showing on them being in the top 20% in all of those that took them.

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PatrolGuideismyBible wrote:

6 months everyday for an average of 4 hours per day. Read the PG in full at least once to understand the language used, use the study packets to come up with lists, acronyms, other tricks to remember things, and attend at least once class weekly consistently to give you proper structure in your efforts. Also a letter scrambler app on a smartphone can help come up with clever acronyms to the many lists throughout the PG. The Key packets, questions, and exam rewrites are good. Elite has the most resources in the LMS, stream lesson videos, online questions, and of course the Elite Guide. Rising Star has the most brutally difficult questions that prepare you the best in that if you are acing them, you are ready for anything. Not a fan of the RS notes though, but their questions are really the best.

You can cover the legal bureau bulletins the week of the test just studying judge Walsh's little red book- the Legal Guide that he usually releases every year. Its about 250 pages of actual interesting reading with memorable scenarios exam writers cannot stray too far from. The PG is completely boring and torture to read, Legal Guide is far more fun but you might only see like 2-3 questions from the LBB's.

As for Penal Law, just review the 7 index felonies, bribery, photographable offenses, fingerprintable offenses, family offenses, the crimes that appear throughout the PG that tend to get combined into both a PL and PG question.

Stuff worked for me passing multiple exams having a good showing on them being in the top 20% in all of those that took them.


 Patrolguideismybible, I'm glad you liked you the questions! I always tell students to study as if it's going to be a difficult and tricky test. If it is, they do well. If the test is right down the middle, they do even better--either way you're prepared.

As far as the notes go, we are redoing the entire Patrol Guide! It'll be ready for this Sergeant exam. Our version of the Patrol Guide is the "Essential Guide". It'll be the Patrol Guide, word-for-word, but:

1. With only the Sergeant duties.

2. It'll contain notes, acronyms, tips and tricks to help you retain the information.

3. Not so important steps will be faded--but you can still read it (for reference/context or just a once over).

The Essential Guide is easy to read and was designed with input from dozens of studiers. We field tested several versions to come up with this ideal format. We will have a sample Essential Guide section (PG 203 ) up shortly.

www.risingstarpromotion.com



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Veteran Member

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Posts: 44
Date:

I love all these guys negating others study techniques like there's only one way to study. The only thing you should be posting in this thread is what you yourself did to pass, and for everyone else to take it just as consideration. I definitely didn't study 4 hours+ a day...I definitely didn't study for 1.5 years....I didn't read the patrol guide at all....I outlined the key packets over and over for 5 months and Utilized the key app and got an 83....take it for what it's worth

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Senior Member

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Posts: 269
Date:

As long as you put the effort in and remain consistent you should be fine. Make sure you are retaining the material and are in the ballpark of your goals for the exam. Each student is different just make sure the method you are using works for you. A lot of good info was posted above.

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