I’m continuing my series with another incredibly accomplished individual. Last time we covered How Jon passed his ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt. This time we meet Dana – one of the most driven Six Sigma belt candidates I have ever met!

That drive led to her receiving both the ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt certification as well as the IASSC Six Sigma Black Belt designation.

From Dana’s combined notes:

Hey Ted,

I passed!  I wanted to thank you for your course, advice and personal help.   


Dana J

Commitment >> Motivation

Passing Six Sigma exams are hard work. Doubly hard if you commit to getting both your Green Belt and Black Belt in a few months.

Many times I am asked about how certification candidates can remain motivated over the time it takes to learn, study, and pass the exams.

Dana describes what I feel is the best strategy; make a commitment outside of yourself.

The test wasn’t terrible, but I did prepare.  I had made some promises, and certain companies knew it, so I couldn’t under perform.  From the experiences you have shared with me, I am sure you know that feeling! So far it seems to have helped. 

Best, Dana

Dana J

Get a Mentor, Ask them questions

Dana asked me dozens of questions, both on concepts and practicalities of taking the exam. Each of which has resulted in me creating more resources for the larger community. Her success is because she dug deeply into each section and ensured she understood every nuance of every question.

I believe one of Dana’s gifts is taking a Growth Mindset where one sees every challenge as an opportunity to grow and master something new.

Thank you!  You are extremely good at being accessible and helpful.  I think that is actually what makes you and your resource exceptional.  

I appreciate it, and can’t put my finger on why I get hung up on t-tests and CIs.  They are coming back quickly, thankfully.  

Vielen Dank!

Dana J

Make Use of All of the Resources you Can

Too many six sigma exam candidates make the poor assumption that the materials they have from their training class are all that they need for their exam.

I have found this to be universally untrue.

Here, Dana lists two of her favorites:

One priceless resource I got my hands on is The Statistics Problem Solver – the 1978 Copyright.  I don’t think the author, Dr. M. Fogiel, Director of the Research and Education Association, had time to do anything else, except sit by candlelight and encourage early onset arthritis, but it is one of the most clearly written references.  He isn’t kidding about every possible type of statistics question well explained.

That will come in handy for the black belt.

Dana J

To pull out the stats again, the Cartoon Statistics Book you recommended is shockingly helpful.  It’s clear, concise and engaging.  Visuals commit it to memory.  And its just plain cute.

Dana J

Take a Benchmark Exam to Help Plan Your Time

The last thing you want when preparing for a Six Sigma certification is to be stressed or overwhelmed. The key to avoiding excess stress is having a good plan and preparing efficiently. And the key to preparing efficiently is taking a benchmark practice exam. That way you have an idea of what

You ought to make a note that the results in these steps are extremely impacted by lack of sleep!  I took the same test for benchmarking, without reviewing, without and with sleep and had a 10% difference.  

Dana J

Also, sleep is important. ;’) The human brain is a biological system. There are limits on volume of new information being written. The brain also needs time to map new relationships. Plan time to study and plan time to let your brain rest and form new neural paths.

Day of the Exam

Here Dana echoes what top students know:

  • Use all of the time allotted on the exam. There’s no prize for finishing ahead of the bell.
  • Master the materials well before you enter the exam. That way you aren’t wasting time looking up and trying to learn new information while the clock is ticking.
  • Make use of all of your reference material while you are taking dozens of practice exams and hundreds of practice questions.

The main take-away was to know your resources but not rely on them.  Summarize or just use visual aids. 

They do not allow TI-84 or anything alphanumeric/graphing, and I was glad to have bought a TI-30Xs ‘just in case’ the night before.  However, I was unfamiliar with the calculator and although I could take in all the books I wanted, they confiscated the calculator instruction manual, and a rubber band.  Go figure.

I recommend using all the time, being steady, flagging the ones that take time, and knowing that they are looking for your understanding and grasp of concepts.  Above all, don’t bring too much or rely on lengthy notes, and absolutely know how to quickly find what you need. 

Dana J

As you can see, Dana also leaves with a warning; be sure you know exactly what is allowed and not allowed to bring into the exam room. I’d also recommend having back ups of all materials.


If you want to Pass your Six Sigma Green belt like Dana did, then you’re going to have to work like she did.

She spent months working through materials and was aided by my Pass Your Six Sigma Green Belt course – which is on sale now for 20% off. Sign up today here.

How Jon Passed the ASQ Six Sigma Green Belt Exam


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