TICO recognizes that many candidates may not have written a formal exam for many years. Once you are comfortable with the material in the Study Manual, be assured that the exam is a straight-forward means of testing your knowledge about the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and the Regulations.
TICO uses the services of Assessment Strategies Inc. (ASI), a professional testing company to administer the multiple-choice exam. All the questions have been reviewed to ensure they are written concisely, are understandable and that there are no "tricks". Please note that candidates should not sit the TICO Education Standard exam(s) without prior study of the Manual.
The composition of the Travel Counsellor Exam and the Supervisor/Manager Exam is based on a "blueprint" or guideline that determines the percentage of exam questions that are taken from each module.
This information may be useful in preparing for the exam, as it will inform the candidate about how much emphasis is placed on the information in each module, as far as the exam is concerned. For instance, if 26% to 32% of the Travel Counsellor exam content is based on Module 4, the candidate may wish to spend a bit more time reviewing the information in that module.
Blueprint for the Travel Counsellor Exam
Blueprint for the Supervisor/Manager Exam
There are 3 multiple choice questions at the end of each module in the Study Manual, as a means of reviewing some of the material in the preceeding chapter. Candidates should review these questions, and then, as part of their final exam preparation, return to these questions to ensure an understanding of the information in the respective module.
Two sample exams can be found in the Study Manual.
The Travel Counsellor Sample Exam consists of 24 multiple-choice questions that reflect the same ratio of questions from each module, that you will find on the actual Travel Counsellor Exam. The wording of the test questions also reflects the types of questions on the actual exam. Some are straight-forward factual, while others ask you to apply information, based on a short case study or scenario.
The Supervisor/Manager Sample Exam consists of 14 multiple-choice questions, again reflecting the same ratio of questions from each module that you will find on the actual Supervisor/Manager Exam.
Candidates should treat the sample exams seriously and plan to write one or both (as it applies to individual circumstance) in a similar atmosphere as the actual exam.
- Allow yourself 60 minutes of uninterrupted time to write the sample exam
- Ensure that you are in a comfortable setting--no cell phones; no children or pets or telephones to disturb you.
- Treat the sample as a closed book exam. Do not reference any outside materials. If you sneak a peek at the Study Manual, you are defeating the purpose of taking the sample exam as a preparation tool for the actual exam.
- Find the correct answers. Upon completion of the sample exam, visit the TICO website where you can find the correct answers to the sample exam questions.
- Review those chapters for which you gave incorrect answers, to better your understanding.
General Preparation Tips
Multiple Choice Questions
Read the entire question (“stem”) with each possible answer as a full sentence. This allows you to recognize the sound and flow that a correct answer often produces. It also eliminates any alternatives that do not agree grammatically with the “stem”. Eliminate options that are definitely inaccurate to narrow your choices and take your best guess rather than omit a question. There will be one question per screen. All you need do is click the mouse on the correct answer.
No reference material is allowed in the examination room.
How the TICO Exam is Marked
The Exam score is calculated electronically. Candidates will receive a "Pass" or "Fail" as a mark. Click here for an explanation of the "passmark". Notification will be mailed to the candidate who wrote the exam, usually within 10 business days of writing.
Pacing and Timing
The Travel Counsellor Exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. The time limit is 90 minutes. Some questions may require you to take more time to answer but you can easily check the timer on the upper right corner of the screen, to see your progress at the half-way mark. (45 minutes – approximately 25 questions should be answered).
The same holds true for the other exams: The Supervisor/Manager Exam consists of 30 multiple-choice questions. The time limit is 60 minutes.
The combination Travel Counsellor-Supervisor/Manager Exam consists of 80 multiple-choice questions. The time limit is 150 minutes.
Remember that some people write exams quickly, while others take their time. Don't get "psyched out" if you see someone finish the exam early. It means nothing. They could have sped through it and failed. Just be concerned about yourself. Relax and work through the questions. Everyone has his or her own pace. This is not a contest.
It is a better strategy to continue working through the balance of the questions, than to have a panic reaction to one or two questions. When you answer the very last exam question, the program will prompt you to return to answer questions that you may have skipped. It is your choice whether you would like to answer them at this stage. The recommendation is that if you absolutely don't know the answer to a question, then take your best guess, rather than leave the question blank.
Plan to allow approximately 15 minutes to review your answers and to answer any questions you have omitted.
It is perfectly normal to feel anxious when faced with writing an exam. There are many ways to deal with exam anxiety but knowing you have an understanding of the subject matter will reduce tension. By preparing thoroughly, you are taking control. Actively imagine your success in the exam situation. Take deep breaths to calm the “butterflies”. Stretch for a moment and focus your energies. Be prepared, be positive and confidently approach the exam process. Remember that there are no "trick" questions. The purpose of the exam is to ensure that you, as a seller of travel, understand your obligations toward the consumer. For most travel agents, this is simply part and parcel of what they do--successfully--on a daily basis.
Training the body as well as the mind may reduce some anxieties. Your head will be clearer and better able to tackle your tensions if you are fit, fed and rested. Wear comfortable clothes that make you feel good and layer your clothing to adapt to varying room temperatures.
Be well rested, avoid excess caffeine and alcohol and eat sensibly prior to writing.
Some people find it's good to review notes with others, while some people find this threatening and even confusing. Choose the study method with which you are most comfortable.
Above all, remember to bring your positive attitude. You should feel confident by telling yourself that you have prepared well and will do well.
There are numerous sites on the internet that give you ideas about studying and writing exams. For those who may be anxious about the exam, please take some time to look at some of these sites, or type in "Exam Preparation" in your favourite search engine (Google, Ask Jeeves, Yahoo etc).