miércoles, 27 de enero de 2010

Advice on Preparing for ‘The Test’

I recently had a request from a young man about taking the test for entry into DGA's Assistant Director Training Program.

I dusted off an old sidebar to an article on the Training Program and sent it to him, then I thought I should put it up where some others might benefit from it. So here it is:


So you’ve made your application to the Training Program (or the Training Plan - different names on the East & West coasts), and they’ve checked out your college transcripts. In your mailbox one day you find that golden message – an invitation to take the qualifying test. It’s time for your first big challenge.

Don’t worry about choking. Many people are daunted by the Training Plan Test, but you’ll shine if you take a few simple preparations. We’ve asked a number of former Trainees for their advice, and this is the 12-point list we’ve come up with. To maximize your score, just follow these directions:

1. Day T, minus 7: For the next seven days, do not think about the test at all; eat well, relax and get plenty of sleep; include your girlfriend or boyfriend in all activities that you can.

2. Day T, minus 3: For the next three days, do things you really like to do: eat, read, go to the beach, spend time with friends… you know.

3. Day T, minus 2: Take a ride to the testing center and find out where the best parking is – spend this hour or so today, and you’ll save you time and worry on the day of the test.

4. Day T, minus 1: On the day before the test, make sure you have comfortable clothes to wear, preferably layers that can be removed if the temperature increases in the testing facility. Make sure your outer garment has good-sized pockets.

5. Day T, minus 1: Buy some snack foods of your choice, but make sure they don’t have to be refrigerated. Also, buy some non-sugar drinks in handy sizes to take with you in those pockets.

6. Day T, minus 1: In the afternoon (if you want to), put a cooler in your car, and make yourself a good-sized but light lunch for the test day; salad with protein is best since it won’t make you sleepy – tuna, egg or chicken, but tofu is good for vegetarians. Everyone else will be walking around trying to find someplace close by for lunch, but it will be a rushed meal for them... You, on the other hand will have exactly what you want to eat – and the time to really enjoy it).

7. Day T, minus 1: The night before the test, eat an early dinner at the best restaurant you can afford, with either your best friend[s] or your girlfriend/boyfriend, but get to bed early.

8. Day T, morning: On the morning of the test, eat a good breakfast, then put ice and your lunch in the cooler; don’t bring any books or papers with you to the test – you won’t need them. If you did # 3, leave ½-hour early – if not, leave at least an hour early, so that you’ll have time to get lost, drive around looking for a parking place, park, get lost again, find the testing room and then sit down and have a little snack. At that point, you can relax, and even take a short nap (set the alarm on your watch!), while the others who have left later are running to catch up and make it before the doors close (they’ll be losing mental ability, but you’ll be cool).

9. Day T, daytime: Relax while taking the test; answer as many questions as you can. Don’t get stuck on a question – move on, then come back to the hard one at the end Remember, it’s a numbers game, and if you miss answering 4 questions while trying to figure out one, you’ll lose points.

10. Day T, daytime: Really, relax – it’s only a test.

11. Day T, evening: After the test, go out and celebrate with friends – enjoy yourself, because you’ve earned it.

12. Day T, plus: Try not to worry about your score for the next two months: it’s completely out of your hands.

ps. We’re not kidding about a single point on this list. Not one. None.


So there it is... if you stumbled on this while searching for information on the DGA Training Program, good luck to you!

All material copyright 2008 David Hakim and may not be duplicated - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.