So, I bet you can guess what my motivation was for wanting to pass the CFP® exam. What is your motivation? What is the very specific, extremely tangible reason why you yearn to be a CFP® Professional? I strongly believe that you must have a confident, consistent answer to that question, because you’ll need that ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ amidst your long study sessions. What else might you need? Here are a few things for you to consider:
Leverage a professional education provider and trust their process. At Vanguard, we have a program where we partner with a professional education provider, and they have a myriad of resources that improve one’s ability to be successful. If your company does not have a formal partnership established, do some research and ask for corporate sponsorship through a provider of your choice.
Know your learning style and study habits. I cannot stress enough that this is, in my opinion, the most critical piece of one’s study strategy. You must know your learning style and what works for you. This allows you to be efficient and spend your time learning how you learn best. For me, self-study is key, and a classroom environment isn’t as effective. For you, it is likely something different. Adjust your learning style as appropriate.
Set a study schedule and get buy-in from your support system. I have five young kids. NOTHING is getting accomplished at home. For me, study time started in the office at 6:00am each weekday before my work day began. Whatever it is for you, make sure those supporting you during this journey, both at home and at work, know your study schedule and agree to help hold you accountable to it.
Final encouragement: If I can do it, anyone can do it. I hadn’t studied for a formal exam in over 10 years, and my fifth child was born a month and a half before exam day. That means my study skills were rusty, and I wasn’t getting enough sleep when I needed it the most. You’ll likely have your own challenges, but if you hold on to that motivational reason and persevere, you’ll be well on your way to positively impacting people lives. Just don’t run out of gas.