Marie's Outlook

What the Numbers Say: 6 Steps that Lower Your Risk of Failing the IBLCE Exam

Want to know if you’re likely to pass the IBLCE exam? Take a look at this recent statistical report, from October 2016. A total of 4,005 people took the IBLCE exam. Of those, 2,604 people were taking it for the first time ever. Of them, about 28 percent failed the IBLCE exam.

Of the 190 people who were “repeaters”—that is, they had previously taken the exam but failed it and were now retesting–only 50% passed. In other words, 589 people who aspired to gain certification as an IBCLC in 2015 failed to meet their goal.

Pass_the_exam_next_time_1It doesn’t have to be this way. I have been teaching the Lactation Exam Review course since 2004 and added a Comprehensive Lactation Course to the schedule in 2009. Literally thousands of people have attended one or both of these courses. Admittedly, my team and I do lose track of a few people along the way, but to the best of our knowledge, about 98 or 99% of our course attendees have passed the exam on the first try. That’s a far lower rate of failure than for the general IBLCE-exam-taking population!

Maybe you feel hopeless or helpless about re-taking the exam. But we can help!

Here are 6 steps that help in gearing up to re-taking the exam, successfully!

Chill out.

For the first few days or weeks after you get your score, take some time off. If you’re an overachiever, the comprehensive IBLCE exam might be the first test you’ve ever failed. Follow the advice of University of Wisconsin Educational Psychology Professor Nadya Fouad PhD, who notes that for “people who have been successful in multiple venues in their life, sometimes it takes time to integrate” the poor test result.

Some experts say that failing brings about a sense of grief and loss. Others say, nurture yourself, and be kind to yourself. Experiences vary, but I agree with focusing on self-care.

Get fired up!

After you chill out, get fired up! Psyche yourself into licking this exam the next time! Find a way to view yourself as the victor—and why not see IBLCE as your opponent?

Last time the exam was given, the fee for first-time exam-takers was $699. Taken with fees for courses, materials, travel, and more, means you’ve probably spent around $2,000 (and that’s a conservative figure)—and, at this point, you still don’t have a credential.

It also means that the IBLCE took in something like a half-million dollars from you and others who failed, but awarded no credential to any of you. You lost your money. IBLCE “won” the money. If you don’t pass next time, they will “win” again! OK, so get fired up to win!

Learn how to study.

Most exam candidates just read and re-read what they’ve already read. Albert Einstein reportedly said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” So try a different tactic.

Research in the education field has shown that reading and re-reading doesn’t work—at all! Read my earlier blog posts about effective and ineffective study approaches.

Analyze what went wrong.

The IBLCE gives a computerized analysis of how you performed in certain disciplines, or chronological areas. When someone calls me for help, that’s the first thing I look at. It helps me to show them where they need to focus their study time.

Practice, practice, practice.

Research in the education field clearly shows the benefit of doing practice exams which mimic the real exam. We have practice exams that very much mimic the real thing. They also provide you with a computerized analysis of those disciplines and chronological areas, and you can re-use the practice exams over and over.

Get professional help.

If you had a toothache, a dead car, or legal woes, you’d get professional help, right? Why, then, wouldn’t you get help for failing an exam? The IBLCE exam might very well be the beginning—or the end—of something that affects you every day: your career! So why would you try to do this all by yourself?

Maybe you are among the 589 people who failed last year, or you don’t want to be among that number this year! Your next step is simple: CALL ME!  I am fully confident that I can help you turn your failure into a success.

Want to know more about how to ensure you pass the IBLCE exam? It’s a topic I’ve written a lot about; you’re sure to find some help in my postsBe sure to download my 8 Week (or Less) Lactation Exam Study Guide, and consider attending one of the free 5 Keys to Passing the IBLCE Exam webinars. We can help.

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