A looming exam can easily induce bottomless cups of coffee, five-hour study sessions and the urge to bury your overworked head into the sand. If you are studying accounting, and prepping for your next exam, read on to find out how you can wave goodbye to sleepless nights, and still get excellent marks!

1. Study with a partner, and talk it out

Having your nose pressed to the books while your friends are out on the town is never a fun pastime, so one of the best ways to motivate your study process is to find support in a study buddy. Join forces with someone, ideally a classmate, who is also preparing for the exam, and relay information back and forth to each other to test your knowledge. Mix it up a bit by choosing different locations for your study sessions, such as a quiet café or the park. Make time for discussion in the weeks and days leading up to the big event. There are few better ways of consolidating your revision then by verbally reviewing your material with a study buddy. Not only will you learn something, but you may also teach them a thing or two while you’re at it.

2. Stop cramming

Studies show that cramming information is not effective. It’s important to evenly distribute your study material so that you can better memorise and retain information. “Cramming all your study together feels good. You finish the study session, thinking 'I know this'. The problem is that although you’re currently holding it all in mind, the memories are more fragile. Spacing your practice out doesn’t feel as satisfying, but it results in memories that are more likely to be useful when exam day comes around,” says Tom Stafford, Lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Sheffield.

3. Take regular breaks

Research shows that taking regular breaks throughout a study session helps you file away information more effectively. Academics from the University of Sheffield analysed over 850,000 students as they learned how to play an online game, and found that players experienced swifter improvement in their cognitive skills when they left gaps between sessions because these breaks enabled the brain to file away and retain information. Those who played for two hours on two consecutive days generally did better than someone who practised continuously for four hours. So rather then jam pack your brain with too much information that will leave you at a loss of where to begin come exam day, evenly distribute your material and allow your brain to store it away and review it.

4. Take a mock test beforehand

One of the best ways to retain information is to do a mock test beforehand, as it will give you an idea of what type of questions you should expect on the actual exam. While you may not be able to test yourself using the exact questions provided in the exam, there is a wealth of online resources, such as the website financial.kaplan.co.uk, that provide mock tests containing questions that test your knowledge in the theory that is most likely to be featured in the exam.

5. Use creative memory techniques

“We remember the bizarre,” says Amanda Ward, former ATT student, who suggests the following tip, “Throughout my studies I had a tutor who would use scenarios to explain concepts to us – some not always classroom appropriate, but I could definitely remember them in the assessment. Create stories, your own examples, and be as creative as you like – whatever works for you. You don’t necessarily need to tell others what you use to learn things, as long as you remember them in the assessment.”

With exams set to take place on from the 8th to the 26th of November (CIMA), and from the 5th to the 9th of December (ACCA & ICAEW), we at Search would like to wish the best of luck to anyone who will be taking their exams. Here we list some prep tips to ensure that you pass your exam with flying numbers!


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