How to get the most out of your CIMA study text

It is not always enough to simply read through a text book or from a computer screen, processing large amounts of information on a monitor can make it tricky to track your progress. It is always useful to use different ways of revision to ensure you are remembering all the key bits of revision.

I am often approached by students who are finding it difficult to take in key theory from the text, despite having read it through a number of times. In my experience, one of the most effective way of taking in information from any text is by making notes as you go along. The process of reading a portion of text and then translating this into a written note, helps some learner's consume and understand information easier and faster. 

Another useful tip that I have found is to use a highlighter when going over texts. Do not go crazy and highlight everything! Nor should you just highlight some things and just focus on them. In my experience, I have found highlighting the things I find most difficult is a useful tool to remind me that I need to go back over it. That way, the highlighted text is a reminder to focus on that particular area!

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How to save yourself time in the CIMA case study exams

How to save yourself time in the CIMA case study exams
How to save yourself time in the CIMA case study exams

The LAST thing you want to do when are you sat down in the exam is to be reaching for the pre-seen because you did not completely cover it in your revision, time will not be on your side as you have three hours to get through tough questions. In my experience, the best way to save time in the exam is to make up for it now and get to know the pre-seen inside out so that you don't ever have to look at it in the exam itself. Who else agrees?

The Examiners definitely agree. Every examiner's report will refer to how well students managed to engage with the pre-seen (or not). If you don't believe me, let's see what the examiners had to say in the latest OCS examiner's report: 

"Preparation on the pre-seen material is vital. Ensure that you are very familiar with the business, especially the financial information, before the exam as this will help you with applying your knowledge and will save you time."
So what can you do to help you remember all the key points from such a sizeable document as the pre-seen?

1. Make your own revision notes or scratch-cards as you go. You should then keep coming back to them, even re-writing them over and over again to cement these into your memory. Perhaps even use different colours and highlighters for the extra important information.

2. Once you have done this, you can scribble down notes and ideas that you think are linked with this information, doing this as early as possible will definitely make you feel a lot more comfortable with the pre-seen when you are finally going into the exam! Particularly useful when it comes to knowing the industry!

Make your own voice recordings of important information about the document. Research has shown that you are more likely to remember information when you are listening to your own voice; alternatively just talking through the information can help with information retention. When you have your recording listen to it from day to day, before you know it you'll have the pre-seen covered!

Making your own voice recordings and notes is not always for everyone though. If this is you, do not fear!

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