I think that most of us have experienced the fact that, on a daily
basis, we are swamped by increasing amounts of information related to
our professional lives. As a result, we develop coping strategies such
as “data surfing” to quickly assess if certain information should be
retained and, if so, determine why it is important and what its
potential impact might be on our daily business activity.
Data surfing helps us in this daily information screening effort by
quickly reducing information to a manageable number of “data bites”.
Usually it works pretty well for us but it does have a dark side when
data surfing is applied to CTP exam questions, because you might
misinterpret what the question is asking. Therefore, it is absolutely
necessary to “drill down” into the exam questions and carefully dissect
them to determine what the question is asking.
Here’s a few “questions” you should ask of an exam question to help you to clarify what it is asking:
1) Does the question contain TMI (too much information)?
Some questions might contain information that is related to the question but is not pertinent to determining the correct answer.
2) What calculation am I being asked to perform?
Some calculations in the BOK have a spin off calculation such as with
Days Sales Outstanding where Days Past Due is a spin off of DSO.
Some calculations have very similar variations such as with the Current Ratio and the Quick Ratio.
3) Who am I in this question?
This is an especially important question to ask when dealing with
short term investing and borrowing calculations questions for example,
because these two activities are mirror images of each other and
therefore their equations are very similar.
As a general rule, read every exam question very carefully.
-George Schilling, CTP