The Power of Visualization as a Study Technique

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April 9, 2024
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Patrick J. Karol,

Do you aspire to achieve ASP, CSP, or CHST certification but feel overwhelmed and confused about where to start? These exams cover a wide range of topics and can leave any potential safety professional feeling overwhelmed and frustrated to the point of procrastination. There is a lot of pressure to pass the exam. Getting started is often the key to any successful project.

Our suggestion is to forget for a moment about the depth and breadth of the exam and any feelings of being overwhelmed and confused. Now, start to visualize what it takes to prepare to sit for the exam. Researchers found that visualizing yourself taking the steps to reach your goal makes you more likely to succeed. In their studies, people who visualized themselves studying received better scores than those who visualized a positive grade. Your starting point is to visualize yourself studying, not passing the exam.

Visualization takes practice and is not easy for everyone. But these are essential exams; you need every edge you can get. Here are a few questions to help you start visualizing the process. Each question is designed to help you visualize the process of getting to where you want to be as much as the outcome.


  1. How will you study? If you plan to attend a workshop, visualize yourself registering. If you plan to study independently, visualize yourself purchasing exam prep material.
  2. When will you study? Visualize yourself scheduling your study time like you would a routine meeting. Then, visualize yourself checking your weekly calendar for study time opportunities.
  3. Where will you study? Be specific. Simply visualizing at work just doesn’t work. Visualize the exact location, the room, the decorations on the walls and windows, the chair, and the workstation or desk you plan to use.
  4. What academic, educational, or training accomplishments are you most proud of? What did it take to achieve those accomplishments? Who helped you? Did you attend a course, or was it asynchronous? Visualize yourself using those same techniques or discussing the process with those who have previously helped you.
  5. What steps did you take to achieve previous goals? What did you learn? What would you do differently?  Visualize yourself applying those lessons learned.


We often make seemingly big projects or goals more difficult because we focus on the outcome. In our case, it means passing the ASP, CSP, or CHST exam. Breaking those goals down and visualizing the steps in the process allows us to get over that initial hump and get started. Whether you plan to attend one of our workshops or obtain exam prep material and study independently, visualizing yourself studying improves your chances of passing the exam.

Do you need the latest exam prep material? Under the Exam Materials tab, you can find our exam prep guidebooks and practice tests for the ASP, CSP, and CHST.