Time can pass by very quickly in an ACCA exam and before you know it your time is up and you’re out of the exam room. There isn’t anything worse than leaving an ACCA exam wishing you had just 10 more minutes! Sound familiar? Well don’t worry, you’re not alone. Time Management is an issue that many students face across all exams.
Recently I tutored a Masterclass that involved students doing timed practise questions. Despite a clear reminder for people to manage their time within the questions, students still fell into the trap of spending too long on the first part and doing very poor, and short, second parts of questions. This emphasised to me once again that effective time management is not just about answering all the questions within the total exam time but also dividing your time within the questions.
So I'm not surprised that around a third of students that took part in our June 2016 ACCA Exam Experience Survey said they wished they’d spent more time developing their time management skills prior to their ACCA exam.
Year on year ACCA Examiners' Reports have also frequently highlighted it as a problem that has resulted in rushed answers and even some incomplete scripts. Take the advice from me, fellow students and examiners to ensure the clock doesn’t beat you!
Whether it is an ACCA multiple choice or written based exam, perfecting this skill isn’t easy so here are some simple tips that can help you to significantly improve:
ACCA Objective Test/Multiple Choice Questions:
1. Read the questions carefully – we recommend that you always read the question twice, the second time pulling out the key requirements
2. Divide your time up – make a plan on how long you are going to spend on each question – hardest thing is to make sure you stick to it!
3. Don’t get bogged down in a question – move on and go back to it later
4. Answer the easy questions first – you know you have them in the bag!
5. Work at a high pace - Most people with time management problems simply work too slowly. If you have an inkling that is you, you need to practise in order to increase your speed
ACCA Written Based Questions:
1. Avoid long explanations of theory – this can cause you to waste time as marks are not rewarded for this unless it is related to the scenario
2. Avoid introductions – again you will not gain extra marks unless you are giving the marker new information
3. Don’t be repetitive – Examiners have mentioned they were surprised at how many students repeated information throughout their answers. Why are they doing this? They simply don’t make a plan, leading to a poor structure
4. Allocate some reading time - Take a few minutes to ensure you understand the requirements of the question and begin to make a plan on how you’re going to approach it
5. Practise writing quickly – There isn’t anything worse than knowing the answer but not having time to get everything down on paper
Implementing the above tips through attempting past ACCA exams is an ideal way to improve your time management skills.
Whilst you do this, why not take advantage of our Marking and Feedback service that will give you detailed feedback and advice as well as an overall score. Our team have marked thousands of exam scripts - we know by having yours marked, your chances of success are greatly increased.
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