A secret framework to master your exam technique

Not many people actually enjoy exams, I am one of the rare creatures who loved the challenge of exam.  Like a strange unicorn creature, I looked forward to the exam challenge as long as I had done enough revision.

My exams were so long ago now, but I really try my best to hold on to the feeling of what it was like to be a student of CIPS to ensure that I don’t become this trainer who forgets the stress and hard work involved in the exams.  I have been a CIPS Assessor for over 11 years now and have marked a variety of different modules at different levels of CIPS.  I have seen students repeat the same mistakes over and over again, losing valuable marks and not doing themselves justice in the exam situation.

From this experience I have devised a framework that I share with my students. This is designed for constructive response essay exams and can be used at every level of CIPS.  I call this the SEE Framework.

Let’s say the question is asking you for FIVE ways a procurement professional can add value.  For each one of those five points you should do the following.

  1. Make a STATEMENT.  Give the examiner a clear point.  For example a statement would be something along these lines… the first way a procurement professional can add value would be to ensure that the specification is clear and unambiguous.
  2. Then you need to give an EXPLANATION. This is something that a lot of students forget to do.  Perhaps you are under time pressure, or perhaps you think it’s obvious.  However no matter how obvious it may be to you, you MUST tell the examiner.  The examiner does not know what you know, and can only go off what you write in that exam.  An example of an explanation would be…. If a specification is not clear then this can create issues with receiving what you need from the supplier.  This can actually create more cost as re-works and amendments may need to be made.
  3. Finally where possible give an EXAMPLE. This shows the examiner that you can apply the point you are making to a real world scenario or context.  Running the point from above your example could be something along the lines of…. In an aviation company specifications would need to be clear and precise because even a millimetre difference could create a safety issue.

So there you go, my framework which, if followed properly, should ensure you receive a high mark in your exam.  I really hope you find this useful, for more exam technique help and some neuroscience tips on how to learn, please see our exam technique video available to purchase here.

Level 3 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M3
6
15th Jan, 29th Jan, 5th Feb, 19th Feb, 26th Feb, 4th Mar
May 2024
M4
3
15th Apr, 22nd Apr, 29th Apr
July 2024
M5
3
3rd June, 10th June, 24th June
Nov 2024
M1
3
7th Oct, 21st Oct, 4th November
Mar 2025
M2&M3
6
13th Jan, 20th Jan, 27th Jan, 10th Feb, 24th Feb, 3rd March
May 2025
M4
3
7th Apr, 14th Apr, 28th Apr
July 2025
M5
3
2nd June, 16th June, 30th June

Level 6 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M5
5
25th Jan, 1st Feb, 8th Feb, 22nd Feb, 29th Feb
May 2024
M4 & M7
4
18th April, 25th April, 2nd May, 9th May
July 2024
M3 & M8
5
30th May, 13th June,20th June, 27th June, 4th July
November 2024
M1
3
10th Oct, 24th Oct, 7th Nov
Mar 2025
M2 & M5
5
30th Jan, 6th Feb, 13th Feb, 27th Feb, 6th Mar
May 2025
M4 & M7
4
3rd April, 10th April, 1st May, 8th May
July 2025
M3 & M8
5
5th June, 12th June, 19th June, 26th June, 3rd July

Level 5 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M5, M15 & M9
4
31st Jan, 7th Feb, 21st Feb, 28th Feb, 6th March
May 2024
M3 & M8
4
10th April, 17th April, 24th April, 1st May
July 2024
M4
3
5th June, 12th June, 26th June
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
9th Oct, 16th Oct, 23rd Oct, 30th Oct, 6th Nov
Mar 2025
M15, M5, M9
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M3 & M8
4
9th April, 16th April, 30th April, 7th June
July 2025
M4
3
4th June, 18th June, 2nd July

Level 4 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M3, M5, M7
6
23rd Jan, 30th Jan, 6th Feb, 20th Feb, 27th Feb, 5th March
May 2024
M4 & M6
4
9th April, 16th April, 23rd April, 30th April
July 2024
M8
3
4th June, 18th June, 2nd July
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
8th Oct, 15th Oct, 22nd Oct, 29th Oct, 5th Nov
March 2025
M3, M5, M7
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M4 & M6
4
8th April, 15th April, 29th April, 6th June
July 2025
M8
3
10th June, 24th June, 8th July