Should I consider self study?

Self study

Self study refers to the practice of learning on your own, without the guidance of a teacher or a mentor.

Why does Self Study appeal to so many?

Often learners only consider what they deem the positive, being:

  • Flexibility – Controlling your own learning schedule in your own style and way
  • Customisation – Focusing on the topics you think is more relevant to you
  • Cost Effective – It may appeal to save money not to pay for tuition, travel and study materials
  • Self Discipline – This is something you inherently have or it’s a skill you can learn
  • Study progression – It may seem a path to complete your studies faster.

Tips for if you choose to go this route

  • Ensure you set clear goals, as you need to keep focused and motivated and the only person that can do this is YOU!
  • Create a plan, including schedules and resources you will need. You need to keep track and monitor your progress throughout the process and not only at exam time.
  • Look for high quality study material – ensure it is related to your course content and end qualification and that they credible and current.
  • Keep organised and focused.
  • Test your knowledge regularly to identify weak areas.

Disadvantages of self study

When you are considering self study, you must realistically look at yourself and what you need to achieve best in studying. There are potential pitfalls you must consider:

  • Lack of structure – there is no support or teachers providing support, structure and accountability like you do in the classroom. It must be known that staying motivated and on track on your own is challenging.
  • Limited interaction – Self study is just that and can be solitary. So if you thrive on group interaction and activity and discussion, this will be difficult.
  • Limited resources – If you do not study through a College or tertiary environment there is no access to any libraries or resources they offer.
  • Lack of feedback – There is no lecturer giving feedback on your progress and understanding of the learning matter.
  • Distractions – It takes tremendous self discipline to remain 100% focused. It can very easily fall into the trap of procrastination and last minute assignments.

Can you study directly through an Examination Body?

To answer this – have a look at this helpful article to explain the role of an Examination Body.
In short – an examination body is an organization that is responsible for designing, developing, and administering examinations.  These bodies can operate at National or International level and can cover a wide range of subjects and disciplines.

Is self study the best option for you?

Self study can be valuable for personal and professional development, but is certainly not without its challenges.

As an Examination Body, ICB always strongly recommends students select an accredited college of their choice to study through.  The tuition, tuition support and having a lecturer or mentor makes a considerable difference.

And to make it easy, you have the option to select a possible college and get them to contact you. Just complete your details via this link, select the college(s) of choice and hit enter. Your details will be sent to the college for them to make contact.


ICB operates as an Examination Body for Financial Accounting, Business Management and Office Administration Qualifications from NQF3 to NQF6.