Book your success

August 2020

Reading around the subject will improve your chances of passing that exam. Top tutor Tom Clendon gives you 10 top tips to help you get the most of reading technical articles.

Reading articles is an important part of studying for any professional accountancy exam.

You can find relevant articles published in PQ magazine and on the website of your professional body. Reading these curated technical articles can only broaden and deepen your understanding of the topic. That is why I have curated the most relevant articles for my SBR students and included at least one article to read in every section of my online course.

Long technical articles can seem hard to read. But it is worth persevering. Here are my top ten tips to effective reading and comprehending those longer articles.

Top tips to effective reading

1. Don’t read it on your screen. Print off a copy to read. It’s a bit old school but trust me it works. You will be less distracted.

2. Switch off your mobile phone. Of course.

3. Find a quiet place to read.

4. Be an active reader and use a highlighter to emphasise key principles that the article is explaining.

5. Be prepared to read the article more than once. You are reading to learn. You don’t always understand things first time around.

6. I read key passages out aloud. Listening to my own voice seems to be another way of lodging the information in my brain. I wonder if that is just me though. No harm in you giving it a try is there?

7. Prepare your own handwritten summary notes of the key points the article makes. Manually writing it down is another way of lodging the information in your memory.

8. Share the article with a friend who is studying for the same exam. Its great having a study buddy.

9. Take the opportunity the next day to discuss the main points that you have taken away from the article with your friend. Listen to what they have to say too. By taking turns in explaining those key principles in your own words to demonstrate understanding you will both win!

10. A week later, refresh yourself by coming back to your notes and then skim read the article again. It’s an old friend now. If you only read an article once you will forget it. There is merit in repetition to reinforce learning.

• Tom Clendon is the online SBR lecturer for FMElearnonline. See