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May 12, 2005

The dirt on the new CAE exam

My coworker and I had a 20-30 minute conversation on Tuesday about the new CAE exam. Any readers who took the exam (or know someone who did) please leave a comment about your (or their) experience and impressions...

She took it in DC and said she wouldn't be surprised if she didn't pass. She said she felt like the exam was 50% anti-trust and leadership. That sounds about right -- a lot like what I experienced. But what troubled her about this fact was that it didn't seem to match the 10 domains in the content outline. Indeed, if the estimate of 50% is even remotely accurate, then there are probably 50-100% more questions in those two areas combined than there ought to be.

She was surprised how little content there was on public relations (she pegged it at 1 or 2 questions) and how much there was on membership and knowledge management.

The conversation turned comical as she described the post-exam gathering to complain about it. Apparently a bunch of people gathered to moan about the exam after it was over. At some point, ASAE's director of credentialling, Greg Melia (who passed the December 2004 CAE exam -- the last exam in the old 5 domain multiple-choice format) came down from his office. Maybe he was on his way out of the office, or maybe he came down intentionally to talk with them; I'm not sure.

She said some of them had Greg "cornered." Greg, demonstrating tremendous bravery, reportedly faced the firing squad for several minutes. One person, she explained, couldn't stick around to complain any longer, but vowed to call Greg first thing on Monday. I don't envy Greg having to take that member's call, although perhaps s/he cooled off Sunday.

This is turning into a rather long post, so I'll continue it tomorrow...


Anonymous said...

I took both the December 2004 exam and the May 2005 I had a taste of both. As usual I am not sure how I did but I felt a little more comfortable with it this time.

There were no math questions that I remember this time (but my mind was fried so I could be wrong!)

Also I did not recognize many questions word for word. However there were a few familiar questions from the practice exams, but the words had been altered ever so slightly and the question asked for a different while I thought I was on to something, I really wasn't!!

But believe me, the last thing I was doing on the exam was worrying about how many domains were covered and what percentage took up what..I just took the questions as they came.

To be honest, I thought the exam questions were pretty well written for the most part. There was one question that I think they screwed up on with the wording...... and another question that mentioned a Chief Executive Officer which had me a little confused (I thought they were trying the veer away from that title.) I assumed it meant the CSE.

Anyway, we will see, but I finished in about 3 hr 40 min and was the last of 3 people to leave.

We will see....

Ben said...

Hey, Anon, thanks a million for commenting! First of all, congratulations on getting through it and I really hope you pass.

If there was a significant difference between December and May, what was it? And was reading the new authoritative literature part of your preparation, or did you rely on the 3 books from the old content outline's recommended reading?

If you're up for a few more questions, would you mind contacting me offline at bmartin{@}