I thought long and hard about how best to title this entry, it being the final one in my CICP road diary experiment. I wondered, “how best can I extend the audience’s breathless suspense, with which I’m sure everyone will read this entry?”
The answer, of course, is to make you all wait till the end to see whether I actually passed. Of course, with the advent of computer scrolling technology, you could just poke your head down there to find out what you want to know, but that wouldn’t be very sporting of you, would it?
In any case, I took the test last Friday, submitting it around 7pm, with maybe 30 seconds to spare. When they say it takes 4 hours and 15 minutes, they’re not fooling around. It might take you less time, and if that’s the case, then you probably lack the neurotic attention to detail that has been both the blessing and curse of my personality for the last 26 years, and I envy you. Really, I probably took the test twice, going through it once, then through it again (albeit at a quicker pace) to make sure everything had an answer, and a correct answer at that.
One thing that I anticipated going into the test (something that seems silly looking back) was that the multiple choice questions and the short answer questions would be separate. I expected to have to plow through 100 multiple choice questions before ever even encountering a comment box. Alas, the essays are interspersed throughout the test, in the order the material was presented, which was helpful in some ways and challenging in others. Once you get in a groove answering multiple choice questions, you might want to stay in that groove, so to have to start thinking more critically, and to be forced to answer a question using your own words, rather than just A, B, C, and D, can present something of a hurdle, one that could throw you off and cost you precious seconds.
So, rather than adjust to this new format of sporadic short answer questions, I went through, answering all the multiple choice ones first then working back through the essays. It just felt more comfortable that way, and you can go back and forth in the test, skipping questions that you don’t know in order to come back to them later, so I figured that would be best, rather than changing my approach on the fly.
Studying the post-tests was definitely the most helpful portion of my review regime. Some of the questions are similar, and even if they aren’t, they all are similar in format, organization and subject depth, so it prepares you for how the questions themselves will be phrased, which is helpful.
Having taken the test on a Friday, I figured I would go home, try not to think about it for the weekend, and then check my score when I got in on Monday. My curiosity got the better of me though, and on Saturday afternoon I logged into my work email account to see if anything had arrived. I honestly didn’t expect an answer, but, sure enough, Professor Paul Beretz had already sent me my results (which are only pass/fail; they don’t give you the actual percentages or anything).
In any case, I passed. I’m officially a CICP.
Since I’ve reached the end of this particular road, this entry will mark the end of my road diary efforts, and I hope it’s provided any prospective students with some hints about what they’re getting into, and what the course actually entails. If nothing else, I hope it’s at least been entertaining. I’ve enjoyed writing it, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. Special thanks too to Paul and the FCIB gang, without whom the course, and this diary, would not have been able to exist.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be at my desk, using a pen to crudely scribble “CICP” onto every single one of my business cards.
Till next time,
~Jacob Barron, CICP