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4. What's the Deadline?

Easy enough so far, right? Now assign a date to take each exam. I can already hear plenty of you whining that it's impossible to know how long it'll take you to prep for any exam. I've written reviews of plenty of exams here on InformIT that you can use as a barometer to gauge your own experience against the exam requirements. Do some math, and figure out when you can take each exam.

There—that wasn't so hard was it? Now, right now, you have to take your first step to actually reach this goal. Pick up the phone and schedule your first exam. Even if your deadline is three months away, pick up the phone and schedule the exam. This properly assigns a deadline to your goal. It's a good feeling, and it makes you focus on the requirement to get you to the deliverables.

5. When Will You Prepare?

Now that you've assigned a date to each exam and scheduled your first exam, it's time to create a plan to successfully reach that goal. Sure, you need to study, work with the product, and test out different facets of the exam objectives, but you first need to create a list of the activities you'll be doing to reach your goal.

I highly recommend daily activities—that's Sunday through Saturday—every day at a set time. Yep, it'll take away some time from something else—sleep, basketball, your favorite sitcom—but if it were easy, everyone would do it. Find or create a block of time each day that you can commit to your goal. This block of time doesn't have to be the same stretch of time either. For example, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays maybe you allot two hours of study time. On the other days, you allot three hours of lab time to actually tinker and work with the software.

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