1. Take a preparatory class. Training is the key to passing. You may think you know everything about cranes but how well do you know the OSHA and ANSI/ASME rules, regulations, and industry best practices? A preparatory class builds confidence, so that you won't be intimidated by the test.
2. Read the Candidate Handbook. The handbooks tells you everything you will need to know about the CCO exams, from start to finish. Focus on the outline for the written exams, the outline is like the "blueprint" for the exams. The handbook is available for free download off of the CCO's website.
3. Forget how you do it on a daily basis. You may be doing it safely but are you following the rules, manufacturers' recommendations, and industry best practices? Come into the class with an open mind. You actually may learn something you didn't know before.
4. The exams require experience. Page 3 of the Candidate Handbook states, "CCO certification exams are designed for operators who are trained and who currently work in crane operations". If you have no experience you will need some extensive training to get you to that level. You cannot luck your way through this test.
5. Answer every question. This is a multiple choice test. There will be no true/false, all of the above, or none of the above answers. Even if you are stumped on a question, you need to select an answer. You are credited for correct answers, but you are not penalized for wrong answers. The exam is a timed test and the Chief Examiner will give you the times for each exam on test day. Make sure when they give you a five minute warning that you have answered every question. During a prep training class, you will have taken numerous timed practice tests, thereby easing any anxiety over taking a timed exam.
6. Study the load charts. One of the most important parts of this test is being able to solve a load chart problem. If you take a CCO Prep training class, you will be given load charts and sample problems. If you depend on a computer in the crane or run by "seat of pants", you are going to be stumped by these load chart problems. The charts are available for download on the CCO website as well as sample problems. Read them cover to cover, all the notes, warnings, etc.
7. Pay Attention. Focus on the training class and practice tests. Don't let your cellphone be a distraction.
8. Do your homework. Preparation is the key.
9.Recertification. Even though you passed the test five years ago it doesn't mean that you can pass it now. There have been numerous changes in the last five years. Rules and regulations have changed, as well as changes to the tests. A class will bring you up to speed.
10. See #1. We can't stress enough about how important a class is. It's worth the time/money to get you prepared for test day.