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Study Tips Help!

  1. May 3, 2007 #1
    Study Tips!!! Help!

    So I have two weeks left 'till I take an advanced certification test for my job! I need to cram big time. It's been years since I've been in school (even there I didn't really study) so my study skills have declined over the years. What tips and tricks do you use? Thanks!:biggrin:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2007 #2

    turbo

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    Organize your materials with the intent of covering the key knowledge and skills you need to demonstrate. Study at a time and place where you can be undisturbed and well-rested. I found it helpful to buy a pack of multi-color post-it type flags to mark pages. As I would go through a book, I would highlight important concepts and flag them at the top of the page by importance (red=critical, orange=important, yellow, green, etc, for instance). As I started reviewing the materials a second time, I would review the most important stuff first, and move the flags from the top to the side of the page. When I got through the first-pass review for all the colors, I would hit the key (hot) concepts again, and move the flag to the bottom of the page and see if I had enough time to review everything a third time.

    I studied opticianry this way and sat for the American Board of Opticianry exam after being out of school for more than 25 years (rusty study skills, indeed) and aced the test. This method may not suit your style, but I went into that test confident that I had methodically reviewed everything that I was likely to be tested on, and it worked. I went through the exam, took time to double-check my work, and passed in the exam while everybody else appeared to be slaving away on the test, or at least sweating over their answers to some of the questions.
     
  4. May 3, 2007 #3
    Great idea with the colored post-its! I'm taking the ABO Advanced exam in a few weeks! Thanks for the tips!!
     
  5. May 3, 2007 #4

    turbo

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    You're taking the ABO Advanced? What a hoot! After I signed on with a very large Ophthalmic practice as their network administrator, they asked if I would mind "helping out" in the optics lab when I had spare time. I told them "no problem", and I liked the work so much that I asked if I could sit for the basic ABO exam in November. I had only started work there in May, and had spent limited time in the lab, so the chief optician recommended to the partners of the practice that I get a year or two of experience in before they paid for me to sit for the exam. Two of the three partners over-ruled the other, and paid for me to sit for the the exam, and I beat the lead optician's ABO exam score by over 10 points. When I expressed interest in taking the exam, the optician that I was learning under was interested, too. He was a smart guy, but he had a hard time with mathematics, so I helped him out, and he posted a decent score, too. After that, all the dispensing opticians in the salesroom started studying and signing up so we wouldn't take their jobs (we didn't want them!)

    Few people appreciate the depth of knowledge necessary to become a good optician in an ophthalmic practice (as opposed to a "technician" at a big-box eyeglass outlet). A decent optician not only knows optics (how to handle basic corrections, astigmatism, wedge, reading correction, etc), but they've got to know the customer's physiology, occupation, hobbies, habits, aversion/preference for corrective lenses, and balance that with their fashion sense (if a pretty lady has a hefty correction for distance vision and also wants or needs a strong correction for reading, the surfacing curves will be awfully severe if you have to fit that correction in frames that are only 1"-1-1/2" from top to bottom). Also, some people are not tolerant at all to changes in base curve, so if they want to go from relative planar frames to something that wraps around a bit more, they can end up disoriented or even a bit nauseous. There's a lot to it, and sometimes it borders on art vs science.
     
  6. May 3, 2007 #5
    The basic test was fairly easy. I had the advantage of being in the industry for many years before hand. The advanced test is the real bear though! Once I get past that I write my research paper and I get to be an Certified Master Optician. Woo Hoo! Don't know what good it will do me but what the heck I have nothing else to do. This forum has been terrific for helping me understand some more complex optical and mathematical issues I was having.
     
  7. May 3, 2007 #6

    turbo

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    I hope my study tips are helpful to you. They helped me go into a test with confidence when so many of my co-workers and workers from competitive ophthalmic/optometrist's practices were very fearful of failing the exam. Once you have reviewed the materials several times and are comfortable with the concepts that you'll be tested on, you'll breeze through the exam and have plenty of time to re-check your answers before handing in the exam.
     
  8. Nov 13, 2007 #7
    turbo, I know this threads been ded for almost 6 months now, but I have a question. I've been wroking in an optical lab for about 9 years, been a manager for about 5 of those years. Everyone in my company says anyone with this much lab experience should be able to pass the basic exam no problem. so I'll be taking it next May when test time rolls around again. But when I look over the sample tests I've found around online, I find that I don't really know much when it scomes to the eye disorders. I'm fine witth the math, I know my lenses, I know the optics and the prism and vertex correcetion and all that stuff, but I'm wondering just how much on the test is related to the eye disorders, as opposed to the math, optical theory, adjustment tools and stuff. Also, what study tools would you suggest in order to get a firm grip on the stuff? At the moment, I'm just looking to pass the basic exam. The following year I'd like to go for the advanced certification, and then maybe the master after that. I don't know what all is involved more in the advanced compared to the basic exam, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I've scoured the net looking for resources on what to be prepared for when exam time comes, and I've landed here. So any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thx,
    Alvin
     
  9. Nov 13, 2007 #8

    turbo

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    From the ABO site:
    http://www.abo-ncle.org/cert_exam.html
    This description of the test squares pretty well with what I remember of it. They are testing you on the basics of opticianry, not on your understanding of eye disorders. I got a lot of experience dealing with eye disorders in a short time because I worked for an ophthalmic practice and we got a lot of patients referred to us by optometrists, who certainly can detect and recognize eye disorders, but are not qualified to treat them. Remember that many of the people who are taking this test with you are not working in a medical environment - many are assembling and dispensing eyeglasses in a retail environment. They have to know how to measure asymmetries in their clients' faces and how to assemble and fit the glasses such that the correction prescribed by the optometrist or ophthalmologist is properly applied. They need not have an understanding of the clients' eye disorders, as long as they can properly interpret and apply the prescribed correction. Concentrate on those skills, and you'll do fine.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Nov 13, 2007 #9
    THX! I figured as much. Maybe some of the tests I came across were for the advanced certification. I found that someone in my compnay put together some study materials for the test, and they did have some eye disorder and eye anatomy question in there. Who knows. Anyway, I trust you and the abo website, and I'll hone my skills in those areas then. Thx a lot.
    Alvin
     
  11. Nov 13, 2007 #10

    turbo

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    It's a really good idea to understand the anatomy of the eye and how it works because physiology has a direct impact on the need for correction. I studied that, but I don't recall being questioned on it. Like the ABO site says, they want to know if you can interpret prescriptions (so you can get the lenses surfaced properly), operate the lab instruments and fit the glasses to the patient.

    Maybe someone who has taken the ABO exam more recently can chime in about physiology/anatomy questions.
     
  12. Nov 13, 2007 #11
    I plan on studying the names of the eye disorders, particularly those that directly relate to optics (presbyopia and such.) But I was looking at the advanced certification test info, and even there it doesn't seem to have a need for the knowledge. It seems like the advanced certification has all the basic stuff, and then business management tactics. I already have practical application knowledge of all the business related end of things, and the opthalmic equipment know how due to me being a lab manager for the past few years. So now it seems I have to wait until next year to take the basic exam. It'd be nice to be able to just skip right to the advanced, but oh well. I can wait for that too I suppose. Ugh. And the I get to write a thesis three years down the road if I want to go for Master Optician.
    Anyway, thanks again for your input,
    Al
    Al
     
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