By Kesha Jones, CTP
Preparing for the CTP exam can seem daunting, but I believe my keys to success are related to the old adage, “Eat an elephant one bite at a time.” The following are some basic strategies I used to prepare for the exam.
Decide how much study time is feasible for your schedule, and be creative with fitting in extra study time. I have a 1-year-old, so I don’t have much free time; I used two hours each evening to study after he went to bed, in addition to my lunch breaks. As a result, I was able to cover one to two chapters each week, and set my test date based on that timeline. If I found extra time during the week (at the doctor’s office, on the way to church), I’d pull out my phone and go through notecards to pass the time. This meant sacrificing my free time, but it was well worth it!
Identify how you learn best. I had the hardest time staying awake to read for two hours after a long day at work and getting my son settled for bed, so it helped to add other elements to my studying process. Repetition works best for me, so I made electronic notecards as I went along and used them to test my knowledge, in addition to the questions at the end of each chapter. Also, I’m a visual learner, so I used online videos (Investopedia, YouTube) to further illustrate concepts from the book.
Ask yourself if you truly understand what you’re reading. On some chapters, I supplemented my reading with Google searches for more information, or accessed the website of the organization mentioned to learn more about what they do or how a process works.
Make a master sheet of equations. I memorized equations by creating a master list. After review, I would use only the name of each function to write them out again. It took some time, but I felt completely comfortable with the majority of the equations I encountered on exam day.
I hope this is helpful. Please feel free to reach out with questions; I’m happy to help however I can.
Kesha Jones, CTP is senior treasury analyst for Chesapeake Energy.