Archives For revision

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!



This post was originally published in Student Accountant 


Always allow plenty of time to get to the exam hall so that you will be fully ready to approach the exams in a calm state of mind. Ensure that you have brought your stationery, calculators, your examination dockets and your student identification.


Make sure that you answer the correct number of questions, and that you spend the right length of time on each question. The amount of time you spend on each question is determined by the number of marks available. The ‘magic’ number is 1.8 minutes per mark. So for instance, a 20-mark question should be selected, completed and checked in 36 minutes. Always attempt all parts of the questions and stick to the time allocation. All three-hour papers have an additional 15 minutes of reading and planning time (RAPT). During this time, you may only write or make notes on the question paper.


Planning your answer properly and presenting it clearly is another critical component to ACCA exam success. While you’re planning how your answer should be structured, consider what format it should be in and how long each part should be. Always show which question you are attempting clearly and remember to use black ink. It is also essential to include all your workings in your answer. Do not scatter question parts from the same question throughout your answer booklet. If you are stuck with a question, leave a space in your answer booklet and return to it later.


To score well, you must follow the requirements of the question, understanding what aspects of the subject area are being tested and ensure that you tailor your answer to the question asked. Don’t forget professional marks where available. Professional marks are awarded for the overall quality of answers, and for effective professional communication skills. These will be determined by the strength of arguments, the use of logic, sensitivity to the intended target audience, and for structure and presentation.


Get the easy marks first – do the things you find easiest, it guarantees you some marks right away, and gets you into the ‘flow’ of the exam. You should also select the optional question you feel you can answer best, basing your selection on the topics covered, the requirements of the question, how easy it will be to apply the requirements and the availability of easy marks.


If you find yourself stuck on a question and unable to answer it, then move on to another question and return to this question later. If you don’t understand what a question is asking for, state your assumptions. Even if you do not answer the question in a manner precisely the way the examiner requires, you should still be given some credit, if your assumptions are reasonable.


Success is what you can expect to achieve if you apply all of the above tips and techniques during your exams. To achieve success, you must also sufficiently revise for your exams. Being prepared will help you enter the exam hall in a confident frame of mind, which will help you as you start your exams. Make sure that your revision covers the breadth of the syllabus, as all topics could be examined in a compulsory question.

Another crucial factor in achieving success is practice. Going through question practice and mock exams will prepare you for the real exam. The more exam-standard questions you practise, the more likely you will be to pass the exams.

Remember, the key to your success lies in your own commitment and resolution towards doing well in the exams. So, get prepared, write your own success stories and be prepared to IMPRESS.


by ACCA student blogger Shahroze Naeem

In my last post, I gave three effective tips to manage your study time. Now that your study time has been well-utilized, all you are left with is less than a month at most to revise everything. If you are sitting three or four exams you know what it’s like to revise such a lengthy course. It simply isn’t possible. And who doesn’t find revisions boring?

Here are three tips to make your revision time fun and fruitful.

1. Stick notes around the house and initiate a hunt each day

This exercise is quite fun, and of course an excellent way to help you remember things during the exam when you’re under such pressure. Use sticky notes to make very brief bullet points for the parts of the syllabus you find relatively harder to get by. Stick them around your house. One on the fridge, another one in the dressing room, one can be in the dining. Have one in the kitchen too! Oh, don’t forget the laundry.

Write the place for note 2 on the first sticky note so that you can go to the second note once you’re done with note 1. Write the place for note 3 on the second note, and so on. Each day, complete the hunt. Make sure that you complete it.

Not only will this make revision more fun – in the exam hall, you’ll know which part of the syllabus you had placed in the kitchen, which chapter was resting in the dining room and which one was placed in the lounge.

2. Make poems if you get bored

Who doesn’t find it tedious and boring to revise the already-studied syllabus? If you’re facing the same problem, befriend music and poetry. You will make your student life a lot easier. Studying for Paper P2, I would make poems for different parts of the syllabus that had long sequences, lengthy answers or areas which had multiple laws/standards governing the issue.

This doesn’t just make it fun, but also easier to get by and remember for a long time after. I still remember my poems, to be honest.

3. Revision time does NOT equal to study time

I have seen students spending the whole day sitting in the same place just revising everything. Relax! You already have studied everything. The key to effective revision is to take it lightly. During study time, I usually sit in a continuous 3-4 hour stretch followed by a short break.

During revision time, however, things are a lot different. I already know what I am to study. Therefore, I only revise for 15-20 minutes followed by a break of the equal amount of time. The key is not to worry. You only have a few days left. Take it easy.

Good luck to all of those sitting exam in the December sitting. Let me know if these simple and fun revision tips helped you in any way to ensure exam success.

Photo credit: Harry via Flickr


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.

Never give up!

theaccablog —  2 September 2014 — 4 Comments


by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli 

‘The discomfort of change is better than the heartbreak of complacency.’

It’s only when you feel that the pain of giving up is greater than the pain of putting in the time and effort to chase your dreams, will you be able to move on, never give up and reach new heights.

This became very clear to me about a year and a half ago, after procrastinating I had virtually given up with my ACCA studies (I had 9 papers passed up until 2001 and then quit), that I realised something had to change. I knew I would have to sit down and ask myself what I wanted out of life, re-write my goals and consider the sacrifices myself and my family will make in order for me to achieve what I wanted. The pain of having given up was too high and I knew that once I had come up with a game plan I could do this.

Since December 2012 I have successfully sat another 2 papers and passed them first time, which leaves me with 3 papers left to get one step closer to ACCA membership.

From this experience I have learnt that I would need to attend all my lectures and being 40 years old I would need extra time to absorb the material. So after each lecture I would make sure I sit down for 30 minutes and review what I had learnt. I would then put time aside on weekends (in small chunks of 30-45mins) to revise again and attempt exam questions (without using the answers as an aide).

Here are some tips for you that I find very useful:

  • make your study area just that, an area where you can study with no or minimal distractions
  • make sure you get sufficient rest
  • learn material by recalling and reciting. Simply reading text over and over again will not magically enable you to learn it.

I am sure you have read and re-read all of the above a dozen times, so I go back to my original point – ‘The discomfort of change is better than the heartbreak of complacency’.

Never give up on your goals, whatever they maybe.

Good luck!


Photo credit: Nikola Ostrun via Flickr