Top Tips for ACCA Exams Preparation

Published: 09th July 2010
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Most people will find the ACCA exams a stressful and nerve-wracking experience. While it's possible to see them as an opportunity to show how much you've learned, there's still a lot at stake and it's only natural that students should have doubts and wish they had started revision sooner. You are bound to find that things that work for others don't work for you, and vice versa - there's no one-size-fits-all method for revising complex subjects, such as behavioural budgeting and backflush accounting. However, if you're to do your best on the big day, it's important to be well-rested and well-nourished both when revising and when sitting the exam, since this can have a significant effect on both memory and mental agility.

Of course, it's easy to forget about eating healthily and to deprive yourself of sleep when you've got your head buried in the books. To a certain extent, diet becomes more important when you're working long hours and need to be able to think clearly. If you're running on empty and heavy-lidded, it's unlikely you'll be thinking as lucidly and working as productively as you could be.

It's well-known that certain foods can have a positive effect on cognitive ability. Oily fish, wholegrain, pumpkin seeds, zinc and vitamin B12 are just some of the nutrients and foods that are thought to boost brainpower. So, to a certain extent, it might well be worth trying to include such foods your diet when revising, even if it might only be effective as a placebo. But if a diet of mackerel and brown bread is not really your thing, the most important thing to remember is, simply, to eat a balanced diet that gives you enough energy to get through the day (and night).

Commonly, students who are getting up with the larks and burning the midnight oil in order to cover everything they've learned will rely on a cocktail of sugar and caffeine to get them through. Running on sugary drinks, coffee and convenient but nutritionally dubious food is an easy option, but it's not the best one. Although an energy drink and sugary snack might pep you up momentarily, it is likely to be followed by crash and a tailing off in productivity. Yo-yoing between highs and lows for a sustained period of time will only ever have a detrimental impact on your concentration levels.

As well as eating healthily, it's important to take regular breaks and to get plenty of shut-eye. By incorporating recreation into your revision plan and giving yourself some time off in the evenings, you can avoid spending hours blearily toiling away, which can be frustrating and even counterproductive. Catching up on lost sleep can, on occasion, be a far better use of your time than pulling an all-nighter.

On the evening before your exam, read through your notes a few times, focussing on the salient points and avoid getting bogged down in the detail - in most cases, you'll know a lot more than you think. Finally remember to eat a good breakfast and head into the exam room feeling fresh, raring to go and, if possible, relaxed.

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