1) It may seem obvious, but don’t put off those difficult concepts until revision – make sure you fully understand the course content as you go. If you find yourself thinking “it’s ok, I can get it when I revise”, that is your brain ringing alarm bells, saying “I don’t get it… run that by me again?”
2) Make a revision plan and timetable, spacing out your revision. Going back to a topic over a few days is very effective because it lets your brain work on it between study periods (while you do something else!).
3) Plan breaks. Finding a few hours to take time out will do you the world of good. Whether it’s date night, walking the dog or playing with the kids, you’ll come back refreshed.
4) Make a list of the topics that you find difficult, because that is what you should focus most (but not all) of your time on.
5) Go back through your notes to condense them into key points. It is important to use your own words as that means your brain is fully engaged and you will understand the concepts better. There are lots of ways to do this, including flash cards, mind maps or bullet points.
6) Practice written tasks. In full. A lot. Practice really does make perfect.
7) When you’re ready, use the first practice assessment to identify weak areas. Then revise the whole of any weak topic areas (not just the exam questions) before doing another practice paper.
8) Do not fall into the trap of learning the practice exams rather than learning the syllabus. Exams cover the whole syllabus over time, so there will be topics in your actual exam not covered by the practice papers.
9) Make sure you know in advance when and where your test is and what you are (and are not) allowed to take in. Pack your favourite admissible calculator.
10) Arrive at the exam nice and rested. Try to avoid being too busy or stressed in the days before the exam and don’t stay up late cramming – save your brain for the exam.
If you have upcoming exams, we wish you the very best of luck!
• Cath Littler is Head of L&D (Accounting) at Mindful Education