Archives For preparing for exams

Revision_031114

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.

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by ACCA student blogger Ng Jia Wen

Anxiety is inevitable. No matter how prepared we may be, we will get nervous. After all, if you study to the point where your life or death depends on the final grade, you’re bound to get nervous before and after the exam (technically true, but no rational person would go to that extent, except maybe me).

So, the next time you feel that wave of anxiety rushing within you and the level of stress, rising try the following:

Step 1: Stop whatever you are doing at that moment.

It’s very tempting to rationalize with yourself and say, ’but I’m about to finish this last page!’ or ‘I’m going to finish the last sub-question!’ DON’T let that get to you. You’ll feel unsettled and frazzled and nothing productive would be accomplished.

Step 2: Take a break.

A power nap would be best. If you had too much coffee to the extent that sleeping is difficult (shame on you), close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. It helps to ease the escalating dizziness and that feeling of bile going up to your throat. (There are certain breathing techniques that I may not be aware of. If you do and those methods work for you, use them!)

After a 20-30 minute power nap and or an allocated time for breathing techniques…

Step 3: Draft your ‘game plan’.

It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to get it done. Construct a ‘game plan’, your to-do list for the day, or maybe for the next 3 days of what you plan to accomplish in those 1-3 days for your studies. Remember to consider time to rest and relax. (Don’t forget about sleep, and food. All humans need those. And you’re a human, right?)

If you had a game plan from the start, review and revise it. Cross off tasks that you had completed and fill in new ones. Also, schedule in for sleep and food and unavoidable commitments.

Once you’ve set up the game plan…

Step 4: Quote Nike’s tagline: ‘Just do it’.

Dive into that mountain of books, get busy and start crossing those items off your to-do list. JUST do it. It is crucial, failing which, you might decide to skip the work for the day and continue ‘rewarding yourself’ for the ‘long hours’ that you had put in.

Oh, and the feeling of crossing an item off a to-do list will really motivate you to press on.

But if you start feeling bored, or pent-up frustration starts rising…

Step 5: Switch up your study method.

It would maintain the momentum of studying whilst giving your brain a different challenge. Bored of reading your notes? Try making flash cards. Tired of making flash cards? Try out some questions. Stuck on questions? Switch back to reading your notes. A change would avoid stress from escalating.

Once you accomplished what you were supposed to finish…

Step 6: Reward yourself.

Small rewards go a long way. They keep you motivated and energised to reach your final goal. Treat yourself to, say, an hour of TV or an ice cream for revising 2 chapters or completing a past year paper.

Well done! Give yourself a small pat on the back, and its back to the books again!

 

That’s it from me. I’d like to end here with a song title that keeps me going, ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’, and I hope it may inspire you to keep going. Until then, keep up the good fight, study smart and take care of your health!

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by ACCA student blogger Naresh John

Hi all! We’re on the homestretch heading towards June exams, which are about one month away. I know that tensions can be high at this point; however, one can adopt an approach to calm the nerves and ensure success in their exams. I myself practice this as it’s quite effective in handling all of the stresses that arise with upcoming exams.

  1. Create a study calendar. Start exactly one month before the exams are scheduled to start. For each day write down the subject that you plan to spend time studying. If you are sitting more than one exam, take into account which exams require more in depth knowledge; these should show up on your study calendar more frequently. Stick to the calendar, an hour a day might not seem like much but it will really be useful. In designing your study calendar, try not to study for too long on something you find difficult, you will become stressed and most likely forget what you learnt an hour ago.
  1. Figure out your study methods.Study methods include using colors, pictures and brainstorm or mind map pages. Some people learn and remember things better if they’re in certain colors whereas other people may remember diagrams and pictures more easily. Use the method that works for you; as long as it’s effective. It’s no use reading lots of text if your study method is diagrams. Remember, everyone has different methods to study, what works for your best friend may not work for you. For me personally I employ the use of mind maps as well as reading text. I enjoy the mind map method as it clearly shows the links between various topics within the exam. As such, I create a holistic picture of the exam which allows me to understand what’s involved.
  1. Understand the syllabus. It’s not enough to simply memorize the material that you have covered in lectures as there is the possibility that exam questions will not be asked in a straightforward manner and your brain may be too saturated from all the information you memorize. As such, it’s important to understand the material so that you can answer the question no matter which angle the examiner asks the question from. Also, understanding the material helps you to establish links between topics within the exam. Therefore, both studying and answering questions will be much easier, as the volume you memorize would be less.
  1. Take breaks. After studying for a while, reward yourself by going on a walk to clear your mind or chatting with friends. Try not to feel guilty about this – you need some time to have fun and it’s better to revise when you are feeling relaxed after a break than to exhaust yourself studying all day. This is true in my case as I have realized that the brain can only take so much, therefore it makes no sense studying all day long. As such, after a break, when you resume studying, your mind is more likely to absorb more as it is fresh.
  1. Keep a healthy diet throughout. Studying for exams (especially close to the exam date) can sometimes cause us to neglect our nutrition as we try to maximize our study time. However, it is quite important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as this keeps the brain healthy which would result in more effective studying. Keeping a healthy diet should not be complex, as it could just entail a simple walk or jog for 20-30 minutes and having proper meals daily.

I hope that these tips will serve you all as well as it has served and continues to serve me as I pursue examinations.

Take care and best of luck in your examinations!!