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Mastering the CIPD Qualification: Essential Study Tips

Essential CIPD Study Tips With Stats

This article is based on a recent video series created by our founder, James Dean, in which he shares some of his main tips and tricks for studying the CIPD qualification. This article takes these videos and compresses them into a guide for anyone thinking about or struggling with their CIPD qualification. 

  • Tip One – Understanding Verbs: The Cornerstone of Effective Response

A prevalent error in tackling CIPD assessments is misinterpreting directive verbs within questions. A study by the Institute of Learning found that 28% of learners misinterpret verbs’ meaning, leading to inaccurate and irrelevant responses. Grasping the specific verb ensures your response aligns with the task’s requirements. For instance, “assessing” necessitates evidence-based evaluation, not just explaining.

  • Tip Two – Strategising for Word Count: Avoiding the Pitfalls

A well-defined word count strategy is crucial to avoid exceeding or falling short of the limit. The CIPD typically provides a guided range with a 10% flexibility allowance. A  survey revealed that 35% of candidates exceeded the word count in their last attempt. Always break down the questions and actions within them. Estimate the word count per action based on its complexity and the level of detail required.

  • Tip Three – Mastering Referencing and Citations: Building Strong Arguments

Insufficient referencing and citation are common shortcomings in CIPD assessments. The CIPD emphasises using external sources to support every point made. A study by the CIPD found that 62% of failing candidates were penalised for inadequate referencing.

Aim for one reference and citation per action identified, prioritising recent references (ideally within the last five years) to ensure valid information. View referencing and citations as tools to build solid and evidence-based arguments, not just formalities.

  • Tip Four – Embracing the Right Mindset: Study to Learn and Write to Pass

A study found that candidates who prioritised understanding concepts over syllabus memorisation performed significantly better. When writing assessments, prioritise tasks that directly address the question and have sufficient supporting evidence. This ensures efficient use of limited writing time. Research by the Association for Psychological Science suggests that information retention naturally diminishes over time, making focused and targeted studying during assessment writing crucial. 

Remember, passing the qualification doesn’t stop your ability to learn further.

  • Tip Five – Learn How to Study

Exploit resources like cheat sheets provided by HRC Online or other reputable training providers.

These resources can readily identify verb meanings and provide examples of well-structured responses, saving valuable study time. Consider a “forgetting curve” approach when revising for assessments. Research by Hermann Ebbinghaus highlights how information retention declines rapidly over time. To counteract this, pause your revision sessions and actively recall information rather than passively rereading notes.

By effectively implementing these strategies, individuals can significantly enhance their chances of success in the CIPD qualification journey. Remember, consistent effort, strategic planning, and a focus on deep understanding are vital to achieving your CIPD goals.



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