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Hi Travis - welcome to the public side of the list.  :)

In response to your, and several others' inquiries, here's my story ...

I did not take any workshops, did not have an ICRM mentor and these "packs" didn't exist when I took the exams.  What I did have was many years of hard work under my belt (more than was required of candidates, even back before the requirements were reduced), and, perhaps just as important, a knack for writing.

I took the practice tests and focused study in the areas I felt less comfortable with (microforms and forms management, to be specific).  I read the Robek book nearly word for word (since it covered the topics from a very traditional RM perspective).  I read parts of Saffady's book.  Then, I took the plunge.

I took parts 1-5 over the course of 2 days and passed them all the first go-around.  They were challenging, but not too much trouble.  When the next cycle rolled around, I sat for Part 6 and passed.  

As others have attested, the time constraints are the most sinister.  If you don't know your "RM stuff", you won't pass.  But even if you do, if you aren't a comfortable writer, you will struggle.

The testing mechanism is also part of the issue - no spell check, and no way to review your work as a whole (so you spend time going to previous screens to review for flow, etc.).  I assume these speed bumps still exist but am not sure, to be honest.

My best advice, especially if you are not a comfortable writer, is to do practice case studies (several of them).  Write a couple without timing first to hone your approach, vocabulary, transitions, etc.  Have someone "grade" them, at least for form, grammar and spelling if not content. Then, start putting time constraints on yourself to get comfortable with managing the clock.  Grade those too.

I promise the time you spend doing that will help.  As for reading books - read what you think you need, but in a lot of ways the exam is designed to evaluate professional experience *applying* the concepts you read about.  And as a sidebar - that is exactly why the reduction of candidate requirements doesn't bother me ... the exam rigor is the same and will still weed out those who are not ready, regardless of the number of years they've been at it.

Best of luck to all current and future CRM candidates!

Julie

Julie J. Colgan, CRM
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**All comments are my own**

Sent from my iPad

On Jul 20, 2012, at 2:22 PM, Traves Mccabe-ESC <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hello All,
> Let me first introduce myself, as I'm a long time lurker :-) Traves McCabe,
> Records Manager at Adams 12 Five Star Schools in Thornton, CO. Been in
> Records Management for 14yrs, Big Pharma for 11yrs, and Education the past
> 3yrs. I could not resist commenting and questioning on this post. I was
> recently accepted as a new CRM candidate, and joined with others in my
> Chapter for a study group. My hopes were that it would be easier to work as
> a group in gathering relevant information related to the ICRM handbook, to
> create study notes and sample question & answer cards. We chose to work on
> one part at a time, so we divided the work among us, overlapping the
> sections so we had notes for at least two of us per section. Even though I
> had tons of resources (most older), I found myself struggling to find
> information specific to the ICRM handbook's description of that section.
> For example: the IT Security section; I ended up pulling 90% from web
> sources. I found it very difficult to define that topic specific to
> records, without having the actual resources that may have been used to
> create the topic. I had a sense that my notes were too broad and I'd be
> studying needless information irrelevant to the test questions. After
> reconvening with my study group, others had the same issues as I did
> compiling their notes. Very discouraging..
> 
> My first question to the CRM Masters out there... Do you spend the $500 and
> take tests 1-5 in hopes of passing as many as you can? After all I did pass
> 2 of the practice exams with a 95, but that was only 20 questions. Then
> focusing on those I do not pass.
> 
> Despite the $$$$ cost, I'd feel better spending money on resources that I
> know are specific to the topics, not wasting time compiling what I think is
> the right information versus studying info from the source. I hope that my
> Chapter does purchase this for its members, although I'm seriously
> considering purchasing it on my own. Can I sell it to another CRM candidate
> when I'm done to recoup at least a portion of what I paid for it?
> 
> P.S. If these packs do indeed apply specifically to the ICRM outline as we
> hope, I have a strong feeling we'll see more CRMs! Thank You for any
> additional comments, suggestions, or thoughts.
> Sincerely,
> Traves McCabe
> Business Services - Records Manager
> Adams 12 Five Star Schools
> 720-972-4779
> http://www.adams12.org/myfivestar/records_management
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM, Tracy LaBenne <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> I'd be interested in hearing from folks that have earned their CRM
>> certification concerning ARMA's recently released study guide packs.  Seems
>> pretty pricey, but would be worth it if these are the appropriate
>> books/tools to study.
>> 
>> 
>> https://www.arma.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?WebKey=42266D29-1871-4086-BA03-7676A83E4865
>> 
>> Thanks -
>> 
>> Tracy LaBenne
>> Records Manager
>> Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
>> 400 White Oaks Boulevard
>> Bridgeport, WV 26330
>> O: 304-933-8321 F: 304-933-8183 C: 304-677-4279
>> 
>> [log in to unmask]
>> www.steptoe-johnson.com<http://www.Steptoe-Johnson.com>
>> 
>> [cid:[log in to unmask]]
>> 
>> 
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