When you start a course of study, what’s your normal starting point? In other words, when faced with the prospect of an exam in a few months’ time, what would be the first thing you’d do?
If your answer was order the textbook and read through it… several times, this is definitely the study guide for you, because that is not at all efficient!
Our starting point is always the same – review the syllabus and get our hands on the examiners’ guides. Let us explain why…
The syllabus is, essentially, a list of the things you might be tested on. By looking at the syllabus with a critical eye, before you even start studying, you can tell where the gaps lie in your current knowledge.
With the CII level 6 exams, you’ll find that the syllabus also gives you expected prior learning. This tells you the level 4 subjects that you will be expected to have passed (or at least possess the knowledge from) before tackling the level 6. This is really useful in highlighting your knowledge gaps.
For example let’s take, the AF1 tax and trusts exam. This expects you to have passed the R03 Personal Taxation exam (most have) and the J02 Trusts exam (most haven’t). Right there is your first knowledge gap to fill!
Maximise the use of the examiners’ guides
These are published for most exams and certainly for all the Level 6 exams.
Generally, they comprise two parts:
- Part one gives a commentary from the examiner, explaining how students did in that sitting. It covers what they did well and where they went wrong.
- Part two gives the full exam and then model answers for each question.
Now, here’s the important bit! Many students get hold of these but only look at the exam and the model answers. What you should also take advantage of is the examiner’s commentary at the front, It is literally a ‘how to pass the exam’ guide.
Get hold of all the exam guides you can. Make notes of what the examiner wants to see – highlight to yourself your own weak areas. This will form the basis of your ongoing study.
Need extra study support for your CII exams? Check out RM Advance CPD accredited CII and CISI courses which can be accessed 24-7 on multiple devices.
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