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The joy of text

Perhaps the hardest thing about the CII exams so far has been getting through the study text. To date, I have deliberately not taken advantage of the extra facilities, such as one-to-one tutorials or study groups, as I have been interested to see how far I can get in the exams without the need for assistance.

The subject matter has not proved too difficult up to now but I have to say that getting through the course material has been slow going at times. Of course this is not helped by the fact that I have been trying to fit some of my study into the journey to and from work.

I am not sure what I expected but the study texts are surely not going to win any prizes for the quality of their writing. The fact that a text- book is a bit dull is not particularly surprising but I have found that occasionally the text will make a reference to an idea or principle as if it expects full prior knowledge, which has left me wondering if I had dozed off while reading the relevant passage or accidentally missed a chapter, only to find the relevant principle covered 20 pages later on. It’s only a minor niggle but spending a sunny Saturday afternoon reading about life insurance-based investments can make me slightly irritable.

On the day of the exam, I found myself back in the mysterious world of the waiting room at platform 15 and three-quarters at Euston

Several months into my studying and I still have not managed to get any better at reading my diary. This month, I managed to book myself in to sit CF2 midweek, only to remember that I had promised to go on a friend’s stag do on the weekend immediately before the exam. But the two days of On the day of the exam, I found myself back in the mysterious world of the waiting room at platform 15 and three-quarters at Eustonlost study time, three if you count the monumental hangover that lasted until the end of Monday, were slightly offset by the study day I had arranged for the day before the exam.

On the day of the exam, I found myself back in the mysterious world of the waiting room at platform 15 and three-quarters in Euston station.

Among the people in the waiting room were several who were clearly there for the exams, with folders of notes or the CII’s distinctive purple letterhead visible.

Not everyone in the room was there for the exam alt-ough a very confused Eastern European man sitting next to me clearly thought that the unassuming young man who came to check all the IDs of the exam entrants was carrying out a police check. It was only when he came to sign the clipboard to confirm his attendance that he realised he was not in danger of being hauled in or, worse still, have his knowledge of income tax rates for savings or earned income checked.

The thought of a bemused migrant labourer being interrogated by the CII secret police kept me entertained for the duration of the exam.

With CF2 passed, it is now two down, three more to go to reach the certificate in financial planning before the quest for QCA level four and the real fun begins.

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