Tag Archives: common final examination

How Do I Keep Track Of 2017 CFE progress?

You should be tracking your CFE progress when you begin writing daily simulations (weekends off!).

For those who don’t have some kind of simulation tracking sheet, create one in Excel! You can build on every easily..

At minimum, you can use a tracking sheet to track your results per indicator per case. You should be noting what kind of indicator it is. This tracks the meat of your CFE performance but if you want to go all out, I would also recommend tracking certain other things that might be going wrong with your cases. For example:

  • Time management – did you run out of time or did you use your time well given how you scored. Write how you felt about this before your case is marked. Afterwards you can compare how you scored to how you felt and make a better judgment on whether you are using your time well.
  • Ranking issues – perhaps track if you messed up in your ranking, this will ID this important issue quickly.
  • Technical problems – Again, write how you felt about this before your case is marked and then compare. Maybe you didn’t need as much technical as you thought.

Those are the three major ones I can think of but it’s endless what you could potentially track. At minimum you should know which types of indicators need more work and which need less at which point you can write cases that test more of your problem indicators. Just keep in mind, if you’re not tracking something for a purpose (if it’s not helping you by tracking it) then you could be wasting time so make sure to find balance. Happy tracking!

December 2016 CFE Results

CFE results time is upon us again! From the comments in the last few days here and from the candidates I’m working with I’m quickly brought back to my own results day a few years back now. Even before the results – congratulations for making it through the long and tiring wait.

If you’re not sure where to go to get the CFE results, below are some of the key spots to check for your results.

 

Recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada cash prize of $5,000 for the highest standing in Canada in the September 2016 Common Final Examination:

Ms. Julie Cardinal PricewaterhouseCoopers s.r.l./S.E.N.C.R.L. Montreal (QC)

 

ONTARIO

1,249 Successful Writers!

Results released Friday, December 9 at 10 AM EST
Go here: CPA Ontario September 2016 CFE Results

Recipient of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada Gold Medal and cash prize of $2,500 for the highest standing in Ontario in the September 2016 Common Final Examination: Ms. Sanly Zi Shan Li KPMG LLP Toronto (ON)

 

QUEBEC

866 Successful Writers!

Results released Friday, December 9 at 9 AM EST
Go here: CPA Quebec December 2016 CFE Results

 

CPA WESTERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

(British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon)

Results released Friday, December 9 at 7:00am Pacific
Go here: CPA West December 2016 CFE Results

Recipient of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada Gold Medal and cash prize of $2,500 for the highest standing in Western Canada in the September 2016 Common Final Examination: Lindsay Mclean Deloitte & Touche LLP Calgary (AB)

 

CPA ATLANTIC SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

(Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Bermuda, Caribbean)

212 Successful Writers! (At least that is my count from the cryptic PDF file put up)

Results released Friday, December 9 at 9:30am AST
Go here: CPA Atlantic Web Site CFE Results

Recipient of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada Gold Medal and cash prize of $2,500 for the highest standing in Atlantic Canada in the September 2016 Common Final Examination: Mr. Andrew Garrett Nickel PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Halifax (NS)

September already!? Last minute advice for September CFE writers

First off: wishing all those writing the CFE this Wednesday, September 21 – Friday, September 23 the very best!

Whether you’ve been studying for 5-6 weeks or only squeaked a week or two, here are some final tips to get through the CFE:

  • Take a break before Wednesday. At minimum I would suggest taking Tuesday entirely off from work and study.
  • Sleep is super important. Get a good sleep before the exam and during the three days.
  • Don’t study during the exam, you need to rest in between each day to be fresh.
  • Remember, this is a three-day examination and every day counts. Don’t get discouraged if you have a bad day and think that you’ve failed so you won’t try as hard on what’s left. Most people feel terrible walking out of one or more of the exam days. Give your 100% each day. This isn’t the time to feel sorry for yourself.
  • Don’t talk about the exam until after all three days are over. There is little reward and lots of risk of getting discouraged because you missed something that somebody else had identified (correctly or not).

With that, good luck and best wishes!

Do I really have to outline?

This is one of those issues that can have strong opinions on both sides. On the one side, some say the outline is critical in organizing your thoughts and response and on the other end, people consider it a waste of time since you can just take notes on the simulation sheet.

For comprehensive cases I say the outline is critical and you cannot go on without it. For shorter cases (multis), I’ve seen people go both ways and write fine cases so it’s a personal choice but I recommend using one. I found it helpful to stay organized and especially helpful with ranking and time management which are especially tested on the shorter cases.

What is on a good outline?

A good outline will have the following elements:

  • A purpose and role. So you never forget what your role in the simulation is, and I like to have a purpose to all quants on the outline so that you understand why you need this quant. It helps you to avoid starting a quant and later realizing you didn’t need it or you went in the wrong direction. It also helps me step back and look at the bigger picture.
  • Who you are addressing and what kind of communication is it? You may have to do an audit memo to a partner to start and a report about a tax situation to the client afterwards. An outline helps keep this straight. The CFE may ask you to do more than one report in a single case.
  • A timeline should be used unless dates are not an issue in the simulation. Write down every date you are given and keep track of where you are in proximity on a timeline.
  • A diagram or organizational chart to keep track of who owns what or works where. This is often an issue in taxation indicators and will help keep things clear.
  • A list of the “required” for the case which ensures that you address everything that was asked of you. Most people recommend you write the required out word for word from the simulation so that you don’t misunderstand what is being asked of you.
  • Identify issues in the simulations. This is not the same as writing down case facts which should not be written down on your outline but referenced from it. Write down the issues you identify and then indicate on your outline which page(s) they come from and refer back to them once you are writing your response. Highlight the actual case facts on your exam paper.
  • You’ll want quant information easily available if there is a lot of it. Consider having a separate page full of quant information so you can easily refer back to it rather than searching (and possibly missing) the data in your question sheet.
  • Finally, after all is said and done, rank the issues and allocate time to them. You are going to need to know which issues you’ll be dropping and which you’ll be tackling before you begin writing and it’s best done when you have the whole case in front of you on an outline. This will take a little practice and experience before you master it. Remember to always stay on time.

How long should an outline take?

I’ve heard that some people dedicate up to 1/3 of the time to outlining, which is probably a good ceiling. You don’t want outlining to start impacting your actual case but it is where a lot of the hard work of composing your response occurs so don’t fly over it, either. For a comp I don’t think it’s unreasonable to outline for up to 1.5 hours.

Don't neglect studying for Day 1 of the CFE

 

The results of the first CFE in December gave us more information to work with. Something that’s becoming clear is that Day 1 of the CFE is not the breeze that some candidates thought it would be. In my discussions with candidates and from the comments on the blog, I am seeing that a lot of candidates who did not pass the full CFE did not pass because of Day 1.

So what’s up?

 

It’s new to candidates

Day 1 is something completely new and many of the CFE writers may have been used to (and worked with) the old UFE format and therefore getting less practice on Day 1 of the CFE. With the May CFE approaching, you’ve now got more information to work with so use it.

 

It’s group work but you can’t work in isolation

Day 1 of the CFE is based on your Capstone 1 module which is a large group assignment that is evaluated. An interesting observation is that many Capstone 1 groups are taking the divide and conquer approach to the case which means individual candidates may be very familiar with one area of the case and less familiar with other areas. The down side of this approach may manifest in the CFE where you have to be very familiar with the whole case. If this is your group’s approach to Capstone 1, plan for additional time to study the whole case before the CFE.

 

Understand what’s being assessed on Day 1 and how to approach it

Remember, Day 1 is focused on the soft, high-level skills of the CPA Way. The case response is judged on the whole based on these key skills:

  • Assess the situation – integrating multiple parts of the case in your overall assessment, think holistically, think about organizational goals, risks, constraints and so forth.
  • Analyze the major issues – think of the tools you can use in your analysis (qualitative, quantitative, assumptions), think about the issue and how it interrelates across multiple competencies, consider alternatives and uncertainties.
  • Conclude and advise – use the result of your analysis to conclude on the alternatives (including implications) and then provide further advise (implementation, reducing risk, etc.)
  • Communication – Write professionally and keep in mind the audience and purpose of the communication.

 

Understand what was done badly on Day 1 of the first CFE

I’ll finish off by offering the Board of Examiners commentary on Day 1 of the September, 2015 CFE:

The Board was surprised that some candidates did not provide a quantitative analysis of the
major issues presented. Candidates are reminded that Chartered Professional Accountants are
expected to perform both quantitative and qualitative analyses, as appropriate, to support their
recommendations.

A large number of candidates spent a large part of their response (one-third) on a situational
analysis. The points made were typically valid and identified many of the decision factors to be
considered. However, these points were simply listed as pros or cons, or they were part of a
SWOT analysis that was done as an independent section of the response. Many candidates
failed to then take this great up-front analysis and incorporate it into their discussions of the
specific issues and the recommendations they were making. Candidates are reminded that the
situational analysis is there to help provide a frame of reference for the decision factors they
should be bringing into their analysis of the issues in order to help them make relevant
recommendations that consider the goals, objectives, mission, vision, et cetera, of the company.

(2015 CFE Board of Examiners Report, p. 10)

Take the above advice and apply it. If the Board of Examiners shares any similarity with the previous UFE Boards then they are a lot less forgiving the second time around to candidates making the same mistakes.

Don’t neglect studying for Day 1 of the CFE

 

The results of the first CFE in December gave us more information to work with. Something that’s becoming clear is that Day 1 of the CFE is not the breeze that some candidates thought it would be. In my discussions with candidates and from the comments on the blog, I am seeing that a lot of candidates who did not pass the full CFE did not pass because of Day 1.

So what’s up?

 

It’s new to candidates

Day 1 is something completely new and many of the CFE writers may have been used to (and worked with) the old UFE format and therefore getting less practice on Day 1 of the CFE. With the May CFE approaching, you’ve now got more information to work with so use it.

 

It’s group work but you can’t work in isolation

Day 1 of the CFE is based on your Capstone 1 module which is a large group assignment that is evaluated. An interesting observation is that many Capstone 1 groups are taking the divide and conquer approach to the case which means individual candidates may be very familiar with one area of the case and less familiar with other areas. The down side of this approach may manifest in the CFE where you have to be very familiar with the whole case. If this is your group’s approach to Capstone 1, plan for additional time to study the whole case before the CFE.

 

Understand what’s being assessed on Day 1 and how to approach it

Remember, Day 1 is focused on the soft, high-level skills of the CPA Way. The case response is judged on the whole based on these key skills:

  • Assess the situation – integrating multiple parts of the case in your overall assessment, think holistically, think about organizational goals, risks, constraints and so forth.
  • Analyze the major issues – think of the tools you can use in your analysis (qualitative, quantitative, assumptions), think about the issue and how it interrelates across multiple competencies, consider alternatives and uncertainties.
  • Conclude and advise – use the result of your analysis to conclude on the alternatives (including implications) and then provide further advise (implementation, reducing risk, etc.)
  • Communication – Write professionally and keep in mind the audience and purpose of the communication.

 

Understand what was done badly on Day 1 of the first CFE

I’ll finish off by offering the Board of Examiners commentary on Day 1 of the September, 2015 CFE:

The Board was surprised that some candidates did not provide a quantitative analysis of the
major issues presented. Candidates are reminded that Chartered Professional Accountants are
expected to perform both quantitative and qualitative analyses, as appropriate, to support their
recommendations.

A large number of candidates spent a large part of their response (one-third) on a situational
analysis. The points made were typically valid and identified many of the decision factors to be
considered. However, these points were simply listed as pros or cons, or they were part of a
SWOT analysis that was done as an independent section of the response. Many candidates
failed to then take this great up-front analysis and incorporate it into their discussions of the
specific issues and the recommendations they were making. Candidates are reminded that the
situational analysis is there to help provide a frame of reference for the decision factors they
should be bringing into their analysis of the issues in order to help them make relevant
recommendations that consider the goals, objectives, mission, vision, et cetera, of the company.

(2015 CFE Board of Examiners Report, p. 10)

Take the above advice and apply it. If the Board of Examiners shares any similarity with the previous UFE Boards then they are a lot less forgiving the second time around to candidates making the same mistakes.

Why should I listen to the suggested times for each CFE case?

Since I want you to have good habits from the start, I’m going to encourage you to stick to whatever time the exam gives you and never go over your allotted time! Real thing or mocks, this rule applies.

While with the comprehensive cases you don’t have a choice since examiners will cut you off, with the multis (shorter cases of Day 3), there is some flexibility. Cases ranged from 45-90 minutes each but your total time will be four hours at which point you are cut off.

The time guidelines are not just there to tell you how long someone thinks the case should take but they are one of the mechanisms used to test ranking which an important factor on the CFE. The CPA Canada Board of Examiners wants to judge how you look at issues and whether you can determine what is critically important and what is less important. They do this through giving you, on some cases, a time crunch and forcing you to only tackle the most important stuff and leave behind the less important stuff. It’s a strange feeling ignoring an obvious issue that you see but in some cases you will have to do just that.

So if you happen to get a 60 minute exam and it feels like you need another 20 to do it properly, this could be one of those cases where you need to rank. You need to recognize this on your outline.

Why it’s risky to ignore the time allocations

The problem is that if you take 15 more minutes on this one exam, you won’t score much higher since the examiners only give points for the top issues which you could have conquered in 60 minutes and not the additional issues you did in the extra 20 minutes. You lose.

You lose because in the remaining two exams you’ll short change yourself. You won’t have the time to go into greater depth where marks are given because you spent your time talking more issues where marks were not given.

So I’ll repeat: never go over your allotted time and get in the habit of this from the start.

Interview with Brent Vandenbrink, 2015 Common Final Examination Honour Roll Standing

Brent Vandenbrink is part of a small group of CFE writers that achieved Honour Roll standing on the first Common Final Examination (CFE). To achieve honour roll standing is to rank in the top 52 of the thousands of CFE writers who wrote the exam. Brent is presently working for Collins Barrow and finished his Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting from the University of Alberta in 2013.

After the CFE results came out I got in touch with Brent and he kindly agreed to answer some questions and offer advice to CFE Blog readers.

Interview with Brent Vandenbrink, 2015 CFE Honour Roll Recipient

Undergrad:

How did you find your undergrad program trained you towards writing the CFE?

I did the Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of Alberta. During this time I learned how to manage the pressure and time limitations that are part of exams. I also learned most of the technical skills in tax and financial accounting that I used when writing the CFE.

Exam Studying:

What was your study schedule like leading up to the exam? Would you change anything?

I took two months off of work leading up to the exam, from about the middle of July until we wrote in mid September. The first week I spent at Densmore’s course in Calgary. After that I spent the rest of my time studying at the University of Alberta. I tried to study normal workdays, 9 to 5, five days a week. I studied with a couple of friends from University during this time. The last week, we all studied on our own at home as we felt like this would help us become more focused.

What kind of support did you get from your firm/office?

I was mentored by one of the partners at Collins Barrow Edmonton LLP, who used to teach university accounting courses and has been on the board for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta. He helped me with understanding how to approach the exam and the best way to write cases. He also marked a few of the cases I wrote and gave me feedback on those.

Did you take any prep courses? What advice did you find most helpful?

As I mentioned, I took a weeklong prep course with Densmore Consulting Services Inc. My firm also purchased their practice cases and marking services. Densmore gave me a step-by-step process for how to approach the case for each day of the exam. This helped me to organize my thoughts while I was writing and gave me something to fall back on when the cases made me start to panic.

Are there any must have materials (books, videos, marking, tutoring, etc.)?

In terms of how to write a case, I got the most help from the Densmore approach. The approach that they provide in the Capstone 2 of the CPA program is also good though. The study material that I found the most helpful for technical review was the notes on htkconsulting.com. These gave me quick summaries of accounting handbook sections that helped me to quickly summarize accounting issues when I found them on a case. (I should mention that a couple of the notes on this site didn`t reflect changes made to handbook sections, it’s important to compare what you read with the most recent version of the handbook, as well)

Did you work with a partner or group as part of your studying for the CFE?

I studied with two other people. They were both friends that I had met in University and went through the CPA PEP modules with. One friend and I both worked in public accounting and chose the Assurance elective. My other friend worked at a not for profit organization and chose the Tax elective. I think it was important for me to have a group of people to study with as this helped me get different perspectives on things I didn’t understand. It also helped keep me from becoming frustrated with having to study for an entire summer.

How important was rest and mental health for you as part of the studying process?

I tried to remain conscious of my mental health throughout the process. I only let myself study 9 to 5 on weekdays to try to make sure I didn’t burn out before the exam. This also gave me time to spend with my family, friends and church. It was important for me to keep my faith as my top priority. This helped me remind myself that the exam wasn’t the most important thing in my life.

What gave you the most trouble in your case writing?

The hardest part was knowing how much to write for each issue. On a lot of cases there is so much more I would wish I could have written. I just didn’t have the time. It was a challenge for me to learn when to cut myself off from writing on a certain issue so that I would have enough time to deal with the rest of the exam.

Would you say you had any unique strengths or weaknesses?

I think that I came into the studying process with a fairly strong understanding of the technical areas of financial reporting, assurance and tax. I had put a lot of effort into the CPA PEP modules and my time with Collins Barrow had also taught me a lot. I also think that I tend to write concisely, which can work as an advantage in the CFE.

I think I had a weakness of not always explaining my reasoning clearly enough. It was easy for me to assume that the marker would know how I reached a certain conclusion, but this wasn’t necessarily the case. I had to force myself to write down my entire thought process to make sure that I showed at the steps in my reasoning.

What do you think many people do wrong as part of the CFE prep process?

I think that sometimes people don’t realize how important time management is for the CFE. Students can decide not to time themselves when they write practice cases. I can see why they do this-it’s embarrassing to have your friend mark a case that you ran out of time on. I would say though, that it’s better to go through this embarrassment when you’re doing your practice cases than on exam day.

Exam Day:

What was the most challenging for you on the exam?

I found that Day 3 of the exam was the hardest. You don’t have to time to adequately address anything on this day. It turned into a continual race with the clock and in went by in a blur. The most important thing for me was to allocate time to each issue before I started writing a case and to make sure that I stuck to the plan.

How did you feel walking out of the exam? Did you know you did so well?

To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I passed. I didn’t seem to find many financial accounting issues to talk about on Day 2 of the exam and I wasn’t sure if I had done enough to make up for it on Day 3. It definitely came as a surprise for me to do as well as I did.

Conclusion:

If you were tutoring future candidates, what would be your top tips for them?

I would try to make sure that they have a plan for approaching a case that they can stick to no matter what the case throws at them. I would try to also make sure that they understand how valuable time management is for this exam and that they learn how to make to most of each minute they are writing.

Any last advice you’d like to impart on future writers?

Don’t make the exam bigger and scarier than it already is. There is more to life than the exam.

I want to thank Brent for taking the time to share his CFE experience and actionable tips. I think every candidate can get some take aways here. I asked Brent what was next for him in his career.

What’s next for you in your career, any aspirations?

I don’t have that completely figured out. I’m enjoying my work at Collins Barrow and I’m learning lots there. Maybe one day I’ll specialize in tax, but for now I’m happy where I’m at.

Where can people learn more about you or connect?

People can find me on LinkedIn if they want to talk.

CFE study group or partner best practices

Your CFE study partner or study group is one of the more important choices you’ll have to make early on. As with much of social interaction, results can vary.

I mentioned in a previous post, I do recommend studying with a partner or group.

My own study buddy/group experience is an example of how you could handle various kinds of situations. Under the previous exam structure in Ontario we had two exams needed to get through – the School of Accountancy (SOA) during the summer and then the Uniform Evaluation (UFE) in September. During SOA in June I lived with and also worked according to a common schedule with a single study buddy. It worked very well throughout June at SOA because we lived in the same place and it was easy to write an exam or two after classes, take it up and then debrief on our own.

This changed during my August UFE study period when commuting became a factor and it was more difficult to reliably follow a schedule. Within a week I could tell it wasn’t working for me or my study buddy and we parted ways. What works in one situation doesn’t work in another so it’s best to cut your losses. I ended up doing simulations with miscellaneous friends for another week in order to align my study schedule with another group I was planning to join the following week. I ended up doing some exams on my own as well which was naturally stressing me out a bit. Finally, for weeks 3 and 4 in August/September I joined a group of three others to form a four-member study group. For the last two weeks this worked extremely well and the four of us were successful.

Here are some things to consider before and during your study period. You might think of them as best practices.

Are you all sticking to a schedule where everyone is happy and moving forward?
Study partners or groups that are constantly late are wasting your time and energy. Buddies that are a bad influence on you by offering distractions, temptations, etc. may also not be suitable for this one month.

Are you all in the same skill league in terms of writing simulations?
When one writer is vastly superior to the others both of you are not benefiting. On one hand, the superior writer is probably not going to improve and on the other, you may be discouraged by the superior writer who is above average whereas you should be comparing yourself to the average.

Are you enjoying spending the day with your group or study buddy?
You are probably spending up to 8 hours a day with this person or group, so you want this time to be as enjoyable as possible. The writing and debriefing process can be difficult and stressful and you want to ensure you study with the right personality type to handle this. Maybe that is somebody who can make a joke out of a bad exam or maybe you need someone that takes it seriously all the time. Preferences vary.

Are you getting good feedback from your study buddy/group or are you just being used for yours?
Make sure that you are providing good feedback and getting it. The hard work is in debriefing but your partner needs to have some use by providing good feedback on exactly how your case reads to someone independent.

Are you and your group improving at all? If not, what might be the cause?
The purpose of the study partner or study group is to improve your simulations. If it’s been two weeks and you aren’t improving, find out quickly what the problem is. Are you debriefing badly? Is your group not providing any good feedback? Two weeks in is probably your last opportunity to fix the problem.

Fun Facts

The 2010 National UFE Gold Medallist Vicky Au studied with her boyfriend as part of her study group, who also made the honour roll. The 2011 National UFE Gold Medallist Juliana Yuen also had a boyfriend who wrote the 2009 UFE as her UFE mentor. Not sure I’d recommend this path but maybe they’re on to something!

Still need to find a study partner or group? Try out our Study Partner Search.

Should I study alone for the CFE?

Should you study alone for the CFE or as part of a group? It’s around that time when you should be thinking about your study plan for the upcoming CFE.

There are a few schools of thought on the issue of study partners or study groups. The majority of people feel that they are musts and it’s non-negotiable. The remaining minority aren’t sure or prefer to work alone including several who achieved honour roll.

I’ll start by saying that I’ve seen people fail due to having the wrong study group and I’ve also seen people do well without a study group. So the bottom line is that both situations are possible. This doesn’t mean that you can’t tip the odds in your favour.

 

Pros of a study group

  • You get independent appraisal of your cases. This is the single most important reason I would recommend a study group.On your own, you cannot be completely unbiased since you know what you meant when you wrote something. Although you may know what you meant, that’s not what may come across on your case. By working with a group you will get feedback about what you actually wrote in your case from someone that doesn’t know what you meant to say. This is very valuable feedback.
  • You are accountable to somebody else. It’s easier to say ‘Screw it, I’m not doing this today’ to yourself, but it’s harder when there is another person counting on you.
  • You have someone there who is going through the same thing. This can help you stay on track, not get discouraged and maintain perspective.
  • You have someone available to discuss tricky topics or get a different perspective on an issue.
  • You get to see what a realistic response looks like by marking your study partners/groups papers. Those sample responses you may have seen (or from the old UFE reports) are nowhere near what an average candidate might write and you might put undue stress on yourself if you think they are.

 

Cons of a study group

  • Your study group or partner may not be the right fit. I’ve seen it happen where a group is dysfunctional and it detracts from performance. This is more of a reason to choose wisely rather than not have a study group/partner at all.
  • When skill levels are different it can be discouraging for the person at the lower skill level and it can hinder improvement for the superior writer. Again, this is more of a reason to choose wisely rather than study alone.
  • Study partners/groups may become too much of a social gathering and waste your time.
  • You could end up with a study partner who is too emotional or stressed out and it could unnecessarily stress you out. I’ve heard of study groups which ended in tears many days for both parties, not even joking.

 

How big should your study group be?

This is another debateable issue. Most people I talk to believe that the smaller the group the better, with the ideal being just one study partner. I personally worked very well in a group of four where everyone would swap partners each simulation. I got three different perspectives from a variety of skill and progress levels. Everyone was decent at following the schedule, and if someone wanted a day off, you still had two other study partners left to discuss with. This might not work for everyone but I was good friends with my study buddies and we worked well as a group.

That said, there are of course pros and cons of smaller and larger groups so you will have to decide what is best for you. The possibility of problems tends to rise with larger groups, especially if they are dominated by any particular person.

 

In conclusion

I am strongly recommending some form of study group or a study partner, even if it’s just part time.

Remember, if you choose to have a study partner/group, it is only one part of a balanced study approach where you still need to put in the hard word writing and debriefing simulations. There is no avoiding that, no matter how good your study group is.

 

Need to find a study partner or group? Try out our Study Partner Search feature.

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