7 Essential Study Skills for Accounting Students – Repetition

Over the next seven weeks I am going to be focusing on different study skills that you need as an Accounting student to succeed.  Accounting is different from other disciplines and a unique approach is needed to succeed in your studies.  This is because every discipline of study is unique.  For example, if you study law you have to be prepared to do a lot of reading.  I have never read so much in my life as I did when I did my introduction to law subject at university.  Out of it though I gained an appreciation for the different types of skills that are needed across the different faculties.  This was even more obvious in the Arts discipline where the primary focus was on practical performance.  This didn’t mean that the theory and history weren’t important but they didn’t have the same priority as the practical side.

You see when I went to University I did a double degree in Arts, majoring in Music History and in Commerce, majoring in Accounting.  These are two very different subject areas.  Friends from one degree couldn’t understand why I’d be studying the other and vice versa.  I learnt over the course of my time there that different skills are needed to excel in different degrees.  If we go back to the law example, you need to be able to speed read and to take effective notes.  These are two must haves but in Arts it is not as important.

There are a lot of important study skills that you need to have but what I am going to focus on during this series is the 7 essential ones you need to have as an Accounting student.  So what is the number one study skill?  Well while there could be a lot of candidates for this I firmly believe that to be successful in Accounting you need to focus on repetition.  Repetition is the key to understanding complex capital budgeting equations, to remember all the formats for preparing a set of financial statements or completing a break even analysis.

You cannot have one run through of a problem and expect to know it and all possible variations and changes that might occur in an exam.  What I recommend to every student is to practice as much as you can before the exam to give yourself the best possible chance.  This advice might seem simple but the fact of the matter it is simple.  If you have done a problem 10 times then when it occurs in an exam situation you are less likely to be confused and you can more easily spot any changes or new variations to a question.  All this means is that you’ll know how to answer the question and that is half the battle.  Once you know how you have to do a question then all you have to do is answer it but if your starting strategy is wrong then there is little chance that you are going to get the correct answer.

Don’t forget in your study time to allow plenty of time to practice problems.  Once you complete that exam successfully you’ll be glad you did.

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