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Your ACCA Exams Survival Guide (Part 3): During The Exam

Posted on February 28, 2015 2:33 pm;

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So you’ve gone through all your study texts, and now your exams are looming. It’s time to revise, but also time to take in some tips from Morgan on how to survive the stress with a confident smile.

Remember RAPT

RAPT stands for 'Reading And Planning Time', which amounts to 15 minutes allotted to each of the three-hour papers. This is time given to you to write or make notes, read everything carefully, plan your answers, strategize your use of time, and make preliminary calculations. Use your RAPT wisely!

Know the magic number

You’ll need to get the right balance between the amount of time you spend on an answer and the amount of possible marks you can score. To help you, bear in mind that each mark deserves 1.8 minutes of your time. So a question that offers you a possible 10 marks for your answer should not take more than 18 minutes of your time.

Easy does it

Don’t get hung up on difficult questions, especially at the beginning of your exam. Pick out the easy ones first and answer them to give yourself a confidence boost.

Format it

Take note of the style of answer you are requested to give: you could be asked to give one in the form of a report or memo, for example.

Be convincing

You can gain marks for the quality of your answers, in other words how effectively you put your points across. So focus on logic, structure, and the way you communicate your answers.

Don’t panic!

Panic is contagious: once it starts, who knows where it might lead? So don’t even go there. Just keep a cool head and if you come across difficult questions, sidestep them until you feel ready to come back to them.

Share your thoughts

It’s possible that you’ll come up against a question where you’re not really sure what’s being asked of you. If this is the case, don’t despair. Try to share your assumptions, and even if it’s not quite what the examiner was looking for, it might still score you some points.

The power of positive thinking

In your exams you’ll be called on to use your logic to solve problems. And, the last thing you need when trying to think logically is stress. Want to know the best way to beat stress? Think positively. Remind yourself of all the things you’ve achieved in your life before you begin the exam and keep channeling positive thoughts whenever you feel any twinge of panic.

Read carefully

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But we can’t stress this enough: always make sure you have read and fully understood the question before answering.

Be precise

You’re being rewarded for what you know rather than how many words you write, so try to make all your answers concise and to the point.

Think before you write

Yes, you’re eager to get writing and beat the clock, but putting some thought and planning into what you write is beneficial. One way to do this is to make a short plan for your answer before writing it, but make sure you cross it out after you write it in full.

Be clear

Let’s face it, your examiner is more likely to look kindly on an answer sheet that’s clear and easy to follow. So keep this in mind when it comes to writing your answers.

Running out of time?

If you’re up against the clock and not sure if you’ve got enough time to answer a question in detail, make sure you jot down the main points of your answer first. At least this way the examiner will be able to award you some credit for your knowledge, even if you run out of time to answer in full.

Really not sure?

You’ve left the difficult questions to the end, but even then, what do you do if you’re really not sure of an answer. Your last resort is to make a guess.

Rewind & review

If you have any time left at the end of an exam, don’t waste it! Those minutes are valuable and should be spent going back over answers, making sure you didn’t miss any out, and even seeing if there’s room for improvement among them.

Got any questions? Need any help? Contact a Morgan today, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

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