Here is some advice Travis; take it for what it is worth.

*Application & Supporting Documentation of Education and Experience:*

·         ICRM application to sit for the exams; fill out the application
with appropriate detail.

·         Official company job description.

·         College transcripts-even if you have not completed your
undergraduate degree (give the committee     plenty of reason to approve
your application.)

·         Detailed list/outline of specific responsibilities; timeframes,
dates, number of years, use similar      terminology as outlined in the
ICRM brochures. (Please see the ICRM Website)

·         HR position matrix-compares your position to other company
PROFESSIONAL positions; examples: accountancy, budget analysts, business
analysts & supervisors, HR professionals, other supervisors & managers,

DO NOT include how long you have been in ARMA, or that you have been a
leader of your chapter, or that you have served on ARMA Int. committees,
etc.  Get busy on this.  The mentor should  review these materials before
submission to the ICRM.  Send copies to the mentor, not the originals.

*Study Materials*

*ICRM study guide:*  Generally read the first part.  Go to the sample
questions for Parts I - V, and find the correct answers in the back.  Use a
highlighter to highlight the correct answers only in the sample questions
part; do not pay any attention to the wrong answers.  Do not bother with
Part VI yet.  Get a cassette or electronic recorder and find a quiet room
where you will not be disturbed for a couple of hours.  Record via voice
onto the cassette each of the sample multiple choice questions and the
correct answer.  Do this for each of the five parts.  Listen to this
cassette in your car on the way to and from work, and any other time you
may spend driving.  Especially if you go on a car trip of more than an hour.
Listen to this tape three  nights per week while visually following along
with the study guide.  For the month before you test listen to this
recording every night except the night before you test.  (More about this
in Testing)

*Information & Records Management Textbook* (Robek, Brown & Stephens)  This
may be your best source of information for Exams I - V.  Read and become
familiar with the terminology and definitions in that section.  Then read
one chapter per night.  Take a ten minute break every hour. Then go back
and highlight important passages and key concepts.  The next night
following the night you read a chapter, get on your workstation or laptop
at home and start a word document.  Referencing the text, in this word
document outline the chapter you read the previous night, capturing key
points and concepts.  Do not rewrite the whole chapter.   You should be
able to complete one chapter in two evenings.  Make a copy of your outline
(chapter by chapter) and send it to your mentor via e-mail or snail mail.  Send
the outline for each chapter to your mentor as you finish it.  Your mentor
should review it and send it back with any personal comments and RIM
opinions.  Of course, the mentor’s opinions are for the candidate’s
consideration only, and should not be taken as gospel for the whole of the
RIM knowledge base.  It is very important to get this done as soon as
possible, as these will be important study/review aids for you.

Return to the terminology/definitions section.  Create a word document
titled RIM Terminology & Definitions. In this document, enter all the terms
and their corresponding definitions.

*Imaging Textbook*:  Whitaker has very strong opinions about imaging, and
how this is usually not implemented in a manner consistent with intelligent
information management lifecycle concepts.  Nevertheless, there will be
questions on this subject. Read and study the terminology section.   Do the
same for this text as for the other.  Use your judgement on this; there may
be chapters in this text that simple reading and familiarization is
sufficient for our purposes.  I do not want you to waste time.

Return to the terminology/definitions section.  Enter all the terms and
their corresponding definitions  into your  word document titled RIM
Terminology & Definitions.

*Computer science*:  Find a relatively basic textbook on computer
science.  Perhaps
look in the local college or community/junior college bookstore.   Select a
textbook that is recent and includes the client-server environment; perhaps
a chapter on cloud services.  Hopefully it will include something on
EDMS.  Read
it.  Reread it once per month until you test.  Study the terminology.   Read
the terminology/definitions section and enter all the terms and their
corresponding definitions into your  word document titled RIM Terminology &

*Principles of Management: * Locate and purchase a textbook.*  *You will
need to know basic principles of management; theory and logic.  Read this
book and become familiar with theories X & Y.  Learn who Frederick Taylor
is and what he did.  Same for Charles Deming, and others.  Remember,
“Manager” is part of “Certified Records Manager.”

*ARMA RMQ, and other RIM publications*.  Read them.  Can be dry, but read
them anyway.

*Leveraging Attendance At The ARMA Annual Conference, ARMA Regional
Mid-Year Conferences, NIRMA Symposium, etc.*

Sign up for a couple of “preparing for the CRM exams” sessions.  Choose
other sessions based upon topics with session descriptions of which you
think you need more work.  ARMA’s annual conference is an excellent
opportunity for tutoring and review of your study materials.  Bring  your
study notes.  Ask your mentor, or another CRM to review each topic in your
outlines and discuss.  Be assertive in finding help in this review.  Review
the terminology and definitions. Team efforts are very effective on
projects.  *THIS IS A PROJECT !   *


*Parts I - V:*

The night before you test, do not review any of the sample questions.   Use
that night to review your terminology/definitions document.  Review this
document only one time.  Then relax.  Go to bed early.

Relax going into the testing.  Eat something for breakfast, even if it is
only cereal and/or fruit.  Take an aspirin; it will help you relax.  You
have plenty of time in each section. By this time you are ‘showing off’
what you know.   It is important to *WORK HARD* while you are taking the
tests.  Focus on the task at hand.  Visualize your success.  In each exam,
answer all the questions you know first.  Your “first instinct” for the
answer to a particular question is probably right.  Leave the questions
about which you are not sure and come back to them later. Use the process
of elimination for the tough ones.  If time is getting short and you still
have a few questions you have not answered, …guess.  It is multiple choice.
You will be so well prepared that you will not see too many for which you
do not know the answer.

*Part VI:*

*This is a completely different animal from exams I - V.  Ask your mentor
to locate some sample case studies.  There should be one in the back
of the Preparing
For The CRM Exam Guide.  Part VI should be considered  an excellent
opportunity to showcase your  experience, knowledge, and judgement.  *

* *

*Contact a local college or community/junior college that has an evening
program.  You should consider taking a business communications or business
writing type of class.  You do not need literature, etc. type of
class.  Business
writing, business communications, or something like that.   Perhaps you can
get in Bus. Communications I & II (2 classes) before you sit for Part VI.*

* *

*Part VI (case studies) is the exam where a lot of candidates freak.  They
should not.  Word processors/PCs are allowed now for Part VI, depending
upon the equipment at the testing center.  This is a big advantage because
you can be searching for and entering key points into your case study
document while you are reading the case.  Then you can go back and finish
developing your case in the exact manner as specified in the ACTION
REQUIRED section.*

* *

*When you sit for and write Part VI, you will have one 60-pointer that you
will have to write, and two 40-point cases from which you choose one.  You
will have four hours.  Do the 60-point case study first.  Leave yourself at
least an hour for the 40-point case study.  Choose the 40-point case study
that contains elements with which you are most familiar by knowledge or
experience. *

*My recommendation on writing a case study is to FIRST read the ACTION
REQUIRED section that is printed after the case.  The ACTION REQUIRED is
the most important part.  You must do exactly what is required in the
ACTION REQUIRED section.  Read and become familiar with the ACTION REQUIRED.
Then start your word processing case study document; enter the format
specified first.  Read the case and enter the key points from the case
presented.  Remember, you have already read and you understand the ACTION
REQUIRED.  All of your actions from this point on should be focused on
satisfying the specific instructions in the ACTION REQUIRED section.  Go
back and reference the ACTION REQUIRED section numerous times to ensure you
are writing what is required.*

* *

*One more thing which is very important, put on your “management hat” when
you go in to write the case studies.  As an example, an "analyst" may
devise an excellent technical solution for the case.  A professional RIM
Manager/Professional/Consultant will do the same, but will also respond to
the case from a management perspective; taking into account
budget/finances, safety, public relations, "corporate position", cultural &
societal norms, possible political factors, etc.  Write it as though you
are going to submit it to your Vice President. *

* *

*You can be ready for this.  You can do it!  It is just a matter of
following through, and being mentally and emotionally ready to WORK HARD
while writing the case studies.  You will have plenty of time; just make
sure you do not waste time.*

Best regards, Steve
Steven D. Whitaker, CRM

On Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 3:59 PM, Julie Colgan <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> 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
> [log in to unmask]
> **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
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > 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.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> 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]
> >><>
> >>
> >> [cid:[log in to unmask]]
> >>
> >>
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Best regards, Steve
Steven D. Whitaker, CRM

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