View Full Version : Methods of Study

02-06-2012, 08:41 PM
Is anybody willing to share the methods they used to study the book? I'm trying to put together a study plan, and curious what others have done.

I'm using the resources you all have suggested so far (thank you!), just curious how you organized your studying.

I have eighteen weeks to cram this stuff into my head.

Did you purchase a study guide? Did you take a prep course? I'd like to give the test a shot once on my own and see how I do before I invest in the course (and hotel and food and travel...).

02-06-2012, 10:03 PM
I just read the most relevant chapters of the book. Much of it depends on how easily you absorb the technical details. For most things, you just need to have read the material and understood it.

There are some things which deserve further study. Make sure you completely understand exposure backwards and forwards. Equivalent exposure math is important. Make sure you understand lighting ratios figured both ways. The wording of the question is very important, and will test your understanding of the basic principle. Make sure you know the color wheel and basic color theory. And make sure you understand the digital aspects of modern photography (bit depths, color spaces, resolution, basic photoshop.) It's not really that hard, provided you have a command of the concepts and can apply them.

Take the practice tests in the companion website to the textbook. Note that not all of the answers are correct (at least they weren't 5 years ago when I got certified). But at least it directed you to the right section so you could find the relevant passage and determine the correct answer. So if you get one wrong and go back to the text and it seems like it should be right, it probably is.

02-06-2012, 10:07 PM
Robin, Mark says it very well. The process to learning and retaining material is completely different for each of us. What works for one may be entirely different for you. With that said, I would look the book through from cover to cover to get an overall sense of what each chapter contains. If there are any chapters that seem to be your weak area, I would read that chapter first. The book could be a lot better, but in the end, you should have read it completely through. The ability to apply the principles from the book into your photography skills is important. If you haven't ever used a old film camera, see if you can borrow one. With no film in the borrow camera, open the back and watch the operation of the shutter and aperture at different settings. This may help you understand exposure which is everything to what we do by recording light for our images. I came from the old film days and this was very helpful to know. If you study some every day until the exam, you should feel prepared.

02-06-2012, 10:19 PM
Thank you both! Sometimes I feel like I'm overthinking this whole thing, then I feel like I haven't a clue. I have to say, I am SO thankful to have joined PPA and started this whole process. I know it's going to be a major benefit to my career simply because I"m learning so much!

02-06-2012, 10:24 PM
I had a hard time reading the book and absorbing the material. I studied the flashcards, but found very few of those questions on the test. The version I took of the test had many questions about filters, color and a LOT of math.
Some of them I was able to use "real world" thinking, others I couldn't. I know i didn't study enough!

I agree about paying attention to the wording. Some of the questions felt like trick questions (even though I know they aren't!). Some questions require to to apply the best given answer, not what truly the best answer is.

I wish there was a really good study guide or book that gave practical assistance to the test. I don't want it to be easy by any means.

02-06-2012, 11:33 PM
Some questions require to to apply the best given answer, not what truly the best answer is.

As Amy has said - answer the best "text book" answer - not the best "real world" answer. There are about a half dozen on the test that can go either way - if you answer the best "real world" answer you'll get them marked wrong. I answered the best "real world" answer on those and got a 94 on the exam. Personally, I found the test to be easy, but then again, I've been in this business since 1979 and spent most of my time in the film days where everything was manual.