I noticed over the past year that an increasing number of job descriptions mention that having passed the CIPP/E is a big plus or even a strict requirement.
I, therefore, looked into the CIPP/E requirements on www.iapp.org, purchased the exam, and started reading the recommended textbook. I mainly studied by making notes on the textbook. I was a bit frustrated by the fact there weren’t many affordable prep courses available – which led to building my own prep course, which you find out more about here.
I gave myself about a month to prepare and study for the CIPP/E before sitting for the actual exam. Here are a couple of additional things that I think helped me pass the first time with decent scores:
1. Read through the whole GDPR
This may sound a bit extra, but I really think, this helped me a lot.
I read through each article of the GDPR bit by bit. I found this website really helpful for accessing the GDPR text in an easy format.
I spent a lot of time summarising the majority of articles into a table, that I would review regularly. This helped me memorise the contents of the GDPR in a detailed manner.
I believe this method helped me score well on the many detailed questions asking about the contents of the GDPR.
2. Practice questions
I tried to practice as many multiple-choice questions as possible. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get sample questions (you can buy a few from the IAPP directly) or you can also get questions from creators on Udemy or other websites. I spent a lot of time searching for practice questions and practiced as much as humanly possible.
If you struggle to find questions, you can also try writing some yourself, leave it a few days, and then test yourself.
3. Explain the GDPR to someone else
One amazing revision technique is to explain the law to someone who does not have a clue about it. Explain the various concepts and how they work in practice. If you don’t have anyone, then just explain it to yourself and be conscious if what you say would make sense to anyone.
I found that data protection and privacy are somewhat abstract, and therefore, require a careful understanding of the topic.
Talking to someone (or yourself) will help ensure that you understand the GDPR and will help you determine gaps in your knowledge.