Preparing for Your Exam
There are several ways that you can ensure you are best prepared for your CIP examination.
You can see below for tips for CIP exam success, learn more about writing an effective CIP exam, or view sample exam formats.
Tips for CIP exam success
The following tips include some best practices that students can use with their existing study habits.
What to Study
Consider these best practices for deciding what material to study for your exam:
• Pay particular attention to the objectives for each study. They tell you where the emphasis is placed in the study material and what you are expected to know when you have completed it.
• Cross-refer the objectives of each study with the course material in the course text.
• Summarize and categorize the material in each study and examine how it correlates to the objectives.
• Use the study aids available to you, including the model questions, review questions and test paper questions in the Student Resource Guide, and the online tutorial.
• Aim to have a good general understanding of the material in all the studies, as the national exam may include at least one question from each study in the course text.
• Refer to the model exam for your course on the website as it will provide useful information on the types and number of questions that you will encounter on the national exam. Avoid studying past exams, as the questions may not relate to the current text edition.
When to Study
Scheduling time for studying is an important component in increasing the chances of a successful exam result. When planning your study schedule, consider these best practices:
• Get started—often, the hardest part of studying! The most productive thing you can do is to begin studying immediately. Before you know it, an hour will have passed and you will have completed a significant portion of your work.
• Create a study plan. Include a list of what you intend to study in order of importance. When your plan is made, stick to it! This means committing to your specific time or task. For instance, if you are going to review Study 3, do not stop halfway through.
• Study at the same time every day. As much as possible, you should schedule fixed study hours in a habitual, systematic way. Setting regular hours at least five days a week will make it easier for you to follow your schedule and maintain an active approach to studying.
• Avoid making your study schedule too aggressive. You will become frustrated if you cannot meet your expectations. Remember, you are making a commitment to yourself. You may be tempted to book all of your free time for study, but you need some time for leisure to avoid tiring or burning out.
• Make use of spare time. Time during lunch or on public transit on the way home can be used effectively to study or review course material.
• Use daylight hours to study. Research shows that 60 minutes of studying during the day is equivalent to 90 minutes of studying at night.
• If you are pursuing a course by way of in-class instruction, then plan study periods to follow your classes. If you are taking the course in-class, the time right after class can be used to review material from that class while it is fresh in your mind. The next best option is to schedule some study time immediately before the class.
• Avoid studying right before the exam. The exam is three hours long, which requires you to focus for that period of time to complete the exam. Adding another two hours of study is asking your brain to now focus for five hours instead of three. Studying immediately before an exam can impair your exam performance.
Where to Study
Students' surroundings can have an effect on how much they accomplish. Consider these best practices when choosing where to study:
• To study effectively, find an area that will allow you to concentrate on the task at hand and encourage a productive study period – a quiet space that is free from all distractions.
• Study at the library. Some students find they can do their best studying if they are in an area that promotes study. Seeing others studying in the library may encourage you to study as well.
• Some students like to study with music, as it enhances their focus. Classical music seems to be the music that best helps people focus. If you are going to study with music on, adjust the volume to ensure that it is background sound only.
How to Study
Exam success is not only determined by how much you study but also the quality of study. Consider these best practices for studying for the national exam:
• Before you set out to complete a task you must believe that you can accomplish it. Believe in yourself and your ability. There is a famous expression that says: “Your attitude determines your altitude.” During study, adopt the mindset that you are preparing for exam success.
• Read the course material before you begin studying it. Each study in the course text is structured in such away to help you learn the material. If you stop to study the material in the course text while you are reading it, you may not see how the learning flows in the text.
• When studying, know what learning is required of you. On the national exam, you are expected to learn the course material to the extent that you can perform the study objectives in the course text.
• Make study notes. Many students find they help to personalize the course material by putting it in their own words. Study notes also allow students to break the course material into separate points that relate to the study objectives.
• Use all the resources that are available to you.The Student Resource Guide, review questions, test papers, and online tutorial allow students to practise with the material. The more you practise with the material, the better chance you have of learning it.
• Develop your own questions. This will allow you to examine the objectives in the course text as well as provide you additional opportunities to use the course material.
• Use acronyms to help you learn certain information.
For example, PAFOB is an acronym that can be used to learn the five methods of discharging a contract from Study 7 of C11: Principles and Practice of Insurance:
Operation of Law
Breach of Contract
• Try making the idea clear to a friend without referring to your book or notes. Explaining information to someone else is a highly effective way of learning it.
Next, you can learn more about writing a CIP exam, or view sample exam formats.
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