A GUIDE FOR STUDYING ACCOUNTING 


Although there is no substitute for HARD WORK and a DESIRE TO LEARN, most of you can use your study time and  classroom time more efficiently.  IT IS EASIER TO KEEP UP THAN TO CATCH UP!! 
 
PREPARING FOR CLASS  
1. Read for content AND concepts. View videos to reinforce reading. Studying accounting is not like reading a novel or even like studying history, sociology, or economics. Scan reading just does not work! Work through all examples and attempt to understand. 

2. Each assignment in accounting BUILDS on previous assignments. If you do half-hearted work in early chapters, you may be confused by subsequent chapters. If the current chapter does not make sense, chances are you did not learn at least some of the concepts in earlier chapters, so go back and review.

3. Read to understand "WHY" and "HOW".
     a. You must be able to say, "I understand why they do that." If you can understand "WHY" in accounting, there is very little to memorize. 
     b. Try to explain every new topic in your own words. Putting the new ideas into your own words is better that reciting the  words of the text a hundred times. 
     c. Work problems to understand "HOW."  Even though you understand "why they do that" in accounting, you must be able to do it yourself.

REVIEW-AS-YOU-GO
1. Remember "why" and "how.  Go back to previous chapters and notes to refresh your memory.  Rework problems that were difficult for you. 

 

2. Work ALL of the study probes on a particular topic before moving on to the next topic. Review walk though problems in the reading materials.


3. Never wait until examination time to review your accounting.

NOTE: The REVIEW-AS-YOU-GO plan produces better results, doesn't take as long, and saves all that last minute worry and sacrifice of other courses.

4. If there is something you do not understand, prepare specific questions to ask your instructor. PIN-POINT THE ITEMS THAT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND.  Making vague comments toyour instructor such as "I don't understand any of this material" are a strong indication to the instructor that you have made no attempt to try to understand, and will receive very little sympathy or help. 

 

5. Attend the weekly review sessions.
 
WORKING PROBLEMS 
1. READ THE PROBLEM!  Read the instructions/requirements and scan the problem to see what is ahead. 


2. Work the problems without "PAGE FLIPPING" back to the chapter.
  a. When in doubt, look back at the chapter -- but NOT until you have tried to do the problem on your won. This indicates that you do not remember the chapter material.
  b. The "PAGE-PLIPPING" method is guaranteed to waste a maximum of your time and to produce a minimum of results. 


3. Keep up with the class!

  a. Work problems before the next class meeting. Then check your solution. 
  b. Be sure that you understand the correct solution. 
  c. Note the part of the problem with which you have difficulty and ask questions.
 
MAKE BEST USE OF CLASS TIME 
1. ALWAYS BE PREPARED before you go to class. Classes are never interesting unless you TAKE PART. If you are not prepared, you will often be lost and will have wasted the entire class. 
 
2. Students who make poor grades miss a few (and often many) classes, fail to pay attention during class because they are unprepared, and fail to learn accounting. Remember, when you start your career after graduation, excuses won't be a substitute for poor performance; nor will it earn you a grade in this course. If you have too many excuses, withdraw and retake this course when you have sufficient time to dedicate to your education. 
 
PREPARING FOR EXAMS  
1. Be specific in your study; concentrate on the hows and whys. 
 

2. Review all your notes, all of the class and handout problems, and tiny tests, rework half of the study probes, and work through the sample exam twice without viewing the solution ---once BEFORE the last class meeting preceding the exam, and once after. 
 
3. Do not stop with just "getting the idea."  Be sure that you can work problems without the aid of the book or similar problems. Practice by teaching the material to someone else. Study groups of two or three students work well for this purpose. The questions on exams may approach the material from a slightly different angle to test your ability to REASON AND UNDERSTAND rather than your ability to memorize.
 

4. Attend the review sessions. You should be ready to take the exam when you attend the last review session before the exam. This will help reinforce the concepts and hit on any concepts in which you might have holes.


TAKING EXAMS

1. Arrive early and be in your seat and ready. Bring necessary supplies...multiple pencils, a four function or BAII calculator, and your white eraser. Set your cell phone to silent to avoid losing points for disrupting class mates. About 5 minutes prior to the exam start time, your instructor will tell you to read the directions on the first page of the exam and fill out personal information.

 

2. First, read the requirement of each problem (it will be one of the last couple of sentences in the problem.) Then when you read through each problem, you will be able to highlight and extract the information you need. Once you finish the solution, quickly re-read the problem to ascertain you have not missed any information or data.

 

2. Every exam has an element of speed. The length of the exams has very little variations over the past several years, and based on performance of students in prior semesters, the time allowed is appropriate for the time you need to take the exam. Have your "hows" and "whys" at your finger tips. If you OWN the material, it will jump out of your head quickly. If you are slow, you probably need to study more.
 
3. When taking exams, points are often lost because the student does not FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. Read and make a mental note of the directions that appear on the first page of the exam...Double check before submitting your exam. Be sure to darken in answers on your scan sheet prior to time being called to avoid penalty points.  
 
4. An excellent strategy to use when taking an exam is to quickly look through the entire exam and answer all of the
questions that are easy for you. Those are "sure" points and help to relieve the pressure when you go back to work on the more difficult and time-consuming problems. 
 
5. The greatest weakness in a student's ability to take an exam is to keep up a good STEADY PACE without the clock causing the a panic. Note the time suggestions on each problem. If you run over the allotted times, you may endanger your ability to finish the exam. When you panic by constantly thinking about the time factor, the mind closes up on you and
that ends any chance you have to do well. If you have exam anxiety problems, contact the UNF Counseling Center for help.
 
Adapted from posting by California State University - North Ridge