Should you tell anyone that you are taking the ASP or CSP exam?

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March 21, 2023
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Patrick J. Karol,

Should you tell anyone that you are taking the ASP or CSP exam? We get this question during our workshops frequently. The ASP and CSP exam can be stressful, but the rewards can be great, that is, if you pass. The approach you chose contributes to your chance of passing. To be sure, no one wants to take the exam a second time. There are two viable options for this issue, both with benefits and drawbacks. You need to decide which works best for you.

Option 1. Yes, I do tell others. It motivates me to study harder.

Telling others, especially close colleagues, helps you to hold yourself accountable. The colleagues and friends in the know become your cheerleaders and accountability partners. You feel you can't let them down and don't want to tell them you failed. This feeling of accountability motivates some to study and prepare for the exam. Additionally, if one of the colleagues holds a CSP designation, they can become a resource or provide insight into the study and test-taking techniques. This is the route I took.  You might call this the high-risk, high-reward approach.

Option 2 – No way do I tell anyone! I’ll go on this journey on my own.

Telling others adds undo stress to an already stressful situation. That amount of stress outweighs the benefits of any intrinsic motivation or accountability from telling colleagues or friends. Further, surprising them with the news that you are a newly minted ASP or CSP is exciting and cause for celebration or a big pat on the back.

This question often triggers heated conversations as many exam prep workshop attendees feel strongly about one way or another. Regardless, know your options and what works best for you. It could be the difference between passing and failing.

See our ASP and CSP exam materials for learning more about study and test-taking techniques.