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by ACCA student blogger Kevin Bradfield

How does one get the drive to continue studying after having failed the same exams consecutively?

One needs to reconsider the strategy being employed. From my personal experience, I have studied the text and syllabus for an exam only to end up failing.

I decided on the resit to scan through the study text and the syllabus and felt I was more than ready for the exam, especially as it was a resit.

However, I failed again. What was I doing wrong?

A suggestion a passed finalist gave to me was to discard all the prior knowledge I had on the subject and to start over, as if I was taking the exam for the first time. She implied that I was going into the exam with ‘preconditions’.

I think this piece of advice is a good one, but after having extensive knowledge of a subject, it’s difficult to do.

I will, however, try this advice, and see how it turns out. I would encourage anyone who is in the same position to try and do the same too.


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theaccablog —  21 April 2015 — Leave a comment


by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

‘In September 2015 ACCA will be offering an additional exam session in some of our larger markets, which will be followed in 2016 by the introduction of four exam sessions a year across all of our markets, allowing you to take your exams in March, June, September and December.’

Whenever such news is announced we always tend to think about how it will affect us and then, after it has been digested, we consider how it can benefit the wider group.

Personally this decision is huge for me. My 10-year limit expires in June 2017 and, while I only have two papers left and I should by all means be qualified by then, ACCA has just thrown me and thousands of other students a lifeline.

ACCA is doing all in its power to get behind students and, in doing so, sends them a tangible message. That message is: ‘While we acknowledge the level of difficulty of these exams, we are behind you in every aspect.’ This is the message I am getting anyway.

ACCA has done this with the introduction of bloggers, live Q&As on Facebook, and the ACCA Learning Community (which hosts regular learning event Q&As with experts), and I am sure that this is only the beginning of ACCA’s way to separate itself from the rest.

This is ACCA’s way of adding that extra value to us as students, and to give us the necessary tools to succeed.

The next exam session is about six weeks away, and it is all about revision now, so here are a few pointers of what not to do while studying:

  • Having your mobile phone on
  • Cramming in too much data
  • Getting overwhelmed
  • Looking at the answer before even attempting to answer the question
  • Procrastinating
  • Reconstructing notes
  • Having a heavy meal beforehand
  • Pulling all-nighters
  • Not believing in yourself


by ACCA student blogger Tim Chippindall

Exams and studying cause people stress, there’s no getting away from the pressures, especially when this is amplified by juggling a full time job and social life as well. The onus for me is working smart. I’m approaching my study’s not just as a topic I need to learn, understand and apply but digging deeper and trying to understand and develop, how, why, when and with what I learn most effectively and efficiently. A number of sources suggest that one of the best resources for exam success is practice questions and that’s an excellent tip. It prepares you for the style of question you are going to be asked, and really helps to underpin your knowledge. I think however more thought is required before you dive right into practise questions about what kind of style of learning is best for you.

I learn best in quiet environments. I can’t just pick up my books and 10 seconds later be studying. I need a separate space and I also enjoy listening to music while I study. All these needs are important. Studying takes up a lot of your free time and it’s important to reward yourself by providing you with what you need to make the most of it. Personally I make maximum use of my local library, which is heavily populated by people studying professional qualifications!

The idea of this blog post is to make people aware that not everything about studying is in the book in front of you. Some aspects go far beyond, and understanding these eternal factors makes it much easier for students. I always make sure that I keep distractions to a minimum and it’s really important that I’m in the mood for studying. It’s very easy to finish work and convenience yourself that you’re not in the mood for study however. Having a routine helps and also having your comfortable environment is a great tactic to avoid procrastination.

Although people feel the benefit of reward after they have finished a study session take time to give you the best chance and reward yourself for making the time to study, by giving yourself the correct tools you need, whatever they may be!




Our last blog post What will your revision look like?’, talked about how you are planning to prepare for your exam, but what revision resources will you to be using to ensure exam success?

Preparation is the key, so here are some useful resources that you will need when revising for your exams.

1. Video and podcasts – listen to experienced lecturers as they take you through how to answer questions in the exam you are sitting.

2. Specimen exams and past papers – use to familiarise yourself with the exam format and practice answering exam questions, so you’re as prepared as you can be for the real exam.

3. Examiners’ Interviews – helps you to understand what the Examiners’ are looking for in terms of exam performance – an essential resource to help you towards exam success.

4. Practice Tests – sit under exam conditions and get personalised feedback highlighting your strengths and weaknesses so you can refine your revision.

5. Learning Community – join for paper-specific study groups and discuss and share revision tips with fellow students.

Good luck with your revision.


If you are sitting exams in December, you are probably now entering revision mode. So how do you plan to revise? Do you have a successful revision strategy? Here are some useful tips.

1. Perfect Exam Preparation

Having an effective revision strategy can go a long way to making the whole revision phase less stressful. Read our article on Perfect Exam Preparation to find some ideas on how you can achieve this.

2. Looking into the past

Past papers are an essential tool for exam preparation. It’s possible to increase your marks substantially simply by improving your understanding of what the examiner is looking for. Many examiners and markers say that failing to understand the requirements of the question is a major contributor to missing out on easy marks – and ultimately to failing a paper. Including past papers as part of your revision will help you gain a general sense of how the exam will be structured, allowing you to allocate time effectively on the day, after reading through the paper.

3. Study buddies

Whether you study in a classroom or by yourself, study groups can bring lots of benefits. So even if there are times when you prefer to work alone, you should explore the possibilities. Study groups can provide a forum for discussion where you can share concerns, ideas, difficulties and multiple perspectives. You can learn from each others’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as finding out what you don’t know by reinforcing what you do know. You can join the ACCA Learning Community and or form your own group with your fellow ACCA students.

Good luck with your revision.