Exam Preparation Recommendations
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A strategic approach to learning will help you advance your knowledge base (and career) and meet mandatory education requirements - all in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.
Study smart. Approach your licensing, certificate or designation program just like any other work-related project. Commit to the process, take deadlines seriously and prepare well.
Here are some tips to help with that preparation. These suggestions should prove to be useful whether you're joining a class, studying on your own, or rewriting an exam.
- Start early - Allow yourself at least 6 weeks of preparation time before your exam date.
- Start with a scheduled - Set aside 3-4 days a week with 1.5 - 2.5 hours reserved exclusively for studying. Try to avoid study times very late at night. A tired brain learns less efficiently.
- Start out organized - Divide the material into sections and plan to cover a certain number of pages on any given day.
- Start with realistic goals - Choose an attainable exam date at a time of the year that isn't overly stressful for you and don't set yourself up for failure by trying to rush through the material in a short period.
Get the Right Tools
- Make sure you have the current text materials. CAIB and other textbooks are revised periodically to stay current with regulatory changes. A second-hand textbook may not prepare you for all exam questions.
- Familiarize yourself with insurance terminology. Have a glossary of insurance terms handy. The Glossary of Insurance Terms provided by the Insurance Information Institute is one example of several good online glossaries. Or purchase a copy of the Glossary of Insurance Terms by clicking here. Look up any words or terms that are unfamiliar or unclear to you.
- Check out the online portion of the course. These are particularly useful if you're challenging the CAIB 1, CAIB 2, or CAIB 3 exams. This is an excellent additional study tool. You can register here.
Get it Done
- Stay organized and stick to your schedule. Don't find yourself wishing you'd made more time to study come exam day. Make study time a priority if at all possible.
- Make notes. Flash cards and a definition sheet will help you be effecient in reviewing prior to the exam.
- Look at the checkpoints and key terms.These are at the end of each section of each chapter. They are an indication of what you are expected to know.
- Complete the discussion questions. These are provided at the end of each chapter to emphasize important points. Be sure to answer all the questions in your study guide. This gives you practice in writing out the answers.
- Review key terms and concepts at the end of each study session. Look through the answers you've completed in your study guide. The flash cards you made will be great for this. Have someone quiz you as often as possible
- Save your practice exam. Challenge your preparedness with the practice exam just a few days before your examination date. There's no point in testing your knowledge before you've studied.
Studying for an Immersion Class
- Prepare for classes. Read through the materials prior to your class. This enables you to identify those areas that are unclear and to ask questions both in class and of your colleagues at work.
- Participate in class. Don't be shy about asking questions. It's likely that you're not the only one who has that question; get an answer from the person who knows.
- Review prior to your exam. Look through notes and key terms the night before and have someone quiz you if possible.
- Eat a light meal and drink water before arriving. Your brain will benefit from the energy it will provide.
- Take a watch with you to the exam, even if you don't usually wear one. It will help you be aware of the time and mobile phones are not permitted in the exam.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your exam. Arrive 15 minutes prior to the time you are supposed to be there. This will eliminate stress and give you time to collect yourself before the exam starts.
- Read the instruction sheet provided separately with your exam. Follow the instructions carefully and completely.
- Read through the entire exam before beginning. Allocate time for each section to ensure that you don't have to rush at the end. If a question has you completely stumped attempt to answer it anyway; partial marks are better than no marks!
- Answer the questions you are confident about first. After the quick hits are out of the way, move on to the harder questions.
- Read questions carefully. Does the question ask you to list, explain, contrast or compare? These key words tell you exactly what the marker is looking for. You won't get full marks if you list when the question has asked you to explain. This is especially important in the CAIB 4 exams.
- Write as clearly as possible. If markers can't read the answers, they can't award marks. Clearly number each answer in the answer booklet.
- Re-read your answers and double check that you have completed all the questions. Take care if you decide to change an answer, especially multiple choice questions - your first choice is often correct, so think carefully before making the change. Take care that you haven't confused similar words such as 'insured' and 'insurer' or missed out key words such as 'no' or 'not' as this can completely change the meaning of a sentence.
Exams can be stressful but having a plan and being prepared from start to finish can go a long way towards relieving that stress. Use these tips to plan for success. Best of luck!