CPLP Journey – Taking the PreTest

If you missed my previous post about starting my CPLP journey, you can go back and see it here.

This post is about step 2 in the process: Taking the pre-test. For those of you not up on basic instructional design, the pre-test/post-test is a classic Level 2 measurement on Kirkpatrick’s Evaluation model. (Yes, this content is on the test!) It is a way of determining what the members of the class know about the topic before it is taught. It provides a great way to evaluate the effectiveness of the learning intervention with regard to knowledge transfer.

So what does that mean? I think it means that you’re supposed to do badly on the pre-test. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Are you ready for my score? After 19 years in the field of Workplace Learning including a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development…..I got a 70%.    Really.    10 points below minimum passing level. Pretty bad, huh?

I could definitely make some excuses here.

Excuse #1 – Testing Environment:

I did not take the test in the most optimal testing environment. My kids were watching a movie. My daughter interrupted me no less than 6 times during the test with questions. My kids had 2 arguments. My dog stood below my chair and did his “I’m Starving to Death” moan/growl. Yes, I could definitely use the excuse of a very distracting testing environment.

Excuse #2 – The Test Itself:

Can I blame the pre-test? It’s in a multiple choice format, which is my least favorite test format. I always do poorly on multiple choice tests. Luckily the graduate program I chose had mostly essay, group papers, presentations, or work projects for grades. Whenever I have to take multiple choice tests I find that I have to study four times as much. (Hmmmm.  I guess this means that I’ll have to study 4 times as much!) Also, a lot of the test was about naming steps in a model. Not one of my strong suits.

Excuse #3 – My Education:

Perhaps my low score is the fault of my education. I received my graduate degree from an internationally recognized HRD program. However, things have changed since the 90’s. There were models on the test that I could not recall ever reading about. Maybe they are models that are more recently adopted. Also, there were Areas of Expertise on the test that I simply did not focus on in graduate school. Maybe this means that I’ve let my education get out of date….  Hmmmmm. I don’t think I can blame my education – it was very thorough.

Excuse #4 – My Age

Even though I received a low score on the test, I do remember my psychology of the adult learner. As we grow older (which I am), recall becomes more difficult for us. In addition, we have begun to lose the test taking skills that we learned in school. These and a few other factors tend to make tests like these more difficult as we age. Does this mean I can blame my age and the length of time since I’ve been to school for the low score on the test?

My Conclusion:

After thinking through all of the possible excuses for my bad score, I’ve come to a conclusion. The pre-test is an excellent exercise. Taking the test let me see that I have a lot of studying to do. It also gave me a good idea on how the test questions will be written, and I think that will affect the way I study. I’m glad I took it and I’m even glad that I didn’t come close to passing. Now I’ll study that much harder.

If you are going to take the CPLP and you haven’t taken a pre-test – Do It! It will really help guide you on your complete study strategy.

3 Responses to “CPLP Journey – Taking the PreTest”
  1. M.D. Stone says:

    I passed the exam and spent hours putting together my work product…only to have it rejected with a score of 5. Anyone else in the profession disappointed by the work product review?

  2. vickisandona says:

    Hi Leighanne,

    I’m researching the CPLP certification and stumbled upon your blog on the topic. I’m curious to know how the journey turned out. Hoping you’ll do a follow up blog post!

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