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Balancing work with a CIMA qualification

A person using a calculator

If you’re studying for a CIMA qualification to support your job as an accountant; it can be incredibly difficult to balance a full working week with your study commitments.

Avoid compromising either your diligence at work or in your studies by finding the right balance. This requires strict time management and, of course, a good dose of tips.

Create realistic targets and timetables

Structuring your week to include time for your work, study and social life will help you create an effective plan, which can be stuck to. However, this doesn’t mean over-stuffing your schedule or you risk missing targets and losing your motivation.

Be mindful of key dates

Kaplan Publishing’s first piece of advice for building a study plan is to begin by reviewing your work schedule, and listing all exam dates and deadlines.

When factoring in your work commitments consider items such as presentations or project deadlines.

Also, check out Kaplan’s list of key CIMA dates for your diary and make sure you’re signed up to alerts to timely reminders, useful events and exam advice by registering for our KaplanMail.

Take a break

Constant work and study can tire you and lead to stress so factor in periods of rest, remember the timeless motto “work-hard, play-hard” to ensure both you and your mind feel energised.

Factor in breaks all the way through your revision too. Studying all night before an exam shouldn’t be part of the plan, you need sleep to perform well and make sure your concentration is at it’s best for the exam.

Fully utilise breaks from work

If you’re working in an accountancy role whilst studying for CIMA, fully utilise any breaks that your employer affords you.

Remember, most body clocks are attuned to working 9-5 so use this time, during a study break, to revise.

If you are planning on taking annual leave for a study holiday, choose the most effective period. The week or few days before examinations can be beneficial to recap key topics and concepts. At Kaplan Financial we schedule classes as far as a year in advance, so that if you need time (or suspect you will do!) to revisit areas you missed or you’re weak on, you can plan months or weeks ahead of your exam to interrogate tricky areas.

Keep your employer in the loop

Finally, if you are studying CIMA make sure your employer is aware. Involving your boss can help prevent disruptions to your studies at crucial times. Plus, by sharing your development goals your employer can see the advantage of providing you with work to support your practical experience.