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Tackling Textbooks

November 1, 2016 11:22 by Gill Kelley

Tackling Textbooks

Confused on where to start with your new textbook? Perhaps it’s been a long time since you’ve even picked up a textbook. Here we look at the top tips on how to get started with your CIM studies.

Ensure you know what chapters you are required to read- There’s little chance you’re going to be able to read the whole book whilst studying. Instead we outline which chapters you should be reading then so it coincides with your weekly online learning sessions. Perhaps page mark which pages relate to each specific topic so you can easily find it again.

Read slowly- Take your time, read what you need to slowly. It’s much better readying 10 pages in an hour and knowing all the material, rather than spending an hour on 40 pages and remembering nothing. Perhaps read a paragraph, take a few seconds to take it all in and ask yourself any questions, and then move on. This helps you know the material thoroughly and could help you quote this easily when need be.

Take Notes- General notes, Post it notes, highlighters, annotations, mind maps, bullet points… Whatever helps you best! Of course there are pros and cons to all but only you will know what works best for you and only you will know what your notes mean. Make sure you add enough information to be able to reference the original text when you come to write it up - remember to add the page number to your notes so you can go back to the original text. Colours also help differentiate certain notes from others so be sure to remember what means what.

Structure of the Book- Some textbooks have overviews or summaries and some even quizzes at the end. Focus on the areas you have little knowledge and then use these summaries and quizzes to test your strengths and weaknesses. If you understand more when you are applying your learning (so are pragmatic in your learning style) then try reading the Case Studies before you read the main content of the chapter.

Don’t let the size of the textbook put you off, stay focused and know what works best for you. If it’s the style of writing you aren’t keen on then try another book that covers the same topic; each author writes differently and again it’s about what you can digest and learn from the most. The vast CIM Library is there at your fingertips and helps you find the book you are looking for either online or on site.

Tags: Studying, Textbooks, Reading

Categories: CIM Qualification | Tips

Top 10 tips for a perfect study environment

November 1, 2016 11:14 by Gill Kelley

Top 10 tips for a perfect study environment Create the best studying environment. Photograph: 53581027 © Stokkete

Studying for a CIM Qualification involves dedicated time and so creating the best working environment for you is important. Of course the days of using a desktop PC at home are long gone and you can now access all your study materials on a tablet or smartphone. It is however still important that you find a quiet area to spend your revision time so here we give you our top 10 tips which you can hopefully incorporate into your study routine.

1. Keep a tidy work space - If you have a clear desk there’s a lot less to distract you meaning you can stop procrastinating and focus on your studies in hand.

2. Try to avoid background noise - Although some people say that background music helps, Accelerated Learning Research shows that music from the Baroque era stimulates the brain to learn - the beats per minute (60) are the same as the alpha brain wave state, and so it helps the brain to be more receptive to learning. This is however very different from being in the same room as others, as this can prove very distracting for all.

3. Break up your studying - It’s amazing the amount of difference a few minutes off a long chunk of studying makes. Take a breath! Get some fresh air and start again! Even just stretching your legs will help. Your concentration will soon start to go once you’ve been looking at something for a while and you will soon find that shortened periods of studying will help you take in a lot more.

4. Phone on silent! - Or just let those around you know you are studying. One less thing to distract you and clicking on Facebook or Twitter is too easy so put your phone on silent or even turn it off completely to stop you from this easy distraction.

5. Take advantage of downtime at work - If you’re one of the lucky ones who is allocated some time to study during work hours then great, as this environment is what you need. If not, and you have a busy home life, then take advantage of any free time you can. This may during your work lunch break or during a slow time of day. Even if it’s not for long, every little bit of time helps.

6. Lighting - It may seem simple but straining your eyes to read in dim lighting or even bright artificial light can cause headaches. Try and find natural light and remember to take breaks.

7. The Clock! - Can be your worst and best friend both at the same time! 5 minutes may seem like an hour which for some can be so off putting. It’s best not to know how long you have been studying for and instead set an alarm so you know when you should be taking that well deserved break.

8. Comfort - Sitting on your bed or on the sofa may seem like a good idea at first but you will soon want to give up on the studying and watch some TV instead. The same goes for a hard, straight back chair, this will soon feel uncomfortable. Instead find somewhere that works best for you and use this as your study area.

9. Find the time that works best for you - There’s no point trying to study late at night if you know you are tired and not going to take anything in so instead find the time of day that works best for you, incorporate this with your perfect study area and you are in the environment you need.

10. FOCUS! - Last but not least focus! Only you can be true to yourself when studying and only you will know if the environment you are working in works in your favour. You may already know or it may take some time to realise but whatever works best for you, is what you should stick with.

Tags: Studying, Time management

Categories: CIM Qualification | Tips