Helpful CMA Study Tips for the Holiday Season
If you’re prepping to take the exam then, you’ll probably want to plan ahead to deal with the upcoming holidays. Even if you don’t celebrate any holidays personally, there are plenty of people around you who will. Between responsibilities at work, family obligations, and various celebrations and parties going on, you can be pretty sure that your time will be stretched over the next few weeks. Here are some CMA study tips for the holiday season to help you maintain your study plan for the CMA exam.
Remember Why You are Pursuing the CMA Certification
As challenging as it might be, this is the time to stay focused and dedicated to your goal: achieving your CMA certification. You already know the benefits of becoming a CMA, so take the time to remind yourself—and your support system—why you’re making this extra effort. Once you pass the CMA exam, you’ll have more opportunities to advance your career, a bigger salary, greater job satisfaction, and an overall better future in your field. Now is the time to keep your focus on the long-term goal, not just the next few weeks.
Have a Realistic CMA Study Plan
One question to ask yourself is “Do I have realistic expectations for how much I can study while working, socializing, traveling, and, most importantly, sleeping?” Think how busy you are during “normal” life; add holidays to the mix, and you may already feel behind and overwhelmed. If you’re working full-time (maybe with some overtime), traveling to visit family or friends, fulfilling home responsibilities, and still trying to shop, eat, and sleep, well, you’ve already got a full plate! You probably can’t do it all, so step back for a minute to make conscious choices about how much time you can devote to study during this busy time of year.
First things first, make your CMA study plan and block out your study sessions deliberately. For example, you may be traveling during the next few weeks, and if you’re flying, taking a train, or public transportation, you’ll probably be spending at least some time simply waiting in a terminal and waiting to arrive at your destination. You can study and rack up those frequent flier miles at the same time! Take your study materials with you and make use of that downtime.
Increase the Size of Your Support System
Consider taking advantage of some of the time-saving services now available in many areas. Maybe you have a huge shopping list to get ready for a holiday meal or even just your regular weekly shopping list–something that would take you two hours to complete. Use the store’s online pick-up order function instead. You’ll spend fifteen minutes online clicking some buttons, five minutes driving to the store, and No time doing the shopping yourself. Just pick-up and go! Some areas even have delivery services that will save you even more time. Or, for the next few weeks, use a laundromat’s wash/dry/fold service. Now you’ve just “found” three extra hours a week for studying. The same goes for housecleaning and yard care; try outsourcing these chores for the next few weeks to help you get through the holidays and your test preparation. And if you don’t want to pay an unknown service provider to help you with your chores, remember you have a support system that, by now, knows why you are studying for the CMA exam. Ask for help.
If buying gifts is part of your holiday plans, consider making this task easier on yourself. Shop now and get your list done early. Simplify your list (maybe all those distant relatives get a gift card). Shop online if possible. Save that six-hour trip to the mall and have it all delivered, either to you or directly to the recipient. With gift wrap and delivery services, you can check this off your list too—and have more time to study.
Have Small Manageable CMA Study Sessions
Plan on shorter study sessions. You probably won’t get six hours in a row to study, but you can take advantage of forty minutes at the train station, or thirty minutes waiting for your mom at the salon, can’t you? Be realistic about the opportunities you’ll have, and take advantage of those little bits of time to take a quiz or get through part of a study unit.. By planning short bursts of time, you are setting yourself up for greater success because you won’t get discouraged when you can’t sit down for a six hour study session.
Schedule at least a couple of days completely off from studying. By giving yourself a total break from the work, you’ll come back to it refreshed and ready to go.