Dan S recently reached out to me with a wonderful letter. He had passed his Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification exam from Villanova.

I wanted to thank you for your help and support/guidance on my Lean Six Sigma blackbelt journey and let you know I passed my LSS Black Belt exam from Villanova! 

Dan S

After I congratulated Dan. I of course asked him about his experience and any tips or tricks he’d like to share about preparing for or taking the exam.

He didn’t disappoint.

From personal experience, I remember how many of my colleagues had failed the Villanova Black Belt exam the first time and had to sit for retest after retest. These were motivated, smart, diligent, career-focused professionals. I’m not sure they ever failed anything before.

The Six Sigma Black Belt exam is humbling for everyone.

I asked Dan “What is some of the studying advice you’re giving your friend on passing the Villanova BB?”

Here’s what he recommended:

Take Lots of Training and fill in the Missing Gaps

Unsurprisingly, Daniel took a lot of Six Sigma training to prepare for his exams. He didn’t treat his Black Belt certification like a final exam. He didn’t rely solely on what his instructor taught. He looked up what he was going to be tested on and took responsibility for learning all of the information that he was going to be tested on.

Before I met you, I had actually taken the LSS Black Belt course twice (2 different organizations) and spent hours filling out my Body of Knowledge using information from both courses.  But your study guide was the glue to help me fill in the gaps and help me prepare for the types of questions to expect. 

Daniel S.

How to Study

Assume you will be responsible for everything in the Body of Knowledge for your certification organization. Dan re-read all of his material and also read all of mine. Instead of doing a few practice problems by writing, he used active questioning to make sure that he understood all of the concepts.

My advice would be To Study everything and reread the course material and practice quizzes while studying.  That is vague but it really helped me grasp the material the second time around.  

Dan S.

Even so, there were items that he glossed over and wished he had spent more time pursuing

For me, I definitely did not study DOE enough and that was a mistake since I assumed DOE was just a small part of LSS and my professor told us it was an optional assignment in the course.  

Dan S

Ted’s note: Many of my Pass Your Six Sigma Study Guide participants are shocked at the level of detail my program goes into as well as all of the topics. The PYSSGB & PYSSBB programs are detailed for this reason. I’ve spent years cultivating the questions and topics that could possibly be on your exam. While the path is rigorous, you will be well-prepared.

Expect a Challenging Exam

There’s a quote from one of Mike Tyson’s trainers along the lines of “Everyone has a plan until they’re punched in the face.” My takeaway from that famous boxer’s famous trainer for Six Sigma exams is to practice like you are going to play; do real-live mock exams – and plenty of them so that you are not surprised on test day.

Make sure your study program is difficult enough to challenge you and prepare you for the exam day.

The exam was more challenging than I thought but also rewarding as I felt more prepared with some of the questions after reading through your site and outline. 

My friend is scheduled to take the Villanova exam later this year so I am definitely going to refer her to you.

Daniel S

I sent Dan a sincere thank you for sharing how he prepared and the lessons he learned along the way. (Dan, if you’re reading this, another massive thank you!) And his referral of his friend is deeply humbling, too.

If you’d like to join Pass Your Six Sigma Black Belt (or Pass Your Six Sigma Green Belt), please go here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out at any time.

Best, Ted.

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