This is a review of the book Six Sigma Black Belt Study Guide, Six Sigma Black Belt Exam Prep Secrets, ISBN-13: 978-1516712465. The book is written by Mometrex, an organization well known for its study guides and test-prep material. The book starts by covering general topics related to all exams, not just Six Sigma. This is a smart way to start a test-prep guild because it gives common sense advice on test preparation. It includes test-taking strategies, making your studying count, pacing yourself, and even having a plan for guessing.
The real Six Sigma preparation material starts on page 15. Here they begin by giving you a solid primer on what Six Sigma, what Lean is, and the central concepts behind them. Ideally, you’ll already be familiar with these concepts before you get this book, but it’s always smart to reintroduce the concepts. One of the things we love about this book is the clear way in which information is laid out. For example, on page 16, they begin each section with a defined topic:
This is a smart and effective way to communicate information to the learner. If this were a traditional “educational” book, the information provided might not be enough to thoroughly cover the topics. Because this is a test-prep book however, it neatly highlights the key information the student will need to know. The book does a good job at covering charts and graphs (SWOT Analysis, Customer Loyalty Metrics, ROI, Cost-Benefit, Cost of Quality, etc.).
One thing we were particularly glad to see was that the book covers Team Management (pg 34). This is something that many test-prep books seem to forget, yet it is one of the most important aspects of a successful Six Sigma project. The book covers team communication and other elements of team creation so that you understand the dynamics of working with people on a project.
The coverage of the DMAIC process starts on page 49. Each section of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control are well-defined and covers the required information for each section.
Some of the subjects covered in each DMAIC section:
Finally, one of the most important elements of any test-prep book is the practice exam. Starting on page 123, you’ll have access to a 50-question practice exam. Most Six Sigma certification exams will be longer than this (Management and Strategy Institute’s Six Sigma Black Belt exam consists of 95-125 randomized questions), but these questions are a great primer for what to expect. An answer sheet is included. It gives you the answer, as well as an explanation as to why the answer is correct. The Management and Strategy Institute has added this book to our Recommended Reading List, and we strongly encourage all members preparing to take their certification exam to pick up a copy!