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Author Topic: abcdqdxD's Guide to Accounting Success  (Read 2166 times)  Share 

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abcdqdxD

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abcdqdxD's Guide to Accounting Success
« on: December 18, 2012, 04:37:59 am »
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Introduction

Accounting is not rocket science. Like any other subject, if you wish to succeed in accounting, you must PRACTICE frequently. This is especially true for the practical component - if you do enough questions, it will simply become second nature to you. More importantly however, is the ability to comprehend what the question is asking.

Read the question carefully

Year after year, examiners have expressed concern over students’ ability to READ the question. While accounting is not a ‘hard’ subject, it can prove to be difficult for some students. Assessors are not out there to ‘trick’ you, they are there to test your understanding. Hence, it is crucial that you read the question carefully in order to maximise your score. Giving a wonderful explanation about how the Debtors Turnover affects liquidity is great, but it won’t earn you any marks if the question asked about its effect on profitability. Hence, make sure you READ the question and read it again - I cannot emphasise this enough. There is only one way to score marks, and that is by answering the question - not what you want to answer.

Rote-learned responses
The number one downfall of many accounting students is simply regurgitating rote learned responses. The exam is designed to test your understanding of accounting, not how well you can ‘memorise’ the course. Make sure you link your response to the question given to show your understanding.

Speed

Speed - the ability to work quickly under pressure - is vital for success in any subject. This is especially true for Accounting. Year after year, many students struggle to finish the exam in the time given. There is nothing worse than walking out of the exam room knowing you didn’t get any marks for your blank responses. Again, it is vital that you practice accounting frequently to develop speed and confidence.

Understand how the accounting system works and why it is designed that way

Yes, we use stock cards, journals and ledgers, and we know how to record in them. But this is not enough! We need to understand WHY we use stock cards, journals and ledgers etc. It is extremely important to understand how the system works and the reasons why it is designed in such a way.

Read the study design

It is vital that you read through the current study design of the Accounting course. Everything detailed in the study design may appear on the exam, so make sure you've got all bases covered!

Practice Exams

Practice exams are essential if you want to do well in Accounting. They are beneficial because they help you identify your weaker areas. Not only this, because the scope of the course is quite narrow, if you've done enough exams, you will probably have previously seen questions you've got in your actual exam and will know exactly what is required for each question. Now onto the age old question, "how many exams should I do?" But I don't think this is an appropriate question. It's not necessarily the more you do the better. Instead, think of every practice exam as a learning experience. It is better to do fewer exams and analyse your problem areas, than to cram lots of exams without really learning from your mistakes. Hence, Quality > Quantity. This is why I highly recommend you start preparing early, allowing yourself maximum time to do enough practice exams without rushing through them (I suggest 15 exams as a minimum). Start off with easier exams first, then gradually move up in difficulty. Here is my assessment for the level of difficulty of each commercial exam on the market:

Hard (slightly harder than VCAA standard)
- CSE (IARTV)
- VCEPub
- NEAP

Medium (similar to VCAA standard)
- CPAP
- VCTA (Compak)
- Engage (however some are extremely difficult)

Easy (easier than VCAA standard)
- QATs
- Insight
- PES

It's also worth keeping in mind that the difficulty of each VCAA exam varies from year to year, so make sure you've exposed yourself to enough of the harder questions. Also, make sure you get a teacher to correct your theory, preferably an assessor.

Conclusion

At first, Accounting may seem like a dull and dry subject. However, if you delve deeper into the inner workings of the accounting system, you will begin to appreciate why accounting is so crucial to the society we live in today. You don’t have to be a genius to do well in this subject, it’s all about practice. Your past results count for nothing - regardless of whether you were a straight A+ student or a C+ student. Unit ¾ is a new start, and everyone begins on a level playing field. So if Accounting hasn't been your best subject, don’t fret! If you practice enough, your efforts will not go unrewarded - I promise.

Will make  edits as I think of more things. Feel free to PM me if you need any assistance throughout the year. Good luck!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 08:53:52 am by liverpoolxD »