If you are talking your Chartered Insurance Institute exams here are 5 top tips which are likely to increase the success of your revision include:
Make a plan - Identify realistically how much time you have available. If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of revision and the lack of time, here are some tips for finding a few extra hours per week, without too much effort:
Utilise your commute to and from work by reading or listening to study notes
Arrive at work 15 minutes early
Use 15 minutes from your lunch break
Stay at work an extra 15 minutes
Hey presto - you have found over an hour per day - 5 hours per week!
When planning your revision time, try and allocate slots when you know that you are at your best, for instance do you find it easier to focus in the mornings, or evenings?
Analyse past exam papers - Obtain some past exam papers, these can be found on the CII revisionmate website
Analyse the questions and identify the key areas of the study materials which are most important to the examiner, and consequently where you should be focussing your energies. For example, in P05 the compulsory and choice questions focus on different area of the book.
Prioritise your time and energies - I'm sure that many of you are juggling work, family and social lives in addition to these exams. Review your current understanding of the study text, in which areas is your knowledge:
- Strong and confident
- Less strong and lacking in confidence
Take this knowledge and add it to the information gleamed from the previous exercises and use it to develop your plan.
Allocate bite-size chunks - This will help your memory retention if you absorb the knowledge in small and regular intervals. Identify topics which can be revised in the bite-size chunks of time allocated.
Vary your techniques - Have you ever had the experience, of reading a page or even a paragraph of your study book, and then realising you can't remember anything of what you have just read? To help overcome this, consider different ways of engaging with the material, which could include:
- Revising with colleagues and discuss key cases or topics
- Ask friends or family to test you
- Make a voice recording of your revision notes and listen to it when commuting
- Use mind maps – How to mind map
- Post it notes in key places of your home or work
- Use colour, drawings or images - a picture paints a thousand words
You can now incorporate all of the above into your plan.
One final and very important tip- Implement your plan! A plan can only be effective if it implemented.