How To Study

Achieve maximum output for your study time

Learn how to study effectively

Studying is not easy but in order to pass exams you have to study effectively – achieve maximum output for your study time.

Get motivated ! actually write down your major goal such as I, JAMES WILL PASS MY ATAX exams in December 2020. Focus on the prize not the price. Think of the fabulous feeling when you tear open your exam results and see Pass exciting !!!!

Make studying a priority. You need to be fresh and alert to concentrate. Studying after you’ve been doing a million other things and you’re stressed out is not productive.

Review your lecture notes within 24 hours of the lecture. This does not have to take too long if you’re tired at the end of the day 20-30 minutes will suffice.

Specific study technique consists of a number of steps preparation. Let’s consider them each in turn.


  • Using your study planner decide on what topics you are going to cover. To introduce variety mix computational subjects and theoretical subjects e.g. one hour of taxation followed by one hour of auditing.
  • Pick a quiet environment where there are no distractions and ensure you have adequate space for your books and sufficient light. Libraries and study rooms in the college are places where you can get a lot of work done.


  • Quickly skim over all the material from beginning to end – reading only the headings and underlined points. This should only take a few minutes.


  • Try and link it up in your mind to other connected areas.


  • Actually read through all the material. Keep it flowing. If you find something difficult or unclear note it in the margin and jump over the stumbling block. Work through the examples.


  • See how much you remember or understand by reciting it quietly to yourself. Quietly don’t make a nuisance of yourself.
  • Carry back 3 years FIFO. Current year, carry back then carry forward


  • Take some time at the end to review the material one more time.
  • Split your study sessions into 30-40 minute periods and have a 5 minute break after each session. This allows your brain to integrate the information and will enable you to study for longer periods. Please note I said “short break” – don’t watch half an hour of television, because you won’t want to resume your study.
  • Try and study difficult areas in the morning when your concentration level is high. On a hot afternoon study by doing a lot of questions and by writing. Staring with glazed sleepy eyes at one page for half an hour is a waste of time.
  • Keep one evening of the week as Fun Day Have some recreation – watch a movie, play sport, meet up with friends etc. This will keep you lively and you won’t get dull and jaded.
  • Condense each lecture or topic on one page noting down just the main points. Some students use pocket sized cards so they can carry them. This will help you integrate and recall the material as the condensed notes are invaluable in the tense, panic stricken time before the exam when you don’t have time to breathe !!
  • Try studying with friends. A joint discussion will often clarify a topic that is unclear and will highlight the areas where you need to put in more work. Try and stick to discussing academics and don’t bring in football or distractions!
  • Remember to constantly review a topic you have studied.
  • Be selective about what you study. Your first priority is to learn your lecture notes on the core areas that are always examined. If you use any other material ensure that it is on the recommended reading list. Always opt for books that explain the main points clearly and simply. You don’t have the time to wade through complex texts or to worry about obscure areas.
  • Take special note of any relevant articles written by the examining team especially those that appear in the months prior to the exam. Make short summarised notes of the main points as this will help you understand it and save you having to read through the entire article each time you revise.
  • Question practice is a very effective form of studying and gives you a break from reading. It is important that you don’t spend too much time on a question. See how far you get in 10 minutes (If you’re not getting anywhere, stop sooner!) Don’t stare at the question hoping for divine inspiration!!!) Then look at the answer and see what you should have done. Invest a little time actually writing out the main outline of the answer as this will reinforce it in your mind. In the month before the exams a minimum of 70% of all your study time should be spent answering questions.
  • Save time by simply saying ‘No’! Learn to decline tactfully but firmly any activity which will not help the achievement of your goals. IF you worry about offending others, you will wind up living your life according to other people’s priorities and never have time to study.
  • Don’t procrastinate! Come to terms with the fact that the work will have to be done sooner or later so it makes sense to get it over with as quickly as possible. By working hard and passing your exams you will be free in the future remember that success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration!
  • Spread your studying. Don’t leave all the work for the week before the exams. Remember to take it step by step inch by Inch it’s a cinch! Start by doing some work today. Don’t act like your’re carrying the world on your back.
  • Enjoy yourselves, be happy you are with the best training provider, you’ve got excellent lecturers and with a bit of work from you, you should pass your exams comfortably. Later on, when you are qualified and all you have to look forward to is another day at the office you will think back and say ‘Ah, those good old student days ! Life was so exciting then’.

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