Do you know why most students fail their ACCA exam? If you are a working, do you know why you shouldn’t study for more than 45minutes? Do you also know that you don’t need 100% to pass?

According to a report, these examples of innocent mistakes are committed by almost every student when writing ACCA exam but they are small potatoes compared to the most common mistake of all “cramming” to the exam hall.

Here’s the problem.

High Percentage of those that writes ACCA exam are workers and most of them only study during their leave which might be a month to the exam.

How can you overcome odds like that? This is what 10 simple mistakes you make when preparing for an exam seem to address.

These mistakes are divided into three categories:

  • General
  • Numerical
  • Written

General mistakes

  1. Leaving it all until too late. “Cramming” the night (or even the week) before the exam just does not work at this level of studying. You need to be disciplined and consistent over a period of at least two months leading up to the exams. A study diary helps.
  2. Studying for too long in one go. Concentration suffers dramatically when students try to study for longer than 30 to 45 minutes at a time. It is far better to have several short sessions a week than one marathon, and it is sensible to take regular short breaks.
  3. Spending too much time on favourite topics. It is human nature to avoid things we don’t like but this does not improve your ability in problem areas. As I always say, “focus on your weaknesses at home, and on your strengths in the exam”.
  4. Failing to answer the specific requirements of a question. Students who don’t read requirements carefully (a couple of times even!) often misinterpret what they are being asked to do. Questions asking for “advantages of acquisition” will generate plenty of answers that cover both advantages and disadvantages. Questions about “operating gearing” often spark extensive but irrelevant discussion of “financial gearing”.
  5. Not doing enough timed question practice. Students tend to prefer reading their notes and textbooks rather than subjecting themselves to the problem of attempting full questions under timed conditions, however you must remember that examiners don’t care what you know, only what you can apply in the exam.
  6. Not attempting a full mock exam. An extension of mistake 5. The prospect of sitting for two or three uninterrupted hours to complete a full mock will fill many students with dread, but there is little better to prepare them for the rigours of real thing. The first time you sit an exam in full should not be on the day of the real thing!Mistakes in numerical questions
  7. Trying to do everything. It is important to remember that you do not need 100% to pass an exam and that you can afford to make some mistakes and even ignore fiddly complications and still achieve a solid pass. At the top level papers for ACCA there is often too much information to realistically deal with in the time available so you need to use your judgement to focus on the easy marks.
  8. Not showing workings. It is all too easy in the heat of an exam to make “silly” mistakes in calculations but if full workings are shown a large proportion of the marks can still be earned for the method that was being applied. Without workings markers can give you very little credit. Mistakes in written questions
  9. Not breaking up text with headings. There is little worse than trying to mark a paragraph that lasts three pages. You need to clearly break down your text into mark able chunks, and what better way to do this than to give each block of writing a title to explain what it covers.
  10. Ignoring the specifics of the scenario given. Students have to learn to apply the technical content of the syllabus to the context of the scenarios they are given. The “advantages of IT for an airline” will be quite different to the “advantages of IT for a sandwich shop”. You cannot just regurgitate the textbook and expect to pass higher level papers.

To your Success,

Tayo Stephen.

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