Remote Exam Sessions
The ACCA exams are now being offered with remote proctoring, so can be done from home. It is important for students to make the most of this opportunity by effectively preparing for the exams in order to increase the chance of passing.
Exam Preparation – how to pass first time
With effective preparation, you will be able to pass the ACCA exams first time, thereby saving yourself both time and money, and enabling you to access the benefits of being ACCA -qualified more quickly. The way you prepare matters and carefully following the tips below, which are based on years of teaching experience and feedback from students who have passed the exams, will increase your chance of success. Note that if you have previously failed an exam, you need to change the way you study.
When should I study?
It’s important to get into a routine for studying and not put it off! Study every day, no matter how tired you are, and go back to older content so that you don’t forget it. This helps to improve knowledge retention.
How should I study?
What you do when you study matters. In order to prepare effectively for the exam and increase your chance of success you should be doing two things:
1.Exercises under exam conditions – if you focus on recreating the conditions of the exam, you will be more prepared for the exam itself as it will be just like doing another practice session! This means:
- Do not wait until you feel ready as you will never be ready until you practise (this is the most important point, as many students feel they need to know everything before practicing questions – actually, we learn by doing the questions themselves, not by studying and doing the questions later).
- Cover the whole syllabus.
- Practise under timed conditions.
- Do exercises without notes to test yourself (you will find that your knowledge in usually good enough to get the pass mark of 50%, as long as you apply what you know to get the easy marks and review the question and your answer to make sure you are not throwing marks away).
- Start by planning your answer (Part C).
- Carefully go through your answer, work out where you went wrong and how to increase your marks next time (spend at least as long reviewing your answer as you did doing the exercise).
- Do the exercises again a few days later.
2.Focus more on things you aren’t so good at, and use practice questions to identify these areas. This means:
- Test yourself to identify your weaker areas (don’t just rely on what you think your weaker areas are!).
- Try to recall what you can remember without notes (use mind maps, for example).
- Make brief notes only for things that you really struggle to remember.
- Look up what you don’t remember/don’t understand very well until you start to get more than 50% of the questions correct.
Many students pass or fail by a very narrow margin (2-3 marks). This highlights how critical exam technique is as it can enable you to get a few extra marks and pass, rather than fail, the exam.
Approach to Written Questions
Students tend to struggle with the written questions. SHP recommends a 4-step approach to these questions:
- Read the requirement. When you read each part of the requirement, highlight the ‘topic’ – what the question is about (what syllabus objective/s is it testing?), and the ‘instruction’ – the question verb/s (for example, ‘explain’, ‘list’, ‘recommend’).
- Read the question. There will be a lot of information and it’s easy to be overwhelmed – they are testing that you know how to deal with lots of information, so focus on identifying the relevant information that will help you to answer the requirements.
- Plan your answer. Think about the marking scheme and plan your answer accordingly (use just bullet points and key words for your plan). Make your answer relevant to the CONTEXT of the question. This means using the information in the question in your answer (don’t just copy it, explain its significance).
- Expand on your bullet point answer plan. Make sure you stick to it so that you meet the question requirements in the time available.
Some students have difficulty finishing the exam. In order to maximise the chance of passing, students must use the time available judiciously in order to get the maximum number of marks. This means allocating the time available to the different questions in the exam according to the number of marks available for each questions, and moving on when the time limit is up. It’s critical to move on and not become stuck on difficult questions as this will mean there is less time available to get the easy marks.
Know what to expect on Exam Day
Make sure you review and understand the instructions sent to you by ACCA and that you have everything set up properly well before the exam is due to start!
If you are getting 50% or more in practice exams, you are ready to take the real exam. Be confident in your abilities. You can do this!
What support is available?
SHP Financial Training is the only ACCA Gold Learning Partner in Latin America and offers full support (teaching and revision classes, practice exams and debriefs, mentoring and materials, question surgery) to ACCA students, enabling them to progress along their ACCA Journey in a focused and effective way, and improving their chances of exam success.
More information: www.shptraining.com/acca.