When progressing your career means undertaking a nationally recognised qualification such as CeMAP, it is important to ensure that you pass first time. As with any exams, by implementing a realistic and structured study plan, you can make sure that you stay on track and achieve your end goal of becoming a qualified mortgage advisor.

When setting your plan, remember that your life can and will continue as well, so make sure that you incorporate a balance, factoring in other commitments.

Early bird or night owl?

The foundations of your study plan will be determined by the point at which you are at your best – a part of the day that is different from person to person. Some strongly believe that “the early bird catches the worm” and function at their best first thing in the morning. If this is you, incorporate this into your study plan, setting your alarm early. You may, on the other hand, be a night owl – particularly if you have children, as they will be in bed and the house is quieter during the evening. It is important to keep an element of flexibility in your study plan; you may think you know what time of day is best, but be prepared to review and change if necessary.

Get the balance right

Many people who set up a study plan are simply unrealistic in their expectations of themselves. It is very easy to overestimate how much we can get done in an allotted time, but remember that studying is an intense activity, and is much more effective when carried out in smaller blocks, as opposed to trying to maintain the same level of concentration for hours upon hours. Assess what other commitments you have, and see if any of them be rearranged to incorporate some study time.

There’s no place like home?

Whilst it doesn’t necessarily have to be at home, getting your study environment right is instrumental in your success. It needs to be somewhere that you will not be interrupted, a place without unnecessary noise and space to lay out your study materials, so that it is all to hand when needed. Studying at home means that you do not waste time travelling to another location, although if you pick somewhere a bit further from home, you will be less tempted to pack up and go home early.

Chop and change

Make your study plan a bit different. You will easily get bored if trying to cram one topic for the whole week. Break the training down into manageable chunks and mix them up to keep things fresh. Also, adopt various learning methods, such as taking notes from books as you read, or reading for 10 minutes and then making notes, as well as talking to fellow students to exchange what you have learnt or discuss difficult topics.

Know your place

Make sure that your study plan is a visual working aid. Use it to track your progress, mark off days studied and topics learnt. Knowing where you are in your study plan will help to keep you focused and motivated. Don’t forget to reward yourself once you have completed the plan and passed the exam.

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