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Time and type wait for no man

The force of time has thrown my exam schedule out of kilter but with replanning and the aid of London’s transport system, I can get back on track

Gregor watt
Gregor Watt Deputy editor Money Marketing

My plan to get enough credits to achieve my Certificate in Financial Planning by the end of June is starting to come under some considerable pressure, due mainly to the implacable and irresistible force of time.

The fact that we are almost at the end of March and I have only managed to sit one exam so far means that I have four exams to fit into three months.

Thankfully, having done a bit more reading on the examination process, I have discovered that the exams on protection and financial planning, CF3 and CF4, are only 50 questions and an hour long rather than the 100-question, two-hour exams for CF1, CF2 and CF5.

If I can managed to squeeze both CF3 and CF4 into the month of May, I may just reach my initial goal on schedule.

But, as ever, the difficulty is not finding the time to sit the exams – after all, the examination centre is only just up the road from MM Towers – but in finding the time to study the course material. Being able to sit both exams in May means finding the time to prepare adequately for them in thesame period and although the exams are shorter, sadly, the folders that contain the study material do not seem to be any smaller.

April and May also bring the paradoxical situation of multiple bank holidays. Working on a weekly paper, bank holidays are always a slightly bitter-sweet experience because while it is always nice to have a long weekend to look forward to, the shorter working week takes a sizeable chunk out of the production cycle and means you have to cram five days work into only four. Easter weekend sees this reduced to a working week of only three days.

But I suppose I should look on the bright side and consider that this should free up a little more free time in which to study.

Who wants a weekend break to Paris or Madrid when there is a comfy chair and several chapters of investment and risk to brush up on?

On another positive note, the editor has suggested that I should take some time off as study leave, which should help free up a little time and should make the target of sitting both CF3 and CF4 in May more achievable.

First up, though, is CF2. I have got a date set for mid-April and am busy ploughing through the course material. I am starting to find study time
as and when I can and have found that the commute to and from work has begun to transform from the slightly grim price of working in central London to a bonus two hours a day.

It may still be overcrowded, cramped, uncomfortable, too hot in summer, too hot even in winter and full of the inevitable delays that only a Victorian mass transport system can manage but I am now too engrossed in the details of life insurance-based investments to notice.

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