Your exam performance will be based on the culmination of months of dedicated study, your revision programme and your exam technique, writes ACCA UK’s head of education Dorothy Wood
Preparing for an exam can be compared to an athlete preparing for a major competition. The performance of an athlete is the culmination of months of dedicated training and so it is for a student who is determined to be successful in an exam.
Breaking your training/studying into separate stages helps you focus on the activities that will lead to your goal. It’s important to remain motivated during your study period and, therefore, you should set yourself weekly targets, just as an athlete does with training sessions. The different stages for you as a student include:
Each exam will cover the syllabus and so it’s important to study the full range of topics. Some areas of the content will be easier for you to understand than others, so give yourself time to master all of the methods in the course material. You will have to rehearse some of the more challenging skills a number of times before you feel confident with the technique.
The benefit of continued commitment is that you gradually become expert and more relaxed about the topic in an exam question.
Improving your ability will rely on you using a variety of study techniques. These may include discussion with tutors, students or colleagues, using the student resource area of the ACCA website, writing revision notes, reading examiners’ reports as well as practising exam style questions.
Your level of skill will gradually improve and you will become more competent at applying your knowledge in different situations.
Like any schedule there will be periods of intensive activity and periods of consolidation. Your timetable should be planned with care, and include sessions that focus on learning as well as others that include practice questions. Completing past exam questions helps you monitor your progress and compare your performance against the standard required. Reflecting on the answers you write, against the answers to questions in study texts will also help you gauge your progress. Additionally, if you attend tuition sessions, your tutor will be giving you feedback.
Your exam performance will be based on the culmination of months of dedicated study, your revision programme and your exam technique. All three elements are required to build your expertise and give you the confidence to be successful when sitting your exam.
If you have attempted a recent exam and not yet met the standard to pass, you should review your approach. Consider your performance carefully and try to pinpoint what worked well and what could be improved. For example:
By recognising your strengths and weaknesses you will be able to tailor your approach and be successful at your next exam.