Failure is not an option: nine revision tips for accounting students

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Ok you've booked your ACCA exam, the date is set. Now it's time for revision. We've complied a list of the most popular revision advice. Everyone revises differently so not all of these tips will work for you. It is worth taking a look at our list and see if there is something here that you can incorporate into your revision sessions.

1. Plan

You've heard it before. One of the most important aspects of revision is planning. It is essential for time-management and to ensure you cover everything you need to. A good way to begin is to create a weekly timetable with a rough plan of the topics/subjects you want to cover each day. When the day arrives, it can be useful to create a more detailed plan including how long you will spend on each subject/topic and to schedule breaks. Planning can avoid being overwhelmed with your revision as you can space it out and make sure that everything is covered in a time that works for you.

2. Be realistic

While it is important to plan, it is also important to be realistic with your revision. It is unlikely that you will be able to revise all the content in one day or to revise for 5 hours with no break. When you decide what you are going to revise that day, don’t give yourself an unrealistic work load that will be difficult to achieve. If you do, it will not only tire you but can also make you feel disappointed in yourself if you don’t achieve what you wanted to which isn’t necessary as you just gave yourself an unrealistic amount to do!

3. Organise your notes

Writing your notes onto loose pieces of paper that are all kept in random places in your room is not going to be useful for when you want to look over your notes for revision. Instead, keep your notes in organised folders, perhaps with sections for each subject/topic or a folder for each one. This will ensure that all your notes are in one place and organised so they are ready for you when you want to use them to revise.

4. Stationery

Little things count. When the time arrives where you want to start revising, it can be useful to get yourself some new stationery to motivate you. New pens, highlighters or paper are all very exciting and make you eager to use them which can be the motivation you need to make some revision notes or flashcards.

5. Take regular breaks

As mentioned above, it is unlikely that you will work for 5 hours with no break! You should make sure that you take regular breaks throughout your revision otherwise you will be tired and want to stop. You also won’t be able to stay focused for that length of time and your ability to remember the information won’t be as effective. When you take your breaks depends on how often you feel you need one but as an example, perhaps around a 15 minute break after an hour of revising.

6. Cover all content before the day before

The worst thing you could do is spend the night before the exam trying to cover all the content you need. This will overwhelm you with work and can make you feel more stressed before the exam. Make sure that all the necessary content is covered before the day before - this day should be spent reading over your notes or flashcards and making sure that you are confident with all the topics ready for your exam.

7. Teach others and self testing

A good way to remember the information is to teach others about what you have revised. You can teach a family member or friend and recite the information you have covered, perhaps asking them to test you. You can also take a look at the discussion boards in your ACCA-X course and see if there are questions from other learners you can answer. Even saying the information to yourself can work. it is just important to say it out loud to see if you can come up with the answers from memory which is good practice for the exam. 

8. Motivational quotes

For the days when you lack motivation to revise or are lacking belief in yourself before an exam, reading motivational quotes can help. You can find them on the ACCA-X Facebook page and on the ACCA Instagram page. They may be clichés but they do help and can give you the confidence boost that you need to keep going.

9. Practice questions 

Last but not least - do as many practice questions as you can. The best use of your time is to identifying your areas of weakness by doing the practice questions. You can then focus on reviewing the topics you may not be so confident with. 

Next steps

  • Do you have any other revision tips not listed here that you want to share with your fellow learners? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Enrol on your next ACCA-X course.