HOW TO ACE YOUR EXAM PERFORMANCE

© Wavebreakmedia Ltd | Dreamstime.com - Female student thinking during examWith the exams looming next week, you should be well on top of your revision by now and our article on the top ten tips for last minute revision will help you get through the next few days. 

Our examiners have identified four critical areas where you can let yourself down in the exam hall and we highlight them here to help you focus your revision.

1. UNDERSTAND WHAT THE EXAMINER IS ASKING YOU TO DO

You need to understand what the examiner is asking you to do in the question. Make sure you understand the command words (see the Teaching and Learning Guide) relevant to the level you’re sitting.

2. PRACTICE PAST EXAM QUESTIONS

One of the most effective uses of your revision time is to practice past exam questions. In the exam, you will be required to demonstrate your knowledge and your ability to apply it in practice. There are three particular types of questions that could potentially trip you up.

The examiners have reported that responses to elective questions can be weaker, as the topics are more diverse and are not so defined in the syllabus as compulsory questions are. Incorporate as many of these questions as possible in your revision, this is where your wider reading should stand you in good stead.

Practice answering case study/scenario type questions to make sure you can gain as many marks as possible. Try to frame your answer in the context of the case study rather than being too general.

At the higher level papers, you need to be able to critically analyse and apply arguments, assumptions and abstract concepts. Make sure your answers to discursive questions aren’t too brief.

3. PRACTICE YOUR EXAM TECHNIQUE

You need to show that you understand exam technique; how you are going to approach the exam paper, how you will manage your time and that you plan your answers. Being familiar with the structure of the paper and the topic weighting will help with this.

Make sure you answer all of the questions that you need to! Take your time to read through the instructions on the front of the exam paper and make sure you understand what questions you need to answer. This comes back to time management and planning.

If you’re unsure how to approach the exams, it may be worth allocating some of your final revision time to focus on your exam skills. Click here for some pointers, or we would recommend reading The Exam Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell if you want more advice.

4. UNDERSTAND INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARDS (IFRS) 

You need to have an excellent knowledge of IFRS and how the reporting standards apply to the questions you’re being asked. A list of the currently examinable IASs and IFRSs can be found in the syllabus, along with the applicable exam papers.