Revision for Exams!

sharon Registered Posts: 161 Dedicated contributor 🦉
How do people revise...Meaning do you make a revision timetable? Any planning? Or in my case who has 3 exams in i just revise everything together!:confused1:


  • koolboi2007
    koolboi2007 Registered Posts: 32 Regular contributor ⭐

    Im taking 4 exams in june. When you keep revising all three exams, i suppose you work out for yourself how much revision you need to spend on a particular exam. On 1 exam you may spend more revision time and on others less. What exams are you taking?
  • sharon
    sharon Registered Posts: 161 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    I am doing MAC (RESIT!!), DFS & PTC! On top of that the project and Auditing sim....and FRA Sim from last year!! I need to pass... Will get a £2000 payrise if i pass!

    which ones are you doing? And when did you start revising? e.g. How many hours a day/week?
  • kel524uk
    kel524uk Registered Posts: 27 Regular contributor ⭐

    Im with you on the revision

    I only have DFS to do this time around (first attempt!) and im not sure how to start so what ive been doing is basically reading a chapter a night from the tutorial i use the osbourne books and then move onto the workbook questions but not sure if this is the right way or not to do this? :001_unsure:
  • sharon
    sharon Registered Posts: 161 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD PLAN TO ME! But i have 3 exams so reading a chapter a night i will never get there! Good luck though
  • visha
    visha Registered Posts: 218 Dedicated contributor 🦉

    It's that time of year again -exam time. Some of key revision methods for the upcoming June exam
    For many, sitting exams in the summer is a real pain. The sun is shining, everyone you know is out enjoying themselves and you feel guilty every time you skip revision!
    But, however tiresome it may be, your revision and techniques can be the difference between a pass and a fail in an examination. With that in mind, what should you be doing at this time of year?


    1. Make time for revision. No-one expects you to revise 24/7. however, a good revision timetable (see below) will help you organise when and at what times you intend to revise. Draw up a timetable with all the days

    10 –
    11.30 am Work Work Work Work Work Free Study
    12 –
    1.30 pm Free Study
    2 –
    3.30 pm Free Study
    4 –
    5.30 pm Free Study
    6 –
    7.30 pm Study Gym Study Study Study Study Free
    8 –
    9.30 pm Study Study Study Cinema Free Study Free

    2 Give yourself a break
    Don't try and work for eight hours solid - none of what you have done will sink in. Take regular 15-30 minute breaks, say after every hour of study and do something else! Clean the house/read a book / take the dog for a walk.

    3 Don’t revise what you “like”
    Students tend to fall into the trap of revising subjects and areas they “like” and can therefore do well. Make sure you dedicate enough time to the areas you don’t like or cannot do as well.

    4 Attend a revision course ( Saturday Classes)
    Attending a structured revision course should consolidate your knowledge and will give you a lot of beneficial exam question practice. It will also mean you have access to a tutor who will help iron out any queries or concerns you may have about exams.

    5 Exam technique on the day

    a) Make sure you have eaten breakfast before the exam: you may be nervous, but you will be glad you did when you are two hours into the exam.

    b) Read the exam questions carefully. Read one sentence at a time and understand exactly what the examiner is looking for. Make sure you answer the question you have been set – not the one you’d like.

    c) Don’t just write your answer from calculator. You need to show your workings to the examiner for him to make a judgement on your understanding and competency.

    d) Messy work will create a bad impression on the examiner’s mind. Don’t put him in a negative frame of mind. Help him! He will have hundred’s of papers to mark and he can not read your mind Reference your answer to your working if they are not apparent

    e) Don’t panic – If something doesn’t balance, don’t spend too long looking for it – and don’t obliterate your answers, it looks a mess and will not be easy to mark. Enter a Suspense account and balance your Trail balance.

    f) Look at how many questions you have a divide your time equally to the set questions. Have a time plan in front of you.

    g) Check everything. Try and check all your numerical answers before you leave the exam hall, and re-read your written answers. It is surprising how often you can think of something else to say after you have left the question an hour a go.
  • visha
    visha Registered Posts: 218 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    How to pass AAT EXAMS

    1 Turn up! This means turning up for 'Tuition’. Too many students feel that as long as they come to the odd class and collect all of the handouts they will achieve. Not so! You have paid for that lecture time, so use it!

    2 Read the handouts! Having a pile of paper in your bag is not sufficient, you have to actually get them out of your bag and read them. All exercises should be attempted AT LEAST TWICE.

    3 Put in for the exam (on time- BY MID APRIL). Too many students, I have come to me In the past and said that they forgot! How? If you are on a course and there are exams at the end and the lecturer keeps on about sending in your exam form, how do you forget? Likewise, with your AAT membership and its renewal

    4 DO the set 'homework' and more! Yes, I know that I have already mentioned the handouts, but it is worth a second mention that doing the reading and then putting it into practise will actually help you understand the concepts and thus ultimately help you pass the exam

    5 Read the AAT Technician magazine. This is the thing that comes through the post in a cellophane wrapper and often just get filed in people's 'home-office'. No! It often has articles of some interest, and sometimes-even hints as to what may be in the papers. There are also 'how to' articles, and more! (and at the end of the day, part of your subscription fee goes into this, so as you have paid for it – use it!)

    6 Attend/sit practice exams. Most colleges will have a practice, or a mock exam. It could be last year’s paper, or one of the lecturers has written themselves. What a good opportunity to see how you are doing, especially when it is often tome limited.

    7 Listen to your lecturer! More often than not, they do actually know what they are on about. They might have attended one of the 'meet the examiner' sessions that the AAT run, and if so, might have some insight into what might be 'different' from the last series of papers

    8 Practise, Practise, Practise. You would not expect to ride a bike by reading a book, so what makes you think that you can prepare a set of accounts by reading a book? Likewise you will need stabilisers for a while whilst wobbling down the street -same with accounts! Pro-formas, your notes. ..all are your stabilisers and comfort blankets whilst you learn. Gradually you will wean yourself off, hopefully in time for the exam!

    9 Don't forget that AAT is an NVQ- based course. This means that there is a very clear guide as to what will be in the paper -the PCs, range and K&U. These were covered in the previous papers, so getting to know the standards, along with practising past papers will definitely help your chances of success.

    10 Don't be afraid to ask for help, and don't leave your 'cry' too late. Lecturers are human and we need to be spoken to -ie, we can't always read your mind. If you are having problems with your studies, ask us for help. It's part of the reason you sign up for college, and one of the reasons we are here!

    11 Turn up to class. Hey I know that it's on the list already but poor attendance is one of the main reasons why students don't pass, so its worth a second mention!

    12 Make sure everything else is finished. That is to say that your portfolio is complete and signed off before the exams. Research has indicated that if people go into the exam knowing that 'that is it' -ie, no college after the exams, they go in with a better frame of mind and thus every part of their attention can be focused on the exam and not where are they going to get evidence for their portfolio.

    13 Turn up for the exam. In plenty of time -and with the right I equipment. However many times I say that, someone will be late, or have forgotten their calculator, or their pen. Oh, and don't forget those brain cells!!! ~
  • visha
    visha Registered Posts: 218 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    Study skills
    by Lesley Meall (AAT Magazine)
    17 May 2005

    Feature Article

    In an ideal world, you should plan your revision well in advance, starting from two weeks to two months before your exams. The amount of time you spend revising will depend on the number of subjects to revise, the number of exams, and your own abilities. But before you begin, it's a good idea to spend a little time analysing your own approach to learning. Try to identify the method that works best for you - seeing, hearing, or doing - so you can adopt appropriate activities.

    'I believe in maximisation,' says Suni Ahonsi, course director at LVMT Business School, which teaches accounting to students from more than 75 countries from its offices in Cameroon, China, Czech Republic, Mauritius, Myanmar, Pakistan, the UK, Vietnam, and the United Arab Emirates. 'If you are truly focused, the world around you ceases to exist,' he asserts, adding: 'I learnt my published accounts format on a half-hour bus journey'.

    How you go about making the best use of your time depends on which approach works best for you. If you relate to pictures and diagrams you may be best working with Mind Maps, flip charts, spider diagrams, and so on. Use colours and highlighting, or different coloured paper to make your notes distinctive. If you learn most effectively through sound, try listening to tapes - you can record your own notes and listen to them whenever the opportunity presents itself. If you're a hands-on sort of person, you may find you achieve most by working interactively with a study partner, or as part of a larger group.

    It can be very useful to discuss revision topics with fellow students. Explaining concepts to others, and checking their understanding, helps to reinforce knowledge in your own mind. Some educational establishments provide 24-hour study rooms for this purpose. 'I would recommend groups of two to five students,' suggests Ahonsi, 'any more and it's too distracting.'

    Review and retain
    Once you have identified your preferred approach to study, you need to make a list of goals and objectives, and apply priorities. 'If you have time, it's a good idea to go back over your course notes sooner rather than later,' suggests Ahonsi. 'This gives you the opportunity to identify and fill any gaps, and improve your chances of retaining the material.'

    Seventy per cent of what you learn today will be forgotten in 24 hours, according to research. But you can improve your retention level by continuously reviewing and revising. Apparently, if you briefly review your work a day later, a week later, and again a month before your exams, you can improve your recollection by up to 400 per cent.

    But as the exams draw near you need to take a more structured approach. 'Create a revision timetable,' says Ahonsi, and use it to plan ahead, in detail, for each day (see 'Be prepared'). 'Try to keep your intensive study periods short,' he adds, 'but make sure they're productive.' You can get better results from a series of ten-minute sessions than you can from longer study periods. 'Quick sessions also work better if you've been putting off a difficult subject, or if you're having trouble getting into the work,' advises Ahonsi.

    When Karl George was studying for his ACCA exams, he approached his revision like a military campaign. 'I'd studied martial arts as a teenager, so I knew how important preparation was.' Rather than give all of the syllabus equal importance, he concentrated on certain parts. 'I didn't study everything - I went for the more difficult areas, such as consolidated accounts,' recalls George. 'I knew the odds were good that there'd be a question on it, because I'd spent a lot of time looking at past exam papers.'
    Be strict with yourself

    'I was very disciplined,' says George, 'and I made myself sit mock exams under strict exam conditions.' This is important, as Ahonsi confirms. 'You need to work in a simulated examination environment,' he says, 'if you want to get an accurate idea of how well prepared you are.' Revision is not just studying the syllabus, it is about passing your exams as well, so you also need to make a point of finding out what the examiners want. 'Students find it very useful to read the examiners' comments,' advises Ahonsi. 'These show what examiners are looking for, and they also draw attention to why students have failed in the past.' Along with past papers, they can be a powerful combination.

    Past student Mandy Bryon has a word of caution: 'I think you need to be wary of past papers, particularly recent ones,' she suggests. 'They're often the basis of the mock exams, and you can't get a good idea of your level of learning if the questions are too familiar.' She is, however, a big fan of the official study texts. 'They were brilliant,' she recalls, 'and particularly useful when it came to sitting my finals.' Ahonsi agrees: 'Go through the pre-prepared questions and answers, and take note of the key points,' he suggests. You can gain a lot from them without spending hours on the process. 'Read the questions then audit the answers,' he adds. Identifying the central issues at the heart of the subject makes it easier for you to decide what you need to revise.

    Get in the zone
    Of course, all your preparation will count for nothing if you aren't adequately mentally prepared. 'You need to be positive,' says Ahonsi, adding: 'Motivation is a critical factor. You will not learn unless you really want to.'
    Be clear in your own mind about your goals and why you are pursuing them. Then do so with confidence, determination and self-discipline. You do not need to be a genius to pass your exams, but you must want to succeed.
    Lesley Meall is a writer on business and technology issues

    Be prepared
    • Make sure you know what exams you have - how many, when, where, what time, what subject, and so on.

    • Create a revision timetable. Plan each day in detail, covering the topics to be revised, the techniques to be used (note taking, reading, group study etc), the time allocated to each topic area - and include a box to tick on completion.

    • Revise in small chunks. Never work for more than an hour without a break - it's counterproductive.

    • Try to make sure your main revision environment is calm, quiet, and free from distractions.

    • Avoid cramming during the 24 hours before the exam.
  • sharon
    sharon Registered Posts: 161 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    All the advice has been a great help - Thank you guys so much!
  • Tinylittlelady
    Tinylittlelady Registered Posts: 6 New contributor 🐸
    Share the load - friends count

    Me and two of my friends got together and revised from 7 till half 9 two nights a week. I am a non accountant, one worked in finance and one in credit control.

    Between the three of us we could master most tasks, and the ones we couldn't we thrashed out between us.

    It saved us hours of frustration pouring over books and reaching dead ends, and we constantly encouraged each other when one of us was struggling.

    We added an extra night in the last two months towards the exams to make sure we were fluent in everything we needed, ticking topics off out "hit list" as we mastered them.

    We worked through the past papers numerous times, which highlighted areas where we wern't paying enough attention to the question, making silly mistakes or missing things out.

    By the time the Technician exams came around we were quietly confident but a bit nervous, which is healthy.

    We started revision two weeks into each term, this way we were never really revising, but mastered each new tasks as it came to us. I heartily recommend it.

    We were the three most relaxed students on our course and a year on are still really good friends so we won on both counts.

    I hope this helps.

    Oh by the way, we all passed every exam first time... I guess that means as a stratergy, it worked quite well!! :thumbup:
  • kel524uk
    kel524uk Registered Posts: 27 Regular contributor ⭐
    thats a good idea

    what would u say the "hitlist" is??
  • Tinylittlelady
    Tinylittlelady Registered Posts: 6 New contributor 🐸
    Our 'hitlist' focused firstly on all the topics covered by the past papers for the last 4 years. We took all of these subjects and revised them first, (working on the theory there was a good chance they would come up again). Most of them lead to a good grounding in the basics and we found once we had worked through them a couple of times the theory fell into place with little effort. It took a while but it sort of seeped in without the panic.

    Once you have mastered those, your confidence grows a bit as basically half of the paper is under your belt by now! 50% and onwards!

    If we were stuck on anything, the one who understood it the most would write an "idiot guide" on how to do the question. We would then set an hour aside to hammer it into the ground until we could all do it. After a bit more practice, more tea and a few biscuits, that normally fell in to line quite well again.

    Meantime the one of us with the most free time would scan the books for possible written questions and made a list of the ones that had appeared so far in the past exams and added anything that had occurred to us throughout the year. It worked really well as only one of us was trawling the books wasting valuable time. The reader wrote index cards on the written questions and we learnt the parts by heart. Again after a bit of discussion and a bit more tea, the theory fell into place to back them up.

    Our lecturers normally gave us an idea of what they expected one of the written questions to be. We took his word as gospel and always revised the one he hinted at. He was normally quite near the mark it has to be said.

    We then revised whatever was in the Study pages of the AAT magazine in the run up to the exam. I have seen it mentioned on here before but I think they only covered something that wasn't on the paper once I think.
    In three years, that makes their clue quite a large one in our book. We followed their lead every year.

    So having covered the questions in the past papers, the lecturers clue and the AAT hint, we figured we were pretty much covered.

    Your confidence grown no-end by now and then you can relax a bit, you must be 75% of the way there by now and the past papers will be starting to make sense. The links between the questions should start to be sinking in and the theory falling into place in places it never made sense before. The bits we were stuck on became easier to fathom because we weren't so panicked and by the morning of the exam we were remarkably calm. Much calmer than those who had studied on their own. In fact, it annoyed some of the other students just how calm we were, (they hadn't seen us the night before though!)

    By the time you get to this point, you realise by accident that there isn't that much left in the book left to look at. You have covered the majority of the syllabus without realising it.

    We split what was left in the book that we hadn't covered between us and made notes on each bit, wrote it on index cards and made a copy for each of the three of us. we read them on the way to work and in our dinner hours.

    If we had a spare night and were ahead of schedule we would pick a subject we were a bit shaky on and dissect the questions in the Osbourne text books, just concentrating on the ones we couldn't do. That sometimes threw up some interesting things, well, I wouldn't say interesting, but things that helped with our understanding!!

    Taking things in the smaller chunks worked really well.

    The only other thing I would say is learn the things you don'y know, not the things you do. Some things sink in better than others. We used the things we were good at as rewards.

    1) Past papers
    2) Any clues your lecturers gave you
    3) Written question topics and
    4) The remnants of the book
    5) Any Osbourne questions you have time to cram in.

    Good luck with your exams.
Privacy Policy