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6 tips on how to be more effective after a long study break

Exam books and a pen

It’s quite common to take a well earned (and sometimes long) break from your studies. But it can mean your well rehearsed techniques – and the topics you once knew inside out – become a distant memory. Take a look at these top tips from Kaplan tutors on how to make returning to study after a long break even easier.

1) Don’t take on too many subjects in your first session

Start with one or two subjects and see how you get on managing your work / study / life balance. You can then work out how many papers to sit in one go based on how much work is needed.

2) Brush up on topics or subjects that you skipped because of exemptions

You might find you’re rusty on these areas, but a lot of the time they form the underpinning knowledge of more advanced papers. Make time to review these areas so you start your new papers with a solid understanding of what’s required.

ACCA students often struggle with some of the more advanced Strategic Professional papers (particularly the option papers) because their underpinning knowledge is weak.

3) Little and often

Don’t expect to start studying and know or understand everything straightaway. It takes time and lots of practice. It’s a marathon not a sprint! So start working from the beginning and work consistently over the months to your exam, little and often, building on your knowledge as you go. Do not leave things to the last 2/3 weeks – this approach doesn’t work with professional exams.

4) Make a study timetable

Realistically decide when you can study during the week, evening and weekends. Warn family and friends that you’re out of action so they buy into it. Set a realistic study timetable (covering learning, question practice and mock exams) and stick to it throughout your course prep.

5) Use all available “free time”

E.g. lunch breaks at work, train journeys etc. – it’s easy to practice multiple choice questions, or learn calculations in this ‘downtime’. You’ll be amazed how useful and how effective short knowledge bursts can be – and over a sitting how many additional study hours you can find by using these ‘down’ times.

6) Use all resources available

Whether you’re on a course or self studying with course material, there’s heaps of free resources out there for you to use. Have a look at our Knowledge Bank website launch – it’s free and has lots of useful resources on to help you recap on key topics and terms.

If you would like some more information and advice, check out our blog Get your studies back on track.