ACCA preparation plus a demanding full-time job can be a challenge, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do well in both your exams and your career.
If you’re starting your ACCA studies, it would be recommended to devise a personal study plan as early as possible and then make sure you stick to it or you can choose to enrol in an ACCA institute to get better training under a well-established curriculum. ACCA is a long journey, so keep chipping away
You’ll be surprised by how much you can get through if you plan in advance, are prepared to put in the time, and are willing to sacrifice some of your social life. It can be hard to balance your job and ACCA studies with personal goals such as exercise or hobbies, but remember that you’re only spending a short time on something with lifelong benefits.
Talk to your boss, your colleagues and (if you have one) your mentor to make sure they respect your commitment to ACCA and give you the time you need to prepare properly.
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The following are what you can do to perform at your overall best for the ACCA examinations.
- Make a schedule and stick to it:
Even if you are studious, studying for ACCA can be tough. The best thing to do is to make a study schedule and stick to it. A clear schedule can help you discipline yourself and will force you to cover all the ACCA modules. This will also teach you to stick to your deadlines – something that will also be important in your professional life.
- Use all the free resources before moving onto the paid ones:
To ensure that you don’t miss out anything from the ACCA papers list, it can be a sensible idea to preview all the available study resources, online and offline.
However, make sure you exhaust all the resources that are available free of cost, before moving to the paid ones. Since most free resources, including the ACCA website, cover the entire syllabus, you’ll be saving a lot of money.
- Go for group study:
Another way to get through your syllabus faster is to study with a friend or in a group. Studying in a small group not only allows you to view a difficult concept from different angles, but it also helps you clear your ideas through a thorough discussion. You will also be exposed to various study techniques that may improve your skills.
- Get all your queries clarified before moving to the next topic:
A hurry to finish the entire syllabus can jeopardise your preparation. When you are studying a particular topic, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the related concepts.
If you still have questions, you can approach your tutors, online experts or even your seniors who have attempted the exam before you. It is important to have a complete understanding of the current topic so that you do not carry over any misconceptions or mistakes that can hamper your future subjects.
- Solve as many practice papers as you can:
You may have heard that practice makes perfect and this is applicable to ACCA preparation too. Whatever exam you are attempting from the ACCA papers list, make sure you solve as many practice papers as you can get hold of for that particular exam.
- Follow PQRST:
If you want a ready-made checklist for revising concepts, you may benefit from following the PQRST mnemonic.
This stands for previewing, questioning, revising, summarising and testing, and this can help you gain expertise in complicated subjects.
Preview the topic to see what you previously know about it, note down your queries, find the answers, revise them and try to summarise what you have learnt; solving a practice paper thereafter can cement the concept in your brain.
- Do not neglect your health:
Many studies have proven that your brain is at its best when you eat healthily and get the minimum hours of sleep. Burning the midnight oil may seem productive at first, but it also results in the loss of your cognitive power.
You won’t remember anything if you study when you are hungry or sleep deprived. You should also get some light exercise as this can boost your metabolism and energy levels.
- Find the right reasons to study:
Studying for the accountancy exam can be stressful and leave you tired and unmotivated. No amount of ACCA exam tips can motivate you more than your original goal for taking the exam.
Keep reiterating your dreams and aspirations—you can even create an ACCA mood board with colourful posters that can remind you of the reward for your hard work.
- Do not cram:
All work and no play will make you a pretty dull accountant. While working for the exams can be tough, it is vital to get some rest from your studies to prevent a mental breakdown.
Take a walk in the park, indulge in a game of tennis or badminton, catch an episode of your favorite show or spend some quality time with your friends. All these things will help you refresh your brain and get back to your studies with more enthusiasm.
- Create a question bank:
Most students preparing for ACCA make the elementary mistake of only making notes and revising them. However, it is also important to try to draw links between different topics. You can do this by asking yourself as many questions as you can think of. You can also create a question bank by talking to your fellow students or seniors. These questions prepare you for anything that you might be asked in the actual exam.
It is clear that ACCA can be time-consuming and energy-draining. You may even feel unmotivated and reluctant to go on, and this is where a reliable support network is crucial for success.
This can be your friends, family or even colleagues who understand the pressure on you, make you feel good, and help enhance your preparation for ACCA.
If you intend to sit for ACCA exams, you should consider joining the preparatory course offered by the Toronto School of Management.