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March/April 2019, Volume 7 Issue 08

Mapping Your Path to Certification

The compliance deadline for housing counseling certification is drawing nearer. Consider using these tips to map out your path to preparing for and passing the HUD Certified Housing Counselor Certification Exam.

  1. Set study goals. From prioritizing which topics will require more of your focus to planning how much time you need to spend studying each week, it’s critical to set goals for studying. Goals help you focus your preparation, measure your progress, and stay motivated. Don’t forget: when setting study goals and study tasks, be honest and realistic about your capacity to study.
  2. Establish a study routine. So you’ve decided you want to set aside some time to study each week, but for how long each day? Establishing a routine allows you to integrate study time to best fit within your schedule. Plus, a study routine will help you improve your time management while also protecting your other commitments, both personal and professional.

Pro Tip: Try to determine how much time it takes you to finish studying a chapter or topic area. This will enable you to allocate your time appropriately and be efficient when studying.

  1. Take advantage of exam prep resources. offers free online training materials and a downloadable study guide covering a broad range of the exam topic areas. Use these resources to study and then test your knowledge by taking the available practice exam. Plus, don’t forget to check with HUD Training Partners, such as NeighborWorks Training Institute and National Community Reinvestment Coalition, to see what training they have available.
  2. Collaborate with study partners. While studying on your own is certainly important, learning new information by yourself can get monotonous. By learning with other counselors, you can learn new study habits and skills, improve your mastery of concepts by teaching them to your groupmates, fill knowledge gaps through teamwork, and move through study content faster. See if you can set up a study group at your agency and use the power of collaboration to prepare for the exam.
  3. Maintain work-life balance. There’s more to life than work. It’s important to leave time and space for your personal life, whether that means spending time with family, social commitments, or individual pursuits of leisure, This will help you to avoid stress and study burn-out, which will maximize your learning potential.

Your certification is in your hands. Don’t wait to prepare. Visit the HUD Exchange for more information about preparing for and passing the certification exam.

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