Tuesday, 6 September 2016

How to skim read!

When tackling a heavy document and only needing to pick out key topics, skim reading can often be the most effective tool for you to pick up information to help you pass you become CIMA qualified!

Skim reading is quickly going through whatever materials and trying to find keywords or topics. Before starting to skim through a document, think of the keywords and terms you are looking for, that way you have direction when you go into reading the document!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Power of a Power Nap

A surprising idea that will help you pass your exam - have the occasional power nap!

What is it? Well a power nap is a very short and light doze, no longer than 30 minutes. During this time, find a dark room and comfortable place to relax and lie down in, but not a place to snooze. Not sleeping is important because getting up after a few hours of napping just makes you feel sluggish and unproductive, so remember set a timer at the end of the nap to avoid this!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Do you get distracted? I know I do! Four tips to minimise distractions

Don't let distraction lead to CIMA failure! 

Sometimes, the temptation to get distracted and lose focus during CIMA exam periods can be almost irresistible. Going through the same or similar things over and over can be so frustrating that you spend your time staring at a wall, flicking through your phone or doing anything that isn't revising!

To overcome this, I have devised a few useful tips to help you become productive even when things get tough:

Friday, 12 August 2016

Learn from best. Hear what Olympians have to say...

Stay on track… you're coming up to the last hurdle and soon you'll reach the finish line!

"There’s always a positive spin you can put on things... no matter how bad things are.” Jessica Ennis, Heptathlete and Olympics Gold Medalist. 

Jessica Ennis knows the importance of keeping upbeat in the face of pressure. Whether you are competing in Rio or studying for an exam, stress can impact your performance and can put in a negative frame of mind.

Friday, 5 August 2016

5 must read tips to prepare you for your exam…

1. Eat right

Lots of fruit and veg to compliment a big breakfast will fuel you up properly for the work ahead. Have some treats from time to time to rewards yourself for your efforts, but do not overindulge – a diet of coffee and biscuits will not do you much good! Sometimes saving that treat for the end of your exam will be the motivation to push you that bit harder.

2. Get plenty of rest

The stress of an exam can distract you from day-to-day life, but do not allow it to overwhelm you. Make sure you get to bed at a reasonable time so you feel fresh for the next day of work, being exhausted will only make you more stressed and impact your concentration.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Don't let stress be the reason for failing your CIMA exams!

Stress can be your biggest enemy when it comes to your CIMA exams! In my fifteen years of teaching, I've seen excellent students fail their exams due to an inability to manage their stress levels! This is such a shame as they often work long and hard to achieve success.

Remember, everyone gets nervous in the build up to important events. Whether it's starting a new job, attending an interview or making a wedding speech, it's perfectly natural to feel butterflies in your stomach before the big day.

Sportsmen often say that a little stress is a good thing as it actually improves their performance. Similarly many famous actors suffer from stage fright just before giving outstanding performances on the stage.

Like these successful people, the secret is it to control the stress not let the stress control you!

So, let's think about stress in terms of your CIMA exams. Take a look at these 5 great tips that could be key the to passing:


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

6 ways to significantly improve your work life balance

Juggling work, revision and home life is the single biggest challenge for many CIMA students.

I was recently counseling a CIMA student who was struggling with getting this balance right. He was a committed rugby player as well as a father of two small children. Combined with a busy job in the finance team of a large multi-national corporation, his CIMA revision seemed like a step too far in his busy schedule. He found that not only was his revision going badly, he was not managing any of the key parts of his life successfully. He was heading for problems!

This reminded me of many conversations I have had with Accountancy students over the 15 years I've been teaching.

Of course there is no simple answer, but there are some steps that can be followed to help students to get the balance right and be successful in their CIMA exams.

Here are my six key tips:

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Don't make this big mistake!

I was recently approached by a worried student who was struggling to remember his theory. He was spending hours reading the CIMA Study Text but simply couldn't remember what he'd just read - nothing was going in! He talked me through his revision technique and basically we soon released that he didn't have a strategy. He simply spent hours reading through the CIMA Study Text over and over again. 

His biggest mistake was that he was not taking notes. I suggested that he should spend one hour on a specific subject annotating the text and capturing the key points as he went along. I am pleased to say that he was quickly able to take me through the CIMA subject in great detail much to his own surprise!

Sometimes it isn't enough to simply read through a piece of text - in my experience you have to take things a step further like this student did. Take notes as you go along. The process of reading a portion of text and then translating this into a written note helps your brain to consume and understand the information. It also helps you to remember it at a later date.

To help you do this really well, here are 8 simple but effective note-taking tips:

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Model, Average or Disaster Student... Which one are you?

People regularly use the term “The Model Student” within the education industry when describing what the ideal student would do when passing their exams with top marks.
However, the idea of the model student can seem a bit out of reach for some students, as they may think that they will never get to that level.

I wanted to explore the idea of the model student therefore, in order to try and work out what really makes the perfect student within the accountancy world, with the hope of potentially inspiring a few students to reach that little bit further within their own studies to achieve the best that they possibly can.

To start off with however, we need to give the model student term a little bit more context. So let's first look at what makes an average student.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

3 tips to make your revision fun and effective (yes I said fun!)

CIMA revision is of course very important - but are we guilty of making our approach a bit too serious?

It goes without saying that all students really want to pass their CIMA exams - so it's important to make sure your revision is as effective as possible. After all, it's a serious matter!

However, there is often a misconception that revision can't also be enjoyable. 

With that in mind, here are three tips that could not only make your revision more fun, they could also make your revision more effective!