5 Critical Elements of a Study Strategy

by | Jul 15, 2017 | Actuarial Exams

Having a study strategy in place is one of the key factors to ensuring exam success. Actually, I believe that if all the right elements are in place and implemented properly, exam success is almost guaranteed.

When most students think of an exam study strategy though, they think of just a study schedule. (Check out “What is a study strategy? It’s not just a schedule“)

A study schedule, of course, is a very important part of your strategy but that alone won’t necessarily get you the results you’re hoping for. That’s why the study strategies that I create for my Exam P and Exam FM study strategy consulting clients include 5 critical elements that all connect to create a complete strategy that gives them the absolute best chance of passing.

A good study strategy will include these 5 critical elements:

Custom Study Material Selection:
The materials that you decide to use during your study period should be chosen depending on your unique learning style, budget and schedule. For example, the ACTEX study manual is one of the best resources for anyone that likes to be able to read about a concept or topic and then be able to see it visually with a diagram or image. The study manual is also great for anyone whose budget for study materials may not be able to cover the cost of more expensive online courses and videos.

Study Roadmap and Daily Goals Calendar:
A study schedule fits into this element. A “study roadmap” and “daily goals calendar” are each different types of schedules.

A “study roadmap” is a high-level, week-by-week overview of what you’ll be accomplishing during each week of your study period. Actually, I have a free Exam P 12-week sample roadmap here on my website.

The “daily goals calendar” is exactly as it sounds… A calendar of specific goals that you will aim to achieve each day of your study period. (You can get the EA Customized Daily Goals Calendar here, which automatically creates a calendar of easy-to-achieve daily goals for your entire study period)

Accountability:
This is an element that almost all self-made study strategies lack for two reasons.

First is that many students don’t realize the importance of it. It’s extremely easy to procrastinate and fall behind on studying when you’ve got months to study and no one but yourself to keep you accountable. It often results in an undesirable “crunch time” as exam day gets closer.

Second is that in the past it has been difficult to find someone to act as an accountability partner. Now, with study strategy consulting, it’s a much easier because you have someone working together with you at each step of the way.

Development Monitoring and Strategy Adjustment:
This is another element that is often overlooked and also difficult to do without the insight of an experienced mentor or consultant.

Throughout your whole study period you should be tracking the difficulty of each topic and practice question you do. In later parts of your study period, you should use that information to adjust your strategy appropriately. It’s an important step in boosting your understanding of the exam topics.

Exam Day Tactics:
This isn’t just what to do on exam day. Instead, these exam day tactics should be completely interconnected into your regular study habits. But knowing what those exam day tactics are is a topic for a whole other blog post.

Of course, you want a strategy that is completely customized to you and fits your budget, learning style, schedule and current understanding of the exam topics. You want a strategy that will get you the results you want! That’s all very possible, no matter what your situation.

In my Study Strategy Consulting program, I’m so sure that I can help you create and follow through on a killer exam strategy that I actually guarantee you pass.  If you don’t, I pay for your next exam registration fee!