Archives For Exam preparation

Man using laptop, hand on chin, looking away

by ACCA student blogger Sarosh Fatima

As the next exam session approaches, the panic starts to strike! For some of us, panic attacks have become almost synonymous with exams, but I can now say that I have found a way to tackle them.

I have been able to plan my studies with the help of ACCA’s self-study guides. I don’t believe in exhausting myself; instead, I have spread out my studies and focused on different syllabus areas each week. It doesn’t take me long to grasp all the concepts this way and it has helped my confidence and reduced stress.

Patience and perseverance pave the way to success. An ACCA student will always need to possess these two attributes to avoid making any mistakes in haste and under stress. Every student needs to have self-belief, and a single exam result can never define one’s ability.

Failing an exam never means that you cannot do it. It just means you can do better. Every student needs to look ahead and think positively, which will enhance their confidence in their own abilities. We should be more believing – and have confidence – in ourselves.

Our exam success is solely based on the hours we spend in the exam hall. Tackling this time and taking control of our nerves will help impress the examiner with our knowledge and exam technique skills.

So, as we prepare for the March exam session, let’s believe in ourselves!



by ACCA student blogger Shahroze Naeem

Lots of students today face a shortage of time to study and prepare for exams. When I was preparing to take four exams last December, I had the same issue. Knowing I would have to come up with a plan, I decided to use the following three tips to draft an effective study schedule:

1. Prioritizing the subjects

There is always that one subject which is harder than the rest. If you too feel you need to devote more time to a particular subject, prioritize it for the first three months of your preparation time. Study more of it and try to go through the complete subject syllabus within those three months.

This will help restore your confidence and provide you ample time to revise the tougher bits of that subject in the last three months. Now that the tougher subject is prepared, you can focus on the other subject(s) in the second half (the last three months) of your preparation time.

2. Prioritizing the hobbies

I had a lot of activities going on with friends, family and relatives. When I decided to sit four exams, I knew I wouldn’t have time to enjoy all those activities. I decided to prioritize what mattered most. I came up with a well-defined schedule that clearly stated what I could do during the week without harming my study schedule.

A lot of ACCA students make study schedules, but our hobbies are just as much related to our exam success as our preparation for the exams. It is time you define what matters most for you and get to enjoy those hobbies.

3. Having a study buddy

I prepared for my exams along with my sister and therefore we both were on the same page. We decided to be study buddies and help each other by sharing useful notes, tips and little tidbits of information that were important with each other. There is loads of information in our study texts, and missing even the slightest bit can contribute to failure. With a study buddy, chances of missing anything are reduced.

This helped me and my sister a lot and we were very confident regarding our exam success when the time came.

Good luck with your studies.


If you don’t have a study buddy, why not join the ACCA Learning Community and link up with other students studying for exams and share your tips and ideas for successful revision.



Stress can keep you focused and alert, but it can also affect your exam performance. So keeping stress under control is very important.

1. To fight stress, plan ahead as much as possible. Create a revision schedule and if you realise you are not following it, then work out how to catch up before it becomes a problem.

2. Avoid panic – don’t revise late at night before the exam. Doing so will raise your stress levels. When you enter the exam hall you need to feel confident, know the syllabus and the structure of the exam paper, and how long you have to complete it. Preparation will ease your nerves.

3. Exercise and healthy eating can keep stress levels low. A 10 minute walk will help get things in perspective and refresh you for better revision. Avoid too much caffeine, sugary drinks and junk food. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables will help you feel alert and focused.

4. Practise some quick and easy relaxation techniques for the day of the exam, such as slow breathing, or tensing then relaxing muscles. See what works for you and use it to counter any stress that could build up while you wait for the exam to start.

5. Finally, make sure you know where you are going in advance of the exam day. Leave plenty of time to get to the exam venue so that you feel as calm as possible when you arrive. However, if you arrive more than 15 minutes early, sit somewhere nearby that is quiet and relax until you need to go in. Spending time with other students who may be anxious and cramming outside the exam hall will risk them passing on their feelings of stress to you.

Good luck!

by ACCA student blogger Elyse Burns-Hill

I touched briefly on mindset in my last post, and I would like to expand on it now.

Creating the right mindset for yourself is what can make the difference between success and failure. This applies to everything in life from your ACCA exams to getting your dream job. 

1. Believe in yourself

Some of us go through times when we just do not believe that we are going to make it through the next set of exams without at least one failure. I know I’ve felt like that on multiple occasions.  Whenever those thoughts come into your head, you need to push them out again. Don’t let them take hold and bring you down. This is what I tell myself when I feel like that: “I am capable of anything I want to do, and at the moment that is passing my exams”.

2. Positive energy

Create positive energy around what you are doing. If you’re studying, sit quietly for two minutes and imagine yourself opening your exam results. “Pass”- let the feelings of happiness (or relief!) sit there and radiate out through your mind and body. Then get to work.

3. Release yourself from restraining thoughts

Many of us believe that the intelligence, abilities or talents that we are born with are what we have for life. While each of us maybe born with a capacity or limit to our intelligence, very few people will reach that capacity without hard work and perseverance. If you think about it on a biological level (keeping things simple!), the brain is just a mass of connections. The more you learn and work towards building those connections, the smarter you get.

So your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to believe in yourself every step of the way, create a bubble of positive energy around you whenever you do something you want to succeed in, and keep learning and pushing yourself in the knowledge that doing so will make you smarter.


by ACCA student blogger Adhitya Fadriansyah

Part 1 – Exam Result

It is never easy to hear the bad news if you’ve failed an exam. It is normal to feel sad, disappointed and angry, always remember: ‘Edison failed 10,000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times.


After receiving the result, if I fail a paper, I write down what I think caused me to fail and which area of the syllabus I need to concentrate more on. If I pass, I will download the syllabus for the future papers and try to look for a combination that works for me best.

Part 2 – Planning

I start with downloading all the materials related to the paper I’m going to take from the ACCA website (syllabus, examiner reports, past exam papers, technical articles, etc). Downloading it is only the first step; the next step is to set your goals and plan your monthly or weekly activities.

Part 3 – Study Text

I only use learning materials from an ACCA Approved Learning Provider; it gives me the confidence of knowing what I will face in the exam.

To finish reading a 500 page-long study text in a month, I set a target of reading around 17 pages a day. It seems a lot -but do not wait to start; the longer you delay it the more pages you will have to read beforehand. If there is an area you do not understand quite well – ask your mentor, ask your tutor and ask your colleagues.

Part 4 – Revision

Having read the study text, it is now time to test yourself. It is very important to get used to the question type and the exam requirements. I will usually try at least one mock exam – 3 hours of writing and 15 minutes of reading and planning time.

Part 5 – Exam

Here comes the big day. Take good care of your health and ensure you have enough rest the night before the exam; plan your travel to avoid traffic. It is better to arrive earlier rather than having to rush to the exam hall and start the exam in a bad mood. Bring your ID and your exam docket and make sure you have a complete set of stationery – you don’t want to run out of pen in the middle of an exam, do you?

Part 6 – the most important part – HOLIDAY

After all that long hours spent studying, I choose to take a month away from all the books and spend my time with my family while waiting for the results.

That is how I plan my approach to an exam. The most important thing is to plan your work and stick to your plan. Wish us all the best of luck for the upcoming exams.