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February 21, 2005

Tip #2: Become a 60-year-old white man

Tip #2 in the series of 13 tips to help you pass the CAE exam. Tell a friend about this tip.

This tip was passed along to me by a another successful CAE candidate, and it certainly helped me. Unless you're actually a 60-year-old white man, this might prove difficult. Personally, I'm a white male aged 30 years. I suppose I already fit most of the profile at the time I passed the exam. ;-)

So, what if you aren't actually a 60-year-old white man? Well, for this exam, you need to think like one. With very few exceptions, the CAE exam's questions are written to assess your ability to lead an international or national association. You need to reason like someone who already does, and the typical Chief Staff Executive (CSE) of an international or national association is male, Caucasian and over age 50.

One of the hardest things about this exam for me was figuratively getting out of the "staff specialist" role I currently serve in (abandoning what the membership director would do) and stepping into the shoes of the CSE. On some questions I found it useful to say to myself, "What would Tom (my association's CEO) do in this situation?"

Many of the items on the exam will put you into a fictional, but plausible, scenario and ask you what your best option is. Nine out of ten times you'll be able to narrow your choices to two (you'll see this is a recurring theme in many of the upcoming tips). One of the tools you can use to answer the scenario question correctly is to consider how a 60-year-old white guy might react.

So, to recap, for the CAE exam, you need to think like these people (thankfully many of these are women and some are minorities).

1 comment:

Blogging AMC said...

:( ASAE's gone and changed their site... I know that was probably a link to a list of recent CAEs.

Point of the error message they have in the place of your link... :)

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