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Thread: WAPS Test Study Techniques

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    Senior Member giggawatt's Avatar
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    WAPS Test Study Techniques

    What are some techniques you guys use to study for your WAPS test? How long out do you start studying? What do you do on your study day off before the test?
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    Quote Originally Posted by giggawatt View Post
    What are some techniques you guys use to study for your WAPS test?
    Most of the time spent on PFE. One book vs 8 books for the same points seemed to make sense. I preferred PFE Gold test questions, then reviewing the areas I had trouble in.

    How long out do you start studying?
    About 3 months. I found that if I studied any longer I got bored, washed out.

    What do you do on your study day off before the test?
    Absolutely nothing related to the test. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't study at all the week before. I do believe that certain people can be "overly prepared". I found that once I was comfortable with the stuff, continuing to study could do more harm than good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by giggawatt View Post
    What are some techniques you guys use to study for your WAPS test?
    For the SKT, the single MOST important thing you can do is to devote the day AFTER you test to go through your books and highlight the answers to the test you just completed. This few hours will be the most productive study time you will ever do.

    The SKT test retains at least 50% of the questions (major re-write) from year to year and as high as 75% of the questions (minor re-write). Unless you've had a major change in the reference material (new CDCs), the tests alternate between a major and minor re-write every other year. Meaning, if you did nothing else but remember the questions from previous year and manage to get only half the remainder correct, you are looking a score in the range of 75-87...well above average.

    I can not emphasize this point enough. In fact, what I used to do is after completing the SKT portion, I would remain in the room and review the test over and over simply trying to memorize the questions so I could immediately go out into the car and highlight as many as I could. I would then continue to review those books through the next few days...I would eventually be able for find more than 90 of the 100 questions. These are solid gold for next year. The following year I would literally spend no more than 2-3 days studying nothing else except those previous questions...that was the whole of my SKT prep...the time/benefit of reading the rest of the CDCs was not cost effective. Not to mention some of the old questions actually get brought back time and time again...I'm positive I've seen at least a dozen question on every SKT test I had ever taken from SSgt through MSgt. If they get good stats on a question, they will keep it forever. Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, the AFOMS keeps stats on every questions of every test...how many high scorers got it right vs how many low scorers got it right.

    For the PFE, its a matter of studying the book. I would highlight what I thought were the key facts of each paragraph. I would also make up my own questions on index cards, with the answer on the back and study those, like flashcards...even if you never go back and study them, the act of writing out the question and answer is an excellent study technique in itself...and I would get one of those software programs PFE Gold or whatever and do that. Make sure when you miss the questions you refer back to the book and re-read that paragraph...don't just go by the software because they often use slightly different terminology and the test will be the exact words out of the book!

    How long out do you start studying?
    I am more of a crammer...start hitting the books about a month prior, but really immerse myself into it for about 2 weeks prior.

    What do you do on your study day off before the test?
    Cram, Cram, Cram. I did not follow the "get a good night's rest model"...I would pull an all-nighter before the test. I would get myself a 12-pack of Diet Pepsi and one of those big tubs of redvines (brain food) and literally stay up all night going over the index cards and software questions...and referencing the book on the ones I miss. This again is mostly PFE stuff. I could point to several questions each time that I specifically remmber picking up the night prior.
    Last edited by Measure Man; 05-20-2014 at 10:04 PM.

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    Senior Member Chief_KO's Avatar
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    First a couple of no-brainers: Make sure you have the correct study material, especially for the SKT. For the PFE/USAFSE make sure you study the testable chapters (everything in the chapter..pictures, tables, charts,etc.)
    When the new PDG comes out, sit down and go page by page to see what is new and what has been deleted. With each years PFE/USAFSE 100% new (questions must be three years or older to be reused) there is a VERY HIGH PROBABILITY that new test questions will come from the new material.
    Take the PDG (PFE for you ol'timers) with you when you "sit on the porcelain throne." Read it everytime and before you know it you've read the entire book. Repeat over and over. A couple months prior to test window, ramp it up. Making an outline is a great tool.
    "Never force a fart in Djibouti"..."Always marry your second wife first"..."If anyone says that you're not a team player, maybe they're on the wrong team"..."You can gold plate a turd and it's still a turd"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief_KO View Post
    Take the PDG (PFE for you ol'timers)
    I think the test is still PFE, but the book is PDG...is that right?

    Signed,

    Old-timer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    I think the test is still PFE, but the book is PDG...is that right?

    Signed,

    Old-timer
    I believe so. Wouldn't make much sense for the test to be called "Professional development guide".

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    I never really understood why the AF would not let people study together.

    I mean, okay, I get it if one person has already tested, sure...but for people that didn't test, they should be able to form a study group. Is the AF worried they will learn the information too well? Isn't that the point?

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    I never really understood why the AF would not let people study together.

    I mean, okay, I get it if one person has already tested, sure...but for people that didn't test, they should be able to form a study group. Is the AF worried they will learn the information too well? Isn't that the point?
    Especially since all the things you are tested on are things that people are expected to know about either the military or the job. And, I thought that was one of the reasons they changed it from the PFE Study Guide to the Professional Development Guide. That's almost like saying that you can't have more than one person attend a professional development class because it might compromise the test.

    Even more so, I can't understand why people from different career fields aren't allowed to study together. Think of married couples. If my wife was in the military, I'm sure we would have been helping each other, test compromise or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    I never really understood why the AF would not let people study together.

    I mean, okay, I get it if one person has already tested, sure...but for people that didn't test, they should be able to form a study group. Is the AF worried they will learn the information too well? Isn't that the point?
    The AF has no way of knowing who has tested out of cycle etc so it's easier to just say dont do it. Additionally, the AF is not coming to anyone's house breaking up study groups either so go ahead and do it.

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    Senior Member Gonzo432's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    I never really understood why the AF would not let people study together.

    I mean, okay, I get it if one person has already tested, sure...but for people that didn't test, they should be able to form a study group. Is the AF worried they will learn the information too well? Isn't that the point?
    It's pretty much mandatory everywhere else (tech school, PME, etc.) but forbidden for promotion. I always wondered about that too.
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