Faye I. Andersen, APR (since 1995)
Study with a buddy, or buddies. It helps to share ideas, facilitates discussion and is a great motivator to actually study. Set a realistic course of study at the beginning and stick to it.
Julie Ardito, APR (since 2010)
I found it very useful to study the APR Study Guide, then read the chapter related to that topic in one of the suggested textbooks. In my case, I referenced Cutlip & Center’s Effective Public Relations 10th Edition. By getting a small sample of the subject matter in the study guide, then diving deeper into the topic in the textbook, I had a more thorough understanding of the material, and could retain it better.
Alexia Bratiotis, APR (since 2008)
Spend ample time with the study guide learning vocabulary and theories, but test yourself with case studies and situational problems.
Natalie Brown, APR (since 2010)
The devil is in the details. I spent a lot of time making sure I had the vocabulary down pat. Though exam questions are situational, if you’re not clear on the difference between a goal and an objective (as defined by PRSA), you’ll have a hard time answering the questions correctly.
Don Butterfield, APR, MBA (since 1999)
Study with another professional or as a group. This helps keep candidates motivated and on task, and allows candidates to bounce ideas and concepts off of each other.
Bob Conrad, Ph.D., APR (since 2005)
When I took the APR exam, it was focused on business (as opposed to military, government or non-profit) public relations – if you are not familiar with basic business operations, you may want to brush up on them for the exam.
James B. Ellis, APR, Fellow PRSA
It has seemed to me that the most challenging part of the Accreditation examination has to do with preparing and applying a budget for a project or program. That was certainly the case for me, and I have seen the problem occur over and over with others seeking APR status and when I have had the opportunity to judge contest entries. Too often, the budget is “not my job,” but it is certainly something we need to know and understand.
Ronele Klingensmith, APR (since 2003)
Making time to study, having robust case study discussions with the group, one-on-one with other APRs studying. All of these worked together to boost my confidence. It really did come down to that and knowing that I know the information. The other big thing is although you know all the information communicating it in an effective manner was very important. Clear, concise and effective. It’s a trait that I admire from fellow APRs.
Jane Tors, APR (since 1995)
APR is about being able to draw from a broad base of knowledge and experience and having a solid grasp of principles and practices that cross the boundaries of industries. While you may select a particular book or text to serve as the core of your preparation, look to other sources and people to round-out and broaden your course of study. Preparing with a study group can help.