Insights Association PRC Exam Preparation Tips

Been putting off getting your Insights Association PRC credential?

We get it. You are a busy market research or insights professional. And few people LOVE taking tests. But as a profession, we all appreciate that credentials help to distinguish among levels of practitioners.

If you have been intending to get your Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) but have been putting it off because you don’t want to take the exam, you may want to reevaluate based on the variety of preparation options now available.  Which options will be best for you? Well, it depends on your situation. But typically, we find that market research and insights professionals seeking their PRC fall into one of three categories:

  1. Experienced researchers who have a specialty, and are concerned that parts of the exam will be challenging.
  2. Experienced researchers who have broad foundational knowledge, but feel “rusty” on certain PRC exam topics.
  3. New Researchers (often people transitioning into research and insights from an adjacent profession), who are eager to gain a relevant credential.

If you fit into one of those categories, your best preparation options are described below.

1. Experienced researchers who have a specialty and need to fill-in some new skills

Is this you? Then you have two great options:

  1. Study the topics for which you lack foundational knowledge before you sign up for the PRC exam. For example, if you have never studied statistics, you will need to get up-to-speed. Check out basic statistics and data analysis courses from Burke, Coursera, and of course, Research Rockstar.
  2. If you choose to consider options from Research Rockstar, your best value will likely be a 12-month Backstage Pass. This option gives you access to 28 market research training topics.

2. Experienced market researchers who have broad foundational knowledge but feel a little “rusty” on specific PRC exam topics

For these researchers, options that provide a chance to refresh are as follows:

  1. Take the Insights Association’s PRC Prep Exam course. This is a refresher course, intended for the research professional who has the knowledge but needs a refresh.
  2. Brush up by studying Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation by Naresh Malhotra (6th Edition).

3. New researchers who want to take the PRC exam but know they need to start with training and skill advancement

For you folks, there is one “catch” and three options.

First, the catch: The Insights Association requires three years’ of market research experience to qualify for taking the exam. However, if you have work experience but just not a “market research” or “customer insights” job title, they might accept your application if your work has included relevant tasks such as conducting surveys, customer interviews, or statistical analysis. Not sure if you will qualify? Then contact the IA to ask. Alternatively, you might consider other certification options that don’t require taking a big exam.

If you do decide to go for PRC but know you need some training first, you have three great options:

  1. The University of Georgia has an online program, and passing it earns you an exemption on the PRC exam—a nice benefit.
  2. From Research Rockstar, start with the fundamentals bundle. After successful completion of those courses, taking the PRC Prep Exam course will be a good reinforcement of new knowledge. It will also give you a more precise idea of what to expect on the exam.
  3. Enjoy curling up with a good (text)book? Then get ready to tackle Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation by Naresh Malhotra (6th Edition).

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