When you registered for the course, you were provided with a text, a study guide and, if you did the self-study option, the answers to the chapter checkpoints. If you did discussion group or an immersion course, your chapter checkpoints were handed out in class. What should you do with these 3 things?
Text – Be sure to read the text carefully. No chapter is weighted higher or lower than another so give them all your utmost attention. And be sure not to read for too long at one time or you stop remembering what you are readying. Studies show that for every hour of studying you should take a 10 minute break to clear your head and refocus. Between chapter are sample policies and wordings – you are not tested on these items but they will show you how the information you learned in a chapter is published in the insurance industry as a reference.
Study Guide – I beg you to not leave this book until a week or two before the exam to use it as your last minute study system. The questions asked in the study guide are very detailed and it will take you a substantial amount of time to complete the book. If you haven’t already, get started on this book now as you need all the time you can find to work on it. This is great if writing out answers helps you to remember ideas.
Chapter Checkpoint – These questions are a great resource for you to see what types of questions are going to be on the exam. While they may not be exact, many of the Chapter Checkpoints highlight the important areas of the chapter so use them to ensure you understand the most important concepts that were taught. The format of the questions also makes them excellent examples of how the short-answer questions are going to be laid out.
Your Notes – The final piece of material you should be using to help you study will be your own notes. Reading is not always enough so making notes to summarize important topics and to list information such as key terms are great way to work on your final review before the exam.
If you still feel like you need more guidance and material to review for the course, a great aid is the IBAM CAIB Online Study Tool. This online course is available for all 4 levels of CAIB and was authored by experienced instructors where each course contains extensive multimedia lectures, downloadable tools, progress quizzes to consolidate your learning, and a discussion board where you can interact freely with a qualified instructor and other learners.
This tool will enhance the learning experience of your Self Study, Discussion Group or Immersion CAIB course. For only $49.00, you will receive 12 weeks of online activation. For more information on how to register for this tool, please visit the online education area of the IBAM Website (found on the member side of the site).
Time to get reading!
A well-known saying is “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Planning and time management is a key to success. It helps you to complete your course in time and save time for revision. If you don’t plan and study haphazardly, there are more chances that you may not be able to complete your course before the exam. We all have busy lives and sometimes that means that certain tasks can fall to the bottom of the list. I would love to say that studying for an insurance exam is the most riveting task in the world but surprisingly not everyone seems to think so.
If you are planning to write your exam in December, you have hopefully already been dedicating time to studying. But if you haven’t been giving your exam as high of a priority as you should be – don’t worry!! It is absolutely not too late if you start making your exam part of your daily routine.
One of the first important steps you must do in the planning process is to discover your time commitment. Pull out your text book and look at the number of chapters as well as their length. Just as us facilitators do in the discussion classes, separate the information into manageable segments. This might mean each chapter is a segment or it may mean that each section of a chapter is a segment. Do what works for you.
Now that you have broken up the book, get out your calendar. Looking at your upcoming commitments, schedule yourself time to work on each of these segments. The next step is easy and difficult all wrapped in one – write this schedule down!!! It is easy to say that you will commit one hour per day after dinner on studying but unless it is written down and you are accountable for it, it is easy to just let the time get away from you. Sharing this schedule with your family and friends will also help others remember when to give you quiet time to work on your course.
If you are struggling to find focused time to study, look into registering for the IBAM Study Groups coming up to give yourself some of the dedicated time that the exam requires for successful results.
Studying for your CAIB or CPIB exam can be a stressful for insurance brokers. The main thing to remember is to always approach and exam seriously and to commit to the process. These are all university level courses that will need time and effort dedicated to them to in order to ensure success.
Over the next few weeks as you prepare for your upcoming exams, I will let you know some key pieces of information that you should keep in mind when you are preparing to write. Do you have a hint or trick that has worked well for you in the past? Please let me know!! I would love to pass the idea onto other brokers to help them make the best of their CAIB experience.
Looking for individual help preparing for the CAIB or CPIB exams? IBAM is hosting informal study groups building up to the December 2013 exam sitting. Contact the IBAM office for more information on how to register.