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How To Study For ACCA Exams

Richard Clarke

Techniques on How To Study For ACCA Exams

The question is - will you implement them?

1. TEACH SOMEONE ELSE (OR JUST PRETEND TO)

If you imagine that you’ll need to teach someone else your paper, you can speed up your learning and remember more.

It changes your mind-set to something more than needing to learn to pass the exam.

Teachers seek out key points and organise the materials into a coherent structure.

2. STUDY IN SHORT BURSTS OF TIME (30-50 mins)

Anything less than 30 is just not enough, but anything more than 50 is too much information for your brain to take in at one time.

Once you’re done, take a five to 10 minute break before you start another session. It's what i do in my academies in UK and Malta. It works.

3. TAKE NOTES BY HAND

Never take notes on a laptop. I saw this on some terrible (ACCA approved!) materials recently and it's really bad practice. Researchers at Princeton University and UCLA found that when students took notes by hand, they listened more actively and were able to identify important concepts. 

Taking notes on a laptop, however, leads to mindless transcription, as well as an opportunity for distraction, such as email.

4. USE THE POWER OF SPACING

You have a choice - which would you do?

  1. Water your lawn once a week for 90 minutes or

  2. Water your lawn 3 times a week for 30 minutes

You might be tempted to go for number 1. It means one effort then phew you're done. But will your lawn stay as green as number 2?

Spacing out the watering during the week will keep the lawn greener over time - and the same applies to your ACCA knowledge.

To retain your knowledge, it’s best to review the information one to two days after first studying it.

In fact repeating the information over a longer interval—say a few days or a week later, rather than in rapid succession—sends a stronger signal to the brain that it needs to retain the information.

5. TAKE A STUDY NAP

Downtime is important when it comes to retaining what you learn, and getting sleep in between study sessions can boost your recall up to six months later.

Previous research suggested that sleeping after learning is definitely a good strategy, but now we show that sleeping between two learning sessions greatly improves such a strategy.

6. CHANGE IT UP

If you practice a slightly different question every time, you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row.

So there you have it my friends - the big ones for me are the repeated study in small chunks and the teaching someone else are the biggies.

Good luck

Ciao
Richard


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