If you ask me what will it take to pass the RTRP exam I’ll say simply that it depends on three factors: your commitment to the preparation process, how you set out to prepare yourself for the exam, and last, but not least, how you approach the challenge of exam day at the Prometric test center.
As one candidate put it after passing the exam, “… it’s a joke”. Well yes! It’s a joke if you are familiar with tax related subjects covered in the test and that familiarity can come from varied sources, not the least of which is experience in preparing tax returns, providing you have kept up with the frequent changes in tax laws and IRS rules.
If your experience in preparing tax returns is not that great, you can still acquire the knowledge needed to pass the exam by setting up a study program that you will use consistently to become familiar with the content of the IRS test specification outline. In the latter case, your commitment to a systematic study plan will be paramount. To be more succinct about that, you need set up a study plan that you can follow and not stop studying until you have run the course of preparation you need, to become proficient on tax subjects.
The material you choose to prepare yourself for the exam is very important. If you are a bookworm who does not mind sitting for hours on end going through volumes of study material contained in a five-pound book, more power to you. But do that consistently to soak-up enough knowledge; it will probably work for you.
If, on the other hand, your time is limited and other responsibilities prevent you from spending endless hours combing through study materials, then it might be more to your advantage to find study material that has already filtered out the superfluous and provides you with the core of the information you need to review in order to feel confident about your chances of passing the exam.
Regardless of your choice of study material, one big secret about passing the RTRP exam is to include practice sessions in your preparation process. Practice using a test bank that simulates the environment you will confront at the Prometric test center. It is all about computers and therefore, the more comfortable you are in such an environment the better your chances of success. So, practice as much as possible during your preparation process using a test bank that allows you to even time yourself in practice tests, to simulate conditions at the official test room.
Having put in all that effort to prepare yourself for the exam, how are you going to respond to the pressure of exam day, in a seemingly hostile environment where rules of conduct are strictly enforced? How are you going to handle the pressure of time, knowing that you have a limited number of minutes to answer enough questions to get a passing score in the exam? How are you going to handle unforeseen circumstances such as a question or two in the exam on which you draw a complete blank? Last, but not least, what happens if you decide to panic?
None of these situations will arise if you devise a strategy to handle them, before you go to the exam. Have you considered visiting the Prometric test center before your exam day? If not, do so and the fear of the hostile environment will dissipate. Have you considered going through the exam from top to bottom and answer all the questions you are sure of and accumulate at least those points for your final score? Consider that doing that would take you about half the time allotted for the exam (75 minutes), and you would have another 75 minutes to go to the top of the exam and take a closer look at the remaining questions. What about the question or two you know nothing about? Do they matter? The answer is, probably not. Take your best guess at them and move on. You do not need a perfect score to pass the exam.
Those are just a few suggestions. I am sure you can think of a few more things you can do to calm yourself and that will help make your exam experience a memorable one because you passed the exam on your first attempt.
Be confident on your exam day and.we’ll see you on the other side, with a happy grin on your face!