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Top 7 Certification Study Tips

Register now for the Editors Canada certification tests. Have you registered, but don't know how to begin studying? Are you holding back from registering because you're unsure how to prepare for the tests?


1. Practice makes perfect.

The practice tests in the Certification Study Guides will help you gauge your strengths (and improvement areas) and become familiar with the test structure.

"I found the practice tests to be my best resource. Success in the tests requires basic test-taking skills, such as analyzing a question and understanding what it's really asking for, using your time wisely, and maintaining your focus over the duration of the test. The practice tests give you a good sense of what the real tests will be like."
 – Jeanne McKane, CPE


2. Evaluate yourself rigorously.

Once you've written the practice tests, it's time to put your marker's hat on. Be objective! Evaluate yourself with a critical eye, and as a test marker would.

"If someone skimps on rigorous marking of their own test, they won't get a true sense of their skills and the areas they need to bone up on before the real thing."
– Lana Okerlund, Certified Copy Editor and Proofreader

"By taking the practice tests and then marking them rigorously, I learned what areas I wasn't so good at (even though I thought I was). When I worked on those areas, my scores improved."
 – Anne Brennan, CPE


3. Get back to basics.

With today's technology, it's easy to rely on electronic editing tools. But remember these tests are handwritten. It's a great opportunity to get back to basics and brush up on traditional editing skills.

 "The tests are handwritten, using standard markup, with no Internet or electronic tools. Don't let any of that get in the way on test day."
– Tilman Lewis, CPE


4. Get up to speed.

There's a lot to do in three hours—you're on a tight timeline. Don't run out of time; practise your speed as well as accuracy.

"After I did the practice test, I started editing every document that came my way as fast as I could, to get my speed up."
– Anne Brennan, CPE


5. Have the answers at your fingertips.

Styles guides and other resources are invaluable aids, and a selection of these types of books can be used during the "open book" certification tests. Learn where to find the information you need, so you can locate it quickly at test time.

"Since you have to move through the test fairly rapidly to finish on time and check your work, being able to access help from your resources quickly can make the difference between passing and failing."
– Lana Okerlund, Certified Copy Editor and Proofreader

"I skimmed the first chapter of Chicago, Editing Canadian English, the Canadian Style and the Canadian Press Stylebook before every test. This gave me confidence that I could find information I needed in a hurry during the tests."
– Anne Brennan, CPE


6. Get out of your comfort zone.

The certification tests assess your skills in different publishing areas than you may be used to. Embrace the challenge. Become familiar with new genres.

"Go out of your way to practise on unfamiliar genres, and visit those unthumbed sections of your reference library."
– Tilman Lewis, CPE


 Meeting Professional Editorial Standards

7. Let the Editors' Association of Canada help you succeed.

The association has a wealth of resources available, including study guides, Meeting Professional Editorial Standards and professional development workshops. Take advantage of all of the association's tools to help you succeed!

"I used every resource offered by EAC. They told me what sort of approach the tests would take, and what the markers would look for. Becoming familiar with the form and style a test might take is an important test-taking skill."
– Anne Brennan, CPE