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ACA revision tips from our Graduates

As our Graduate trainees and many others will be sitting their ACA Advanced Level exams next week, our previous Graduates have pulled together their top revision tips just for you.

Will Jones

Will Jones, Associate, Audit

  • Make use of any pre-course work set out by the tutor well in advance of the start of your advanced studies. This is mostly going back over material from the previous exams which will all be assumed knowledge, so you will need to refresh it in your memory as the advanced exams build upon this understanding.
  • Get ahead. Time permitting, try and look ahead to the next few chapters before you cover them in class. This way you can already have an idea of what’s to come, you can prepare some questions for class to help your understanding and this will help you to avoid falling behind in class as the pace is quick.
  • I made use of a lot of revision cards. There’s some handy advanced level formulas and accounting treatments that fit nicely onto revision cards and I was able to utilise time commuting by testing myself with these.
  • Especially for case study, I would suggest bouncing ideas off of peers who are also sitting the exams. For me, explaining my understanding or thought process to someone else was a great way to revise and allowed peers to offer some input which had not occurred to me.
  • The most important revision tip of them all is question practice to time, and lots of it! Advanced level exams are not about getting every question correct but are about picking your battles, producing a good quality answer for the majority of the paper as this will ensure you pick up the easier marks in every question. Question practice to time is essential as these exams are highly time pressured, spending too long on one question could jeopardise the rest of your paper. Particularly in case study, not producing a balanced paper by not answering all questions, will always result in a fail and timekeeping will ensure this does not happen.
Harshik Hirani

Harshik Hirani, Associate, Audit

  • Question Practice – It’s so important to make sure you get as much question practice as possible before you reach the Exam Preparation stage and the actual exam. The syllabus for Advanced Level exams is so vast, the best way to cover the information is through question practice!
  • Keep on top of class. The pace in class is relatively quick and if you miss something its difficult to go back to it during class. I always found it useful at the end of the day or on the weekend after class, to go back over what was covered in class to consolidate your knowledge.
  • Case Study is all about exam technique and time management. There’s almost no prior knowledge required. During the three stages of College, you are likely to complete at least four mocks. Make use of them! Learn the exam technique and do it to time as the case study exam is about ensuring you answer all questions with good quality in a balanced paper. The best way to learn this is through these mocks and practice.
  • Make use of your peers! Sometimes it’s a lot easier asking your peers who are sitting the exam for help rather than the tutor. They may help you understand something that is not quite clicking or offer you an alternative explanation which you had not considered.
  • Try and plan your question practice. Set a rough timetable for when you’ll do each question from the question bank. This will give you an indication of how early you need to start question practice and how many you need to complete each day (be realistic about this – I used to do 1-2 questions each day on a weekday after work and 4-5 questions each day on a weekend). Planning your time like this will help make sure you complete as many questions as possible but also ensure you don’t burn out closer to exam time. Try and switch it up between questions for CR and SBM to keep it not so mind numbing.