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Thread: Study habits

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    Senior Member raustin0017's Avatar
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    Study habits

    So you missed the last promotion by a few points. How are you going to attack the next opportunity? When do you start studying? Do you have good or bad study habits?

    I did not make SSgt until 9 yrs TIS due to non-existence study habits. Yes, I opened the books a few days before the test but never really studied the material. When I got serious about scoring as high as I could I changed my approach. Example: TSgt to MSgt; (made it 1st time up) I took two weeks leave before my test date. Did nothing but read for 10-12 hrs each day, every day. No distractions, no TV, I left the house twice to go to Shoppette for Red Bull and Long Cut. Day before I tested....played golf. Test day...answers were jumping off the page at me. Absolutely knew I left it all on the table. MSgt to SMSgt; took three weeks leave...repeated the above process. Same for CMSgt.

    What? Burn up two/three weeks leave to make rank? Was it worth it? Yes...without a doubt. Was it a pain in the @ss? Yes...without a doubt.

    For those SSgts and TSgts out there who missed the mark: How many quality hours of studying did you really apply yourself without distractions?

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    Re: Study habits

    First time testing missed Staff by like 17. I started studying late with like 2 months to go (I was in school as well). I had issues with concentration after like a hour of hitting the books hard I was zoned out day dreaming of...whatever young straight males dream about. I took like a a day of leave. No tv but was on my desktop and the allure of Facebook was there I'd take breaks to check shit out, get into convo's and an hr would fly past. Not good. Quality hrs def that one hr and maybe a lil change after that but I was never a strong study/student/test taker my GPA has always been well...yeah.

    2nd time testing I started studying 5 months out and was NOT taking classes...I figured "Fuck that I learned my lesson". I took like 3 days of leave before but had a young kid at home which made things tougher. Wife was still recovering from delivering her. Other then that energy shots and really focusing helped me...I made it by like 3 points next time (Though I scored lower then the first time, fuq?).
    Formerly Enigmatic Airman...

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    Senior Member 20+Years's Avatar
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    Re: Study habits

    I suck. Study once or twice before a month out. 2 or three times a week within the month. Every day the week before for an hour or two. Score between 65-69 on the PDG every damn time my whole career. If I could buckle down... who knows what I could do?
    Advice from JD2780:

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    Senior Member raustin0017's Avatar
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    Re: Study habits

    Quote Originally Posted by GodFather View Post
    Man, before 20 you were kinda a dirtbag...in a nice way...:-)

    I missed MSgt by maybe 20+, for a solid year I read the pfe 5 times through,,
    Did pfe gold over and over and reviewed highlighted pdg. One full year
    Straight, helped get 86.something and kill test following year.
    I was the perfect example on what not to do in the AF. Did not pull my head out until I got in trouble at the 16 yr mark.

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    Re: Study habits

    Quote Originally Posted by GodFather View Post
    Man, before 20 you were kinda a dirtbag...in a nice way...:-)

    I missed MSgt by maybe 20+, for a solid year I read the pfe 5 times through,,
    Did pfe gold over and over and reviewed highlighted pdg. One full year
    Straight, helped get 86.something and kill test following year.
    I also did PDG gold but combined with PDG, made SSgt, TSgt, MSgt first time. For me the key was time. I started studying at least 4 months out. Read the book first took notes. Then PDG gold tested every chapter and didnt got to next one until I was at 95%. Every 5 chapters will take a test of the chapters already tested all the way towards taking final test at the end.

    Work very good for me.

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    Re: Study habits

    My CDCs used to contain drawings of enemy and allied equipement that we had to be able to recognize if we saw it on imagery. For SSgt, I just went through the flash cards a few times about two days before the test and made it the first time. For TSgt, I did not study at all and made it my 4th time after my time in service and time in grade points caught up. For MSgt, I read my CDCs completely through two times and made it my first time. I don't study the PDG because there is just so much to cover but usually score in the mid-upper 60's. The SKT is what helps set people apart in my career field it seems anyway because we have a lot of cross trainee NCOs who don't tend to do well on that portion. Many score well enough to make rank shortly after crosstraining when they fall into the category of testing PDG only though.

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    Senior Member technomage1's Avatar
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    Re: Study habits

    When I was serious about testing, I'd start 6 months out. 45 minutes a day reading the PDG until I was done. The re-read and redid my CDCs. Again 45 minutes a day. These two steps brought me to around 1-2 months out. Then I'd get the PDG gold software and work through it.

    The day before the test I took off and goofed off.

    Once you fit it into a routine it works well. I would always do my studying right after I got off work.
    Newton's First Law of Motion

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    Senior Member 71Fish's Avatar
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    Re: Study habits

    Never opened my PFE. I used PFE Gold. Starting 6 months out I would let the software randomly generate 100 questions. If I got a question wrong, it got shuffled back in. If I got it right the question went away. For the questions I got wrong, they would keep coming back up until I got it correct. Even if I didn't make rank, I never felt (using this method) like I wasn't ready.

    A lot of people I know crammed the day before testing. I always went snowboarding.

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    Re: Study habits

    The two weeks of leave before the test is a great tactic.
    As for me I just read the PDG over and over. A chapter a day 6 months out and two chapters a day a month out and then while on the leave I treat reading like it's an 8 hour a day job. The computer program does not help me at all. The one year I tried it my score dropped 15 points.

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    Senior Member raustin0017's Avatar
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    Re: Study habits

    While stationed at Elmendorf 1989: Sq Supt was a Chief. He was looking for a partner to go on a Dahl Sheep hunt. First night at base camp sitting around fire. I was a 15 yr SSgt and he was a 15 yr Chief...both the same age. He made Chief and could not put it on till his 14 yr TIS date came around. To say he was sharp is the understatement of all times.

    I asked him how did he make Chief in 14 yrs? Chief replied, "I've read something about the AF every day for the last 10 years. Not that I study all the time...but I just like to read about the AF. When you really love your job it is easy" He retired at 20 with 6 yrs TIG. Only got out because of family issues. Chief Don Odem...one great leader.

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