Effective learning and revision

Your route through to exam day includes a learning phase where you will focus on building a broad knowledge of the entire syllabus and more focussed revision phase where you will get ready for exam success. 


As you move through these phases take some time to review the technical articles and topic explainer videos - these will help you develop broader insight into areas of the syllabus. We know some topics can be trickier than others. Paying particular attention to technical articles and videos on topics you find difficult is a good way of improving your understanding.

Learning Phase


An important part exam preparation is planning and time management. Start by working out how much time you have until the exam and then allocate your time to learning and revision. Learning providers will have their own study timetables that you can use as a starting point. In the learning phase look at how many topics you need to cover and how much time you need to allocate for each topic.

Remember that Financial Reporting builds on underlying knowledge from Financial Accounting. You should include some time at the start of your studies to check and refresh your underlying knowledge from FA with our FR self-check quizzes.

You need to cover the full syllabus and you should aim for a broad understanding at this stage. Make sure that you read and study actively - when studying ask yourself ‘do I understand this?’ If not, re-read the material and re-work the examples.

Don’t be tempted to spend more time on topics that you like – you need to cover the full range of topics regardless of how much you enjoy it or how easy it is to understand. Try to focus on topics you find most challenging and aim to turn them into an area of strength.

The ACCA Compass planning tool can help you build an effective study plan. 

Check your understanding 

Attempting exam-standard questions and then debriefing against the model answers will help you check your understanding of topics you’ve studied. There’s no need to complete full exams under timed conditions until later in your studies however you should always try and answer some parts of every question you attempt in full.

As you progress through your learning phase use the FR technical articles to supplement your knowledge building.

Revision Phase 

Once you have a broad understanding of all of the topics covered in the syllabus you can progress to the revision phase where your main focus will be on getting ready for exam success.

Question practice and debriefing

Question practice is the key activity of the revision phase and practising exam standard questions to time under exam conditions is a great revision tool. To make the most of your question practice you need to then debrief your answers thoroughly using the model answers and marking guide.

This applies to questions in all three sections of the exams. For objective test items make sure you debrief carefully any questions you get wrong or where you ‘guessed’ the answer. And for the constructed response questions, ensure you debrief both calculations and written elements of the answers reflecting on how you could improve your future answers.

The ACCA Practice Platform has a blank workspace where you can answer constructed response questions in the CBE environment.

If you are using a past exam question you will also be able to review examiner comments about student performance in the relevant examiners report.

Exam technique

Exam success is a combination of your technical knowledge and your ability to apply it to the scenarios and questions in the exam in the available time. Our exam technique resources will provide advice and guidance on applying your knowledge effectively on exam day.

Mock exams and the ACCA Practice Platform

You should aim to complete and debrief at least one full mock exam in your revision phase in the computer-based exam (CBE) environment. The Practice Tests in the ACCA Practice Platform allow you to complete full exams, based on past exam content, in the real CBE environment.

It’s vital to debrief your mock exam(s) fully and carefully to maximise the benefit you receive. Effective debriefing will allow you to focus on areas of weakness as you move towards your exam day.

As you move towards exam day you may want to revisit questions you found challenging to improve your performance