The work, study and family balance: And the exam results are...

10 October, 2016Gabbi Stopp

Gabbi Stopp is the Head of Employee Share Ownership at ProShare, and is currently studying for a Diploma for Financial Advisors (DipFA®). Gabbi is also a wife, and mother to a three-year-old boy.

In this blog series, Gabbi takes an honest look at what it's like to study, while working and managing family commitments.


Thursday 4 August

So yesterday saw me standing nervously outside the FSRE exam test centre on High Holborn in London, having arrived far too early (of course) and drunk perhaps a bit too much coffee (of course). I’d forgotten just how nervous I get on the day of any type of exam but luckily, once booked in and settled at my allocated PC, a sense of calmness descended and I was able to focus on the task.

Gabbi Stopp at her deskThere is definitely much to be said for practising past exam questions and preferably in exam conditions, in order to refine one’s exam technique, time-keeping and settle the nerves on the day – I think that really helped me. That said, you should start the past exam questions practice quite far in advance of the actual exam. This can help identify areas of weakness and pinpoint gaps in your retention of key topics studied so far, whilst still giving you enough time to revise these without a last-minute blind panic.

Ninety minutes or so later, I stumbled into the bright chaotic London sunshine with my exam results slip clutched in my sweaty hands – not just a pass, but a merit pass at 83%! I thanked my lucky stars and made my way towards the joys of the Central line tube, but couldn’t help wondering which questions I’d slipped up on…

The exam experience prompts me to remember an episode from my schooldays where, having passed a classroom test in German at 97%, I excitedly gave my father (a translator by profession) the news, and he asked me what had happened to the other 3%... once a Type A personality, always a Type A I guess. 

Read Gabbi's past posts or find out more about DipFA