Preparing for the CMA exam requires you to be on top of your game. In order for you to do this, you need to be very vigilant with your planning. In this article, we will take you through the common pitfalls and issues students mostly face.
If you don’t dedicate enough time to manage time then the results are going to be sub-par, you may even fail as a result of this. So don’t ever think that you can take it as it comes. Have a proper plan to know what works for you.
CMA Study schedule and time management tips
The very first thing you should know is how long should I study for? IMA recommends that 150-170 hours for each of the two parts of the test. In order to manage time efficiently, you need to create the right timeline. Answer the following questions first: How much time can you dedicate each day to studying? How many weeks do you have? How long can you study at a stretch? And how to allocate time very strategically. The tips we discuss will touch upon all of this.
How to study for the CMA exams? - TIPS
Now we are going to discuss some basic time management tips that CMA students can utilise. In order to maximise the length of time that you have, you should try to implement all of these.
Always keep in mind what's at stake - You getting a passing score is the ultimate objective. Do not forget that. If you don't work hard enough, you will have to retake the test again. Keep remembering this every time you sit down to study.
Now let us take a time management blueprint for your CMA studies.
1. Try and eliminate distractions - Research has proved that having the ability to focus is a very important aspect of your learning. Students often assume they can multitask while studying. But we have sufficient data that suggest otherwise. So if you are having a TV run in the background or if you are flipping through your social media apps you are in reality not retaining any information. This is how all brains work and you are no different.
At times you may think you can do stuff because you are a master multi-tasker, but this is just not true. Make a note of the following things
- Off any screens in front of you, other than the one you are using to access the CMA study material
- Turn your phone off suspend applications which you know will distract you (Bye Bye Instagram and facebook)
- Try to find a quiet and secluded place away from people
- Use white noise if that helps you
There might be something that is very specific to you and trigger you more. Like people walking around or some specific noises. You would be knowing what distracts you more than visual or auditory distractions. Eliminate them accordingly.
2. Dedicate time appropriately - CMA is a course that helps you to attain better career opportunities. So set your priorities right. CMA has to have priority over any other obligations you may have. This is a time period where your focus and commitment has to be towards studying and to get the marks you desire for CMA.
You should let your friends and family know about this too. Make the following decisions and stick to them
- Learn to say no to social events and gatherings
- Have a schedule for yourself that will relegate specific days and times
- Make proper study schedules and stick to them
- Try to not answer the phone, don't respond to texts or emails
- Let people know you will not be available during your study hours.
3. Dedicate a study spot- Having a proper and regular study area has a lot of benefits. Being there will automatically indicate to your brain that you are going to get down to business. This is also a very crucial element to managing your time. Many studies done by psychologists and universities have concluded that a consistent location for study can enhance your learning.
It's like how your mind automatically thinks of food when you think of the kitchen, you will slowly train it to think of it as a place to study. So you can slowly reduce the amount of time needed to warm-up for your study. You will automatically switch to a study mode and will be able to maximize each and every second you spend in that spot.
Find out such a spot and get rolling.
4. Plan and segment your study -
A good CMA programme should be able to help you learn how to tackle each subject. It's important to go deep, just doing a bit of everything everyday is not enough. Dig into conceptual frameworks and subjects. You can do this in the best fashion if you can have outlines, reading materials and other resources all organised in advance.
5.Have a plan B -
Be alert and always ready to change. Things may throw you off guard. So be prepared for any circumstances or any unexpected event, always always always always have a plan B. You may be neck deep in your study but then suddenly have a family emergency that you cannot avoid. So it's important to be agile and have strategies that will allow you to pause and then get back.
Also think of what else you can do if these tips get disrupted. If you are someone who is a creature of habit and can get completely thrown off by a sudden shift, then you have to be extra careful of this. While all these tips are very helpful, flexibility is very important.
At the end of the day, time management for CMA is less about the four hours a day you spend and more about HOW you spend them. The way you minimize distraction and maximize retention is the key to passing the CMA. You’ll have to come at this with dedication and full commitment if you want to pass the CMA on the first try. These tips will help.