On June 12, 2018
We are often asked if a study partner is really needed to prepare for the CFE. The answer is always YES. Not to say it can’t be done on your own, but the simple reality is that a study partner will help improve your odds of passing. Many unsuccessful writers we meet admit that they studied on their own on their first attempt.
But what are the benefits? The biggest is reading what someone else wrote in that 90-minute or 5-hour block. It keeps everything real! If you only look at the marking guide, you will never understand what a real response looks like (i.e., what can realistically be written by an entry-level candidate in the suggested time). Seeing this can reduce stress immensely.
Also, you and your study partner will benefit from objective real-time feedback. Your partner will mark your response and you will mark theirs immediately after they are written. Compare this to marking for yourself where you will tend to mark based on what you were thinking, rather than what you wrote. There is a huge difference. And contrast real-time marking to the turnaround times for other markers. You simply can’t beat the immediacy of feedback that a study partner can provide.
There are lots of other benefits, including emotional support and mutually-assured work ethic. We could go on, but we think that you get the idea.
Start looking for a partner soon. Ideally, your study partner is someone who lives in your area, so you can physically meet. Trading responses electronically is doable, but you lose some “human connection” and perhaps the benefit of sharing the misery. Also, it’s easier to stay focused and committed if you have to meet with another person.
Choose a location that is mutually convenient (or alternate) and make sure that it opens early enough. You want to be able to start by 9:00 am and stay through the entire day. Try to find a library or place that is reasonably quiet where you can simulate exam-writing conditions. Your office and home are likely to have many distractions: friends at work, boss at work, spouse or parents at home; all people who mean well but can take you off task.
Ideally, you would find someone writing the same role as you for Day 2, but it is not essential. You can still write together, mark each other’s common component requireds and mark the elective role requireds for yourselves. It is more important to find someone whose time off schedule matches yours and with whom you get along.
So, go find a friend and help increase your odds of passing!
(The Densmore Team – June 12, 2018)