The final weeks leading up to your assessment are some of the most important.
Planning your revision will give you the best chance of success. Aim to manage your time using a calendar so you are utilising the days as efficiently as possible. Nisar Ahmed, Head of AAT programmes at BPP has some tips to ensure you are well prepared.
When is the assessment?
Confirm exactly when your assessment will be (this may be chosen by you or set by your college of study). Then work out how many days there are between now and then to get an idea of how many hours you are able to devote towards final revision and prepare a timetable of study.
Start your revision as soon as you can and don’t procrastinate.
What to study?
Identify three to four topics you find difficult, and give them priority. But try not to just re-read all of your text or notes, as application is more important at the revision phase. When time is limited, you have to be selective with how you spend it.
The most essential revision resource will be sample assessments.
Aim to do your first practice paper in your own time – with the aid of your text and notes if necessary. But in the real assessment you will be up against the clock, so your final practice should be unaided.
If you don’t feel confident about a particular topic then talk to your tutor. You are not alone. Lead examiners produce feedback reports and these are often published giving extremely useful information to teachers and students.
They look at areas covered within the assessment and identify where students perform well and badly, so can be a very useful resource for guiding your revision.
Take a Green Light Test
Do a quick test of your knowledge now with a green light test from AAT. We’ve pulled out the tests for each level of the AAT Accounting Qualification below, but if you’re doing a different qualification, just follow the link to study support and navigate to the relevant qualification.
Where to revise?
Try to find an ideal revision camp. It should be quiet with minimal distractions. Try to avoid the internet if possible and tell others you are revising so they don’t distract you. This ideal revision camp may not be at home – it could be at work or a library.
Bite-sized revision can be done in your lunch-break or on the commute to and from work, so try to utilise this time wherever possible. This may be best suited to memorising mnemonics or learning formulae. You could also use BPP passcards, which provide short summaries in an easy to digest format, for quick recap of topics.
The actual assessment
When sitting the assessment, make sure you take advantage of any reading time allowed and familiarise yourself with the questions and tasks.
The mind is an amazing tool and will subconsciously start to filter through information before your first keystroke.
Look for key words in tasks. For example if a task asks for an explanation, make sure you explain your answer properly. If numerical answers are asked for, always give the number requested to the right number of decimal places.
Always use the information you’re given in any scenarios. The small things matter when sitting assessments.
Don’t expect ‘red herrings’ or trick questions as any information given is there to aid you.
If you do become stuck, note or flag the question number and return to it later. Be flexible in approaching tasks. When completing your revision, you may be expecting a particular task to come up in the same way that you have practised. It may do, but be aware this might not always be the case. You will have the knowledge but may need to apply it in a task that’s formatted differently to what you’re used to.
Finally, have confidence in your ability. Being confident that you will be able to succeed is very important. Provided that you’ve followed the right revision approach leading up to the assessment, you should be well placed to pass your course.
For more on preparing for your AAT assessments;
- The key to success in synoptics
- How to overcome exam anxiety and succeed
- What NOT to do to pass your exams
Nisar Ahmed is Head of AAT Programmes at BPP.