Going into the accountancy field is a big decision. If you’re planning to study for the ACCA qualification, one of the main factors you may have considered is the notorious difficulty of the exams – and how much work you’ll have to put in to ensure you get a good mark.
Don’t be too discouraged though; here’s our advice on how to give yourself the best chance of success.
Real practice is key
With any subject, you can only gain so much by reading about it; if you want to know how to do it, then get your hands dirty and get some practical experience. Volunteer or look for internships in finance to get a good grasp of how the theories you’re reading about really work in the office.
Repetition, repetition, repetition
Because of the amount of information you’ll have to remember, we recommend re-reading everything at least once to help it stick in your mind. Once you complete a chapter, don’t close the book and only come back to it for revision – spend time brushing up on past topics so that you get as familiar with the material as possible.
Keep the pressure off
Yes, you are on a deadline and there’s a lot to do; but remember to cut yourself some slack occasionally. Accountancy uses a lot of specialised technical vocabulary, so don’t get stressed if you don’t understand everything the first time. Besides, that’s what your tutors are there for – to help you get to grips with these complex subjects. You don’t have to do it on your own!
Speak the language
Having said that, using the right terminology is key – particularly in an exam. Ask for help and don’t worry too much if it takes you a while to get your head round the vocabulary; but make sure that you do understand it before you go into the exam. Nothing sets alarm bells ringing like the incorrect use of important words.
You won’t be able to keep on top of the work just by listening to the tutor (though of course it helps!). Make sure that you take detailed notes in all of your classes, and then file them somewhere you can easily access them; use different folders for each topic if necessary. Recording your learning process in an orderly way will help you when it comes to revision and give you a good basis for your career – a disorganised accountant can get into trouble very quickly!
And finally, if you have a bad day, don’t lose hope; the key factor to success in anything is perseverance. Good luck!