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Study, Plan and Pass… Repeat

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Here are some top tips when tackling a Professional Marketing Qualification:

Study Guides

Your study guide is a great place to start as it covers all the syllabus topics that you will need to understand in more detail in order to pass your exam/assignment. There will also be more and more resources available online both from your Study Centre and the CIM.

Core Text Books

It is always recommended that you get hold of the core textbooks that are in the recommended reading list for each module (which can be found on both your Study Centre and CIM sites). They are quite expensive so I would suggest starting with the core textbook and if you feel you need further reading material then purchase any others on the list at this point.

Syllabus, Exam Questions and Assessments

You can also check out the syllabus for each module and also sample exams and assessments, which will give you an indication of what to expect with your imminent exam/assignment. These are available in the Resources section on your Study Centres members area and the CIM website.

It is vitally important that you practice (where appropriate) past exam papers and specific elements of assignments, as this is what you will be assessed on. This is not as important for assignments, but in those instances, I would suggest looking back at the examiner reports to review what has gained marks in the past and what hasn't

There are also lots of other resources on the CIM and your Study Centres website which is worth looking at as you work through the study guide, core text and syllabus.

Submit Drafts

Submitting a draft assignment is by far the BEST way to improve your mark. There is a marked difference in the overall grade of those that submit a draft and those that don't.

If you take nothing away from this email other than this point, you will end up with an improved assignment.

Deadline Dates

Make sure you know when the deadline dates are for assessment and exam entries (these can be found, again, on both the Professional Academy and CIM websites).

In short, for each module, I would look to do the following:

  • Use the module syllabus as a guide as to the areas you need to cover.

  • Read the study guides for an overview.

  • Read the core textbook(s) for each module for a more in-depth look at the theory and application.

  • Make sure you have and use real-world examples to back up the theory in both exams and assignments.

  • Get to grips with the Harvard referencing guidelines.


  • Ask questions when unsure.... all tutors are here to help!!

Bonus Tip

As a side note, you need to tackle the assignments differently to that of an academic assignment in that you should be writing as if it is a real-life task, not one you will be assessed on (i.e. try and imagine your boss has put it on your desk and has asked you to do it as part of your current role). All the referencing etc is still the same as an academic assignment (Harvard) and it is beneficial to cite examples, but in the main, it should be treated as a real-life task.


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