Traditional Study Materials v Online Materials

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image from Dave and Les Jacobs (Getty Images)

When I started my CIMA studies last year I automatically purchased all of the study materials from Kaplan without giving it much thought. I ordered the E1 and F1 books – so the study text, exam questions kit and revision guide – and was generally pleased with them in terms of content. Especially the exam questions kit, which was excellent when in the final weeks of exam preparation.

I passed both exams first time in the November 2014 sitting and thought to myself I would stick with ordering the Kaplan materials. But when returning to my desk to pack up the books from E1 and F1 I soon realised – what am I going to do with these books now? And imagine the amount of books I would have collected over the next few years while studying CIMA. Not to mention the cost involved (the delivery was astronomical as I live  in Central Europe).

Online Study Materials

So I explored other alternatives on how to study CIMA. And the more I thought about, the more I realised that purchasing physical copies of the study texts wasn’t efficient for me. Instead, while studying for my next exams, I used a smaller learning provider where I could purchase the study texts online (in fact the basic study text itself is free).

I feel it gives much more flexibility and you can access it anywhere you have internet access. So you can squeeze a couple of hours study in when you are in the office (lunch break of course), or when you’re travelling. It means you don’t have to carry around a text book the size of a telephone directory in order to study marginal costing or catch up on consolidated group accounts.

However, I do agree, there is something comforting and traditional and sitting down to study with a large textbook and calculator. You might find that this way if studying is more suitable for you. It’s hard to break this kind of trend as it’s the way we’ve always studied from the age of five years old onwards.

But overall I believe that using online materials saves you space, time and money. And if you are still getting the shakes by not having a physical book to hold you can always print the materials out!

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if my beliefs remain the same when studying the Management and Strategic level of CIMA.

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