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Tips for ACCA exam success

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Pass ACCA exams first time

Sitting your ACCA exams can sometimes be a stressful experience, but there are many things you can do to make that experience less daunting and more rewarding.

There are five learning phases when it comes to ACCA exams. They are:

  • Planning
  • Studying
  • Practising
  • Preparation
  • Performance

Here are some tips on how best to prepare for and sit your ACCA exams, categorised by learning phase:

  • Make decisive decisions relating to how you will go about exam preparation.
  • Work out exactly how much time you have to prepare, taking professional and personal factors into account – from there, create a rough timetable documenting how you plan to spend your study time.
  • Become familiar with the syllabus and learning structure.
  • Take a look at an examiner’s approach; you can learn exactly what they are looking for when they mark a paper.
  • Read and make notes on at least one up-to-date ACCA approved study text.
  • Set achievable targets for each day, for example, complete one past paper.
  • Spend time getting to understand the underlying concepts behind the covered topics – this is where you can achieve extra marks.
  • If there is anything you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask your teacher or a classmate.
  • Take past papers under timed conditions so as to replicate the exam experience. This way you’ll learn how long you should spend on each question.
  • Use model answers to refine the answers you give to each question.
  • Look through examiner reports on the ACCA Global website, as they highlight the key mistakes made in past exams.
  • Read marking schemas in order to determine how many points you’ll get from each question, and how in depth your answer needs to be.
  • Look over any exam paper analysis to spot any trends in past examinations – which topics are covered most frequently?
  • Revise everything you have learnt thoroughly in the days leading up to your exam.
  • Visit your exam centre before the day of your exam. This will help you determine how much time you need in order to arrive in plenty of time.
  • Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before your exam. Rest will probably serve you better than last minute revision.
  • Make good use of reading time. This will ensure that you’ve understood the question properly and know how to approach it.
  • Make your answers straight to the point and avoid repeating yourself – just make sure that you cover all the main points.
  • Plan your answers rather than launching straight into writing. This means you are less likely to forget the points you want to make.
  • Answer all given questions. If you’re concerned about running out of time, briefly list the main points – at least that way the examiner can see you’ve covered the basics and will reward points accordingly.
  • If you have any time left over at the end of the exam, read through your answers to avoid submitting your paper with any obvious mistakes.

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