Every week in the run-up to the ACCA exams in December, Caron Betts will be guiding us through exam preparation from a tutor's point of view.
This is our personal study week; a gap between the tuition and revision phases. We built it into our study programme because we understand that often things get in the way of studying – family, work, holidays, illness, etc, etc – and this “spare” week gives the students a chance to catch up.
It also gives me a chance to consider what we have learned so far, in our preparation for the December exams.
- It’s OK to ask the tutor for help. In fact, it’s positively encouraged. Students shouldn’t sit and struggle over a problem, but instead contact the subject specialist tutor to get a swift answer, and so progress more quickly.
- Don’t worry about anyone else. The ACCA exams are not a “first past the post” system so it really doesn’t matter if others are better. The ACCA require students to get 50% to pass the exam, and that should be the benchmark for any practice tests and mock exams.
- Use feedback to improve. Whether it’s reviewing the suggested answers or taking on board the tutor’s comments, it is important to reflect on what went well, and what needs to be done differently to achieve success in the real exam.
- Maintain motivation. By keeping focused on the end goal, it will help to find time to study and to keep working when things get tough.
- Do lots of questions. It’s only by working through exam standard questions - to time – that students can understand how to cope under the exam conditions.
- Pay attention when studying. If the mind is like a filing cabinet, it will be easier to retrieve a particular fact or formula from it if there were no external distractions at the time of “storing”.
- Make it bitesize. Break down study periods and study topics into small sections. Research shows that learning over a period of time, aids long term retention.
Next week we move onto revision…