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Chartered Secretaries Qualifying Scheme (CSQS)
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How can I prepare for CSQS?

Do I need to study anything before starting CSQS?
The scheme covers a broad base of subject areas, including law, governance, finance, accounting and business strategy, with the modules Corporate Governance and Corporate Secretarial Practice at its core.

Many ICSA students will have previously studied some of these areas but, given the range of subjects within CSQS, may feel less confident about one or two modules. We suggest that you review carefully the parts of the CSQS programme you haven’t studied before, or for some time, and consider some preliminary reading or study at an introductory level before starting those CSQS modules.

For example, someone with a legal background who is working in a company secretarial department may feel that the mix of theoretical knowledge and practical experience this provides is sufficient to embark on the CSQS law, governance and secretarial practice modules without preliminary study. However, for the finance modules it may be worthwhile to do some preparation, such as working through introduction to accounting books or taking classes before studying these subjects.

Click here to view the exam guidelines and tips for success.

I don’t think I’m ready for CSQS. What study can I do to prepare? 
We strongly recommend that if you do not have any degree level qualifications or relevant work experience you should undertake some form of preliminary study before registering for CSQS.

Even if you have prior qualifications and experience, you may not feel familiar enough with all the subjects to go straight into study at CSQS level. If this is the case, you should consider doing some introductory-level study in these subject areas.

This could take the form of self-study or more formal tuition.

Self-study – online research: there are a number of archives of educational material freely available online, and if you are confident about self-studying then this is an easy way to get started. For example, the iTunes U website contains complete business study programmes from Yale, Stanford and the Open University.

Self-study – texts: the recommended texts which have been developed or selected to support the CSQS modules will give you a good indication of module coverage and level and will help you to decide whether you want to tackle that module straight away. 

Each CSQS module has a ‘core text’ which you will need to buy and study. In order to pass the exams you will need to do other wider reading, but this core text will cover the main areas of the syllabus. There is no requirement that you sign up for classes to study CSQS, so you may decide that studying with the core text and other sources on your own is sufficient preparation. This may be the case if you have studied and passed exams in the subject area before. 

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