April 23, 2019

Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by MaychelleN

fountain pen on a spiral notebook
The power of oldschool tools

While it seem counterintuitive, probably the best CAIB exam tip I have for you is to write things out by hand. Now you might ask: “Jack, what do you mean? That’s very slow and I need to get licensed as quickly as possible!” I understand, but hear me out first. I’ve done the research and this is what I’ve found.

But first, a quick question: what do JK Rowling, Stephen King, and some of our most successful students have in common? They all write by hand.

The reason why these writers choose low-tech tools is because it forces them to slow down and think about what they’re putting on paper. Typing on the computer is a little bit too efficient and making changes are so easy that you don’t ever really have to think about what you’re writing.

Now, in the context of studying for your CAIB exam, there are 2 main benefits.

It makes studying more efficient

When you’re handwriting notes, you can’t just write things out verbatim. Handwriting forces you to break down the concept or idea and write it in your own words in a concise way. Through this process, you’ll gain a very strong understanding of the concept and it’ll help you remember it.

In fact, brain scans have shown that handwriting as opposed to typing increases cognitive activity. If you take notes with pen and paper, you will see improved long-term information retention, thought organization, and be better able to generate ideas. All things that are important for you to be successful on your insurance exam.

It gives you a sense of accomplishment

When it comes to studying, motivation is a huge factor. Think about it, if you’re typing away on your computer or flipping through the textbook there’s not much feedback and it can get boring pretty fast. You’re “studying” but it’s very passive and it’s not very stimulating.

On the flip side, if you’re writing out notes by hand, you get to feel a sense of accomplishment every time you finish a page because it took effort to achieve. You get some physical feedback from your work and every time you finish a page, the act of filing it away is reinforcement that you’re making progress and you’re achieving something.

How to implement this CAIB Exam Tip

The idea is to out pen to paper as much as possible. But if you don’t want to write your own notes based on the online course materials, what you can do is print out our materials and have it in front of you as you watch the video lectures. You can jot down the examples and explanations found in the video or even add your own. If you have a better way of understanding a particular concept, jot that down as well. This gives you some of the benefits discussed above without much of the hassle.

If you’re interested in learning more about this or have other tips to share, get in touch!

Jacques Wong is the CEO and Director of Education at PNC Learning. An award-winning licensed insurance broker with over 15 years of experience in both education and the insurance industry, Jacques is recognized for his expertise and effective communication strategies. He achieved the highest provincial scores on his CAIB* 3 and CAIB* 4 exams and contributes to leading insurance publications. Jacques is dedicated to making insurance knowledge accessible for everyone through his unique approach and online content.

Jacques Wong

 Jacques wong


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