I can now put the initials "AP" behind my name. Woo. Hoo.
Granted, this may make the difference when I'm hired, but truth be told, I'm not a big fan of proclamations of achievement. MD or PhD or Esq., I can see. They require years of study and rigorous effort. AP because I took one test? Meh. Not so much. And then there's the ones like AIA, which are just a notation of what organization you happen to be a member.
I studied for about three weeks or so. This was for accreditation for a sustainable building program, by the way. There was a lot of data and I wasn't sure what information would be tested. Buildings that are attempting to get LEED certified can accumulate credits toward the certification by achieving certain goals. As might be expected, in order to quantify these achievements, many of the credits require a percentage of improvement over baseline or a certain percentage of the cost to be spent on certain things. So, there were a lot of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 50%, 75%, 95%, etc. to keep straight! If I don't see a percent symbol for a long time, I will be a happy woman. There were also all the credits and their interrelationships to keep straight. One of the things that popped into my head (because I was having trouble turning off the images in my brain of a game I've been playing lately) was someone telling me about a mnemonic device in which you imagine your memory as a big building with lots of rooms and each room contains a piece of information. Most big buildings with lots of rooms are, in my experience, pretty boring. I decided, instead, to construct a virtual landscape (the first one was a farm with a nine sectioned grid layout) that had the concept of a credit or prerequisite in each square. The concept was represented by an image (a stand of trees = density and connectivity, a police station = commissioning (police commissioner, get it?), etc.) and I could close my eyes and imagine the farm or town or whatever, and each piece would remind me of a concept. I had four of these, one for each major section (the fifth section had a small scale visual for its three parts). Being an extremely visual and symbol-keyed person, this worked pretty well for me, up to a point. I couldn't keep details memorized like that. One concept might include the information on the credits as being "achieve 10%, 20%, and 30% for each increment" and the one immediately next door might be "achieve 10%, 20%, and 40% for each increment". I just hoped for the best.
And I passed by a good margin. So some combination of my study methods worked! Yippee! I think I'll keep that virtual landscape in my bag-o-tricks, but I hope I won't have to take another test for a long time!