Some people assume that the most intelligent students will always do best in exams. The reality, however, is that the best prepared candidates do best. This means employing effective strategies that have stood the test of time!
First things first…
How well do you know the exam you are about to take on? As Mohammed Ali might have said, you can’t hit what you can’t see.
Know your enemy… Consider the points below:
- Exam format – What is the format of the exam? Is it a traditional ‘exam hall’ type test or is it essay submission based? This course is primarily designed for those who are studying for exams, but many of the techniques will help regardless of the format.
- Length of exam – this is really important. How long are you going to be sat at the desk? 2 hours? 3 hours? Knowing how long the exam takes allows you to start preparing – not least for being able to write that long!
- Exam Level – By this, we mean the QCA level which gives an element of fair comparison to examinations. Level 4 & 4 examinations are akin to A/S and A ‘levels, Whereas Level 6 is akin to an undergraduate degree. The level of the exam will determine what’s expected of you, with application being the key at level 6, in particular.
- How many credits? – How many credits will pass be worth? How far along the road will this take you? Knowing this can be quite motivational!
- Number of questions – This is the nuts and bolts of the exam. When you open the exam paper, what will be in front of you? Will there be two or three case studies? Will each case study have a certain number of questions?
- Recommendation study time – Each examining body gives you an indication of the amount of time you should spend studying. For instance, the CII recommends 150 hours of study for each of their level 6 exams, other than the pension Transfer exam. This is a shorter exam with a recommendation of 100 hours.
- Nominal pass mark – So many students can’t answer this and yet it is probably the most important of all these considerations. The pass mark tells you how many marks you need to achieve in order to pass!
- Success rate – This is also useful to know… how many of your fellow students pass the exam? Knowing how well (or badly) other people do can give you an indication of the relative difficulty associated with the exam. Of course, if you have studied with RM Advance, other students haven’t studied the way you have, but it is still useful to know.
Understanding the exam you will be taking is vital to your success and will help form your studying strategy.
Need extra study support for your CII exams? Check out Redmill Advance CPD accredited CII and CISI courses which can be accessed 24-7 on multiple devices.
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