WAMITAB Project Manager, Sharon Simpson provides some helpful information when it comes to the Continuing Competence Test, from booking, preparing and finally to receiving your results.
Booking the test
The CIWM/WAMITAB Continuing Competence Test is delivered at Pearson Vue test centres around the country (same place as the Driving Theory Test); you will need a valid credit/ debit card to book the test either by telephone 0161 855 7316 or online pearsonvue.com/wamitab.
You select the location, date and time of your test and it’s possible to book up to 3 months in advance. Check the expiry date on your current certificate to see when your next test is due. Each test costs £135 and includes the Generic Test and the option to take up to three Activity Specific Tests (ASTs). If you need to cancel or reschedule the test this must be done at least 24 hours before the exam appointment time.
About the test
The test is computer-based with multiple-choice questions.
Everyone takes the Generic Test, covering:
- Environmental protection
- Health and safety
There are 6 questions for each topic; 18 in total for this part of the test.
On the day of the test you will need to select your AST option(s):
Plan in advance which AST(s) you want to take so that on the day of the test you’re ready to put the ticks in the right boxes. You can select up to three tests but you don’t have to take three; just select the AST(s) relating to the area of competence for your site activity – for guidance contact your local environmental regulators or check the WAMITAB website. Each AST has 8 questions.
Preparing for the test
Make use of the revision material available: Revision Guides are available to buy from the WAMITAB website, which link the learning outcomes with the areas that may be covered in the test. There are also Revision Summaries that are free to download from the website.
When revising, you should make sure to:
- spend enough time – but remember shorter study sessions may work better as you are more likely to remember what has been learned plus it is easier to set aside time to do it
- avoid distractions – use your full concentration
Revise in a way that works for you! Try the following:
- making a “spider” or mind-mapping diagram
- record yourself reading out revision notes and then listening back to it
- write out the information over and over
- make bullet points on crib cards to carry around with you
- explain the key points to another person
Taking the test
Aim to arrive at the test centre 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to complete the sign-in procedures and don’t forget to bring a valid form of identification, eg, photo driving licence or passport.
On average, the Generic Test takes approximately 25 minutes and each AST takes around 11 minutes. If you opt to take three ASTs then you will have a total of 60 minutes for the Generic Test and the ASTs.
Read each question and the answer options carefully and, if you are unsure, flag the question and come back to it later. You can also go back and change your answers during each part of the test within the time allotted for the Generic Test and each AST; however, once each test is finished you will not be able to go back to it.
As a rule of thumb you could allow around 80 seconds per question, but plan carefully so you don’t run out of time to complete the test and make sure you answer all the questions.
After the test candidates receive a Score Report, which gives their scores and guidance on how to calculate pass/fail on the reverse. Candidates need to correctly answer 50% or more questions in the Generic Test and 50% or more questions in each AST; these scores are combined and the pass mark is 65% (ie, 17 or more correct answers).
A new feature on the WAMITAB website means that you can now check your results using the Continuing Competence Test Score Calculator. Simply type in your scores and the pass/fail is calculated automatically. This is not an “official” result but offers a handy check facility for candidates whilst they wait to hear from WAMITAB.
Successful candidates will receive their certificate within 10 working days of sitting the test and unsuccessful candidates will receive an email explaining what they need to do next.