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How to study in quarantine

But it means rethinking study schedules and maintaining some semblance of momentum.

This is a very real challenge, as Jennifer Parker, head of the New Model Business Academy, part of The SimplyBiz Group, explains: “In such a surreal situation, those who are currently studying for qualifications may need to dig deep to find the motivation. 

“It may also be the first time some are studying from home, necessitating adjustments to style and method.”

Nick Britton, head of intermediary communications at the Association of Investment Companies, says: “The CFA exams that were due to happen in June have been postponed.

“I’ve been studying remotely, rather than attending classes, so there’s no reason why I can’t carry on as normal.

“However, I was fairly on track for the June date, so I’ll now have to rethink my study schedule, especially since the exams could be as late as December.

“It’s early days, but I suspect the main challenge is likely to be maintaining some sort of momentum and urgency. To try and do this, I’ve slowed my rate of study by about half, rather than stopping altogether.”

Educational bodies such as the CII and the CISI, as well as large networks and advice companies, are trying to make it easier for their members to study remotely and keep the momentum going. 

Julian Hince, head of training for the Quilter Financial Adviser School, says: “We have converted all existing face-to-face days into virtual classrooms by using our Go To Training software.

“This will enable students to receive tutoring from the [Financial Adviser School]. 

“The system allows students to follow slides in a virtual classroom, hear our trainers, ask questions – either via text or audio – and we can even split into virtual breakout sessions, which can be recorded.”

He said those students who face having to re-learn everything later down the line will be given “revision days” when the exams are rescheduled, to make sure they can stay on top of the syllabus.

Top tips

Creating a timetable that has enough flexibility built in will be a critical tool in the student’s arsenal, as Ms Parker explains: “Create a plan or timetable for yourself, set goals that are achievable and build your motivation from achieving them.

“Break the exam syllabus into sections and study each section in isolation, but don’t forget to also focus on exam technique and even revision techniques.”

The CISI also strongly advocates creating a regular schedule to “help you keep your focus. Build on your existing plans and try to make this more structured than usual.