Studying for the ACII while holding down a full-time job
can be a challenge. Anna Barnes offers some tips on how to keep
both balls in the air
If you are just starting to sit your CII exams, I hope to
provide you with some insight into how studying alongside a
full-time job has worked for me and can hopefully work for you
It's all about time management. We all have other commitments
and, if you're anything like me, you probably thought you would
never sit another exam again after coming straight out of
university, but to acquire the skills and expertise in this field
of ours, it is essential to gain knowledge and understanding of
So picture this: you've just bought the book and you have no
idea where to begin. Before even attempting to start studying, I
would advise you to create realistic targets and deadlines. You can
even create a plan through RevisionMate, as it shows the amount of
hours you should spend on each chapter.
When it comes to studying, there are a number of ways to
approach it. If your employer allows it, spend some time in the
office revising. This works well as any query you have can be
answered by a colleague. You can also go to the library or even
find a quiet room at home to study. If you have plans all weekend,
do your studying during the week - after you've finished work or
even before. It seems to be even harder when the sun is shining for
once in England but you can always do your revision outside.
As your work experience develops, it follows that you are given
more tasks and responsibilities and you will be less inclined to
study out of work as it is important to rest and clear your mind.
Therefore, I think it is very important to complete the ACII
qualification as quickly as possible.
My priority is to pass each exam at the first sitting in order
to avoid the resit process and extra study cost. My overall
objective is to complete the ACII qualification within three years.
Then I can concentrate on my career development 100%.
Now, turning terms of retention - after learning the second
chapter, you'll probably have forgotten everything you learnt in
chapter one. With so much information being thrown at you, it's
very easy to forget what you did a few days ago, never mind a few
weeks ago. To ensure this doesn't happen, have the key facts
booklet at hand, or complete your own notes for each chapter. If
you read those for five minutes, just before bed, or at another
convenient time, you'll be amazed how much you know and retain
Be strict with yourself and utilise your time wisely; it's easy
to say the words 'I'll do it later' and watch another TV programme
but it can wait. Use your success in your studies as a reward. You
won't regret it.
Anna Barnes is compliance & technical services assistant