10 Tips to Help You Study Accounting

Studying is one of those things that come easily to some people, and to others it feels like walking up Mount Everest. And studying accounting is no different.

We’ve put together these 10 tips to help you with your studies for accounting.

1. Set your intentions

Studying requires deliberate intention and attention. To succeed when studying accounting requires a planned strategy at the outset. It is not a subject that is easy to cram for, so working out an approach where you build upon previous learning is required. Decide at the outset your goal for success, and what you would like to achieve for the year. Next break down how you plan to achieve this.

2. Preparation

Decide to allocate time prior to each lecture so that you can read the chapter and have questions you are not sure about ready to be answered, either through the lecture itself or Q&A at the end. This reading prepares you to take the lecture to a deeper level of understanding.

You should also always take what you need to each lecture. Your text, questions, scientific calculator, and a notebook/laptop to record everything in are essentials.

3. Attend all the lectures

It sounds simple enough, but a large number of students do not attend their university lectures unless the class role is taken. Every now and then you might want to skip a lecture, but unfortunately when you skip class you fall behind in understanding. This may result in you wanting to avoid the next lecture and then the next. It’s a recipe for disaster, and is often too hard to catch up on.

Many accounting principles build upon each other, so if you skip a few lectures during the semester you skip the foundation you need.

4. Be open to asking what you do not understand

Some students still find it difficult to raise their hand and ask for clarity about areas they do not understand. It could be through this embarrassment that they may fail or get a lower mark than they deserve. You need to overcome the fear of asking questions.

The rule of thumb is that if it’s a question for you, it’s likely to be one for other students too. Instead of seeing yourself as being inferior, see yourself as the brave one willing to ask any and every question that others may be too scared to ask. It is better to have clarity immediately than spend hours struggling over something you could have had answered easily by the lecturer.

5. Take notes

During lectures take as many notes as you need, including making notes of what you don’t understand. You can also ask for permission to voice record the lectures, so that you have them to play back when you are studying later. Also highlight any problems the lecturer mentions, as they could be in an exam.

6. Allocate time to complete tasks

Setting small goals can help with your end goal of succeeding in the exams. Each week set aside a time in your diary to:

  • Re-read your notes.
  • Listen to the voice recording of the lecture.
  • Complete the allocated assignments early while the topic is still fresh in your mind, and to ensure that you have time to read and follow-up if you are having any difficulty with an assignment.

Keeping on top of weekly worksheets is critical.

7. Practice

Like many other skills, accounting skills take practice. Once the concepts are understood, doing exercises helps embed them in your brain.

8. Find a study buddy

It’s always good to have another person to bounce ideas off or to study with, as you can help each other to solve problems as they arise. Find one or two people you feel comfortable studying with. You should also build a relationship with your professor so that he or she can see your genuine interest in learning accounting. That way they are more inclined to offer help when you ask for it.

9. Prepare for exams

Having attended, asked questions during lectures, and completed assignments during the year, this means you will have already set the platform for the best success. When it’s time to prepare yourself for exams, you will need to refresh your memory on all the course material and ensure competency with your ability to solve problems that were used in the homework assignments.

Either use a mind-map to summarise everything, or write your notes on a few pieces of paper that you can easily review. And make sure that you get enough sleep the night before an exam, as the more rested you are the more you are likely to remember.

10. De-stress

Studying can be stressful. You need to manage your time and yourself so that you allow time to relax and unwind. Take lots of breaks, exercise regularly, go for walks, and listen to relaxing music or meditate to calm your mind. It will help you study in the long run.