about us photo

Welcome to the Six Sigma Study Guide! I’m Ted Hessing, and I’m so grateful that you’re here.

You may think I started this website simply because I love using Six Sigma tools. Well, that’s true! Like many people, I love making a connection with a client and being able to help them. I also love the idea of being able to follow a repeatable, tested framework to make intelligent decisions. But more importantly, I created Six Sigma because this is the resource I wish I had when I was learning Six Sigma and preparing for my ASQ certification and Villanova Black Belt certification test.

Meet Ted: My Six Sigma Journey

The Six Sigma Journey
The Six Sigma Journey

When I first entered the workforce in 2001 I soon realized that many of the programs and practices being put in place mirrored what I saw in Jack Welch’s Straight from the Gut. In addition to forced rankings, making heads of HR an executive-level position (where the Chief Human Resources Officer is equal in level to the Chief Financial Officer), he also spoke about implementing Six Sigma and the effects it had on his company. Reading that book, I realized I wanted to be part of that kind of change. Unfortunately, Six Sigma training was only offered to senior management – and I was right out of college. That struck me as odd because it seemed that Six Sigma was most effective when it had a well-trained yet diverse group of people. And that people with ground-floor experience could and should participate. There was some one-off process improvement training and I eagerly went to all that I was allowed to. One particularly exciting program was a case study on William Bratton’s Broken Windows concept. That was a game-changer for me.

Green Belt

Green Belt
Green Belt

Ultimately I decided that I had to be proactive and took my modest annual bonus and paid for my own Six Sigma Green Belt training at a local community college. I loved it. The only problem was that I needed to do a project and after a few weeks of trying to convince my company to let me do one, they ultimately ruled that I couldn’t. Not wanting to give up the effort – and the dearly-saved tuition! – I built a small e-commerce website and made a project out of improving sales on it. In a very real way my company not endorsing me for Six Sigma training or allowing me to do a project was the best thing for me. I learned so many lessons.

Black Belt

Black Belt
Black Belt

I took that training and the lessons I learned on my own project and applied them to everything I did. Eventually, I progressed through the company and was selected to lead a sub-division’s continuous improvement team. That was a great experience- like drinking from the fire hose! That position led to me being selected to do a rotation where I would become a Six Sigma Black Belt. Part of my job responsibilities were to run successful projects and of course, to pass the Six Sigma Black Belt exam.

Studying takes on a whole new meaning when your job is dependent upon passing! Surely even failing and passing later would do no favors for my career. I had to pass.

But there was so much stuff to learn!

I’m not much of a student in the traditional terms. I’m easily bored in class and take god-awful notes. I have little use for theory. In order to pass the exam I relied on a trick I learned in college; make a website and put all of my notes there. That way whenever I would cover a new concept I could make a page and then link as many other notes as the context required.

That’s how the Six Sigma Study Guide was born. I built this website as a way to learn the material and I did pass both the Villanova Six Sigma Black Belt exam and the ASQ Six Sigma Black Belt certification.

The Six Sigma Study Guide Website

Over time other people studying for the exam found the website and asked me for help with their questions. Other practicing professionals reached out to offer their thoughts and opinions. All along the way I was learning and trying my best to apply this information but with new eyes on the website I realized that this could be a resource for thousands of other people, too – not just myself.

I also realized that individuals who study Six Sigma are some of the hardest-working, most generous people I know. They want to drive real business results for their companies AND bring true value to clients. They’ve embraced the magic of ‘and’ and realize these are not mutually exclusive goals. Sadly, many people never get certified and never get to apply this knowledge because they love the possibilities that Six Sigma and Lean bring to the table – but all of that love and attention is completely separate from the realities of passing the certifications… and certainly both are separate from actually implementing these frameworks and techniques in real life.

Sure, people hear about certification services, or perhaps it is a job requirement or it’s listed on the qualifications of a job they’d like to post for, and they jump in to try to take the test but they either don’t pass the exams, or don’t qualify for a project, or they get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that you have to know.

People get frustrated because they are studying and can’t pass the exam… Or, they manage to pass a certification but can’t get a job in the field. Or they do manage to get a job and then find out that real-world application is so much different than what the textbooks say. To make matters worse, there is no central resource to help solve these problems. Until now…

Enter Six Sigma Study Guide: Your one-stop destination for all the inspired instruction and resources you need to grow your small business using posting services to make your life easier.

Six Sigma Study Guide Flywheel
Six Sigma Study Guide Flywheel

Our mission is to empower you as a strong Six Sigma and Lean practitioner. We’ll teach you studying and test-taking strategies, smart branding moves, and simple techniques you can use that will make it easy to pass your test and apply the material in the real world.

Ultimately, any individual with a dedicated learner’s mentality schooled in proven tools that can tap into and answer their prospective clients’ concerns has a thriving career. So, if you’ve ever asked yourself “How do I make myself stand out at work?” or “How do I use Six Sigma to improve my company?” or just simply “What do I do next?”, then you’ve come to the right place!

To join our community of Six Sigma certification candidates and practitioners receiving the best advice around, subscribe to our email newsletter. It’s free and well worth your time!

Six Sigma Study Guide Will Help You Pass Your Certification, Stand Out at Your Job, and Deliver Results

Comments (13)

Air University Library and USAF Squadron Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base, AL respectfully request permission to upload to a password protected electronic platform “5 Whys” by Shalvin Sunny, posted on your website. This material is for internal, educational, non-profit purposes and will not be sold. There will be 100 students using this material. If you have any questions please contact me at Lynn.Ferguson.1@au.af.edu.

Best Regards,

Lynn Ferguson

Editorial Assistant

Air University Library

Maxwell AFB, AL 36112

how many practice exam/ quesations in the prepration accesss ?
how many hours study do you need for green/black belt preapration ?

which is easier IASSC or ASQ ?

Hi Ahmed,

I have over 1000 practice questions for green belts and over 2000 for black belts. There are dozens of exams and full-length tests in each.

The number of hours you will need to study depend upon the quality of the training you have taken as well as practical and previous experience with concepts like statistics, probability, project management, enterprise change management, risk, and others.

The IASSC is far less rigorous and demanding than the ASQ. And the IASSC does not require real-world experience like the ASQ certification does. The ASQ exam has the benefit of allowing you to take notes and reference books into the exam.

Best, Ted.

i have a few questions for six sigma green belt course. I just looking for advance my career for Amazon. I heard that some Area Manager got green belt certificates. I need to know which one as Lean or normal Sigma ?? So i can studying right certificate before i can move up to black belt. Do i have to take it thru university course along with this course or just take this course alone before i can take exam in person ??

Hi Ricco,

I’m not familiar with which one Amazon managers have taken. I do know that MANY Amazon employees have used my course to prepare for their exams!

As far as choosing between ‘regular’ and Lean Six Sigma certification, I have a few beliefs:
1) Doing anything is better than nothing. We want to avoid analysis paralysis here.
2) Most certifications will have both in it.
3) I would take your question as an opportunity to network with several other Area Managers to see which exam they took. That way you’re growing your network while building your credentials with the certification.

Next question – through a university.
-There are many different certification providers. They all have different requirement.s Some require an educational component, some require a few years of applying the materials on the job, and others required a portfolio of real-world applications. The easiest / least stringent is likely the IASSC. And yes, if you take the IASSC green belt you can go right ahead and take the black belt. In fact, you don’t even have to take the green belt and just start directly on the black belt. However, I would suggest taking a green belt as most people find stepping right into a black belt to be difficult without previous statistical experience.

Best, Ted.

i would like to say many thanks for notes about it. I will go ahead for IASSC green belt and black belt along with it. I believe that it will be benefit after i take exam anywhere related this specific courses. I hope that Amazon Employer will accept this exam result if I passed. Plus it should have provide mock interview practices to give a answers question or how to say it while interview. So anyone else who take this course and can understanding how to move right path and success in an interview.

Hi Ted,

I am checking some courses and noticed that there are different providers of certification. ILSSI and IASSC look the same. Do you offer your materials for both? Is there a preference in certification for one of the other? Any thoughts on this?

Thank you!

Hi Tim,

I am not directly familiar with ILSSI. I did make the course to be as expansive as possible and regularly ensure the material covers the big 2 – ASQ and IASSC.

Can you share ILSSI’s BOK and I can compare them.

Best, Ted.

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