Skip to main content

Getting your revision process right

An exam is a test of learning, not of memory. Examiners want to see evidence that you have used your knowledge to develop a reasoned argument, rather than just rewrite your course notes.

This is why revision should be a process of consolidating understanding, the following steps will let you get to grips with this basic process.

  1. Stay on top of reading throughout your studies - You can’t revise if you don’t know the subject. So make sure you have followed your tuition program, you have read the course material and you’re familiar with the subject.
  2. Start revision now – Leaving it until the last minute doesn’t give you time to follow up on areas you need to develop. With careful planning your exams shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
  3. Organise your revision – Work out how much you need to revise, then how much time you have available. Students often ask how much revision they should do. The answer is… enough for you to feel confident on the day. Try to make a revision timetable with details about particular topics you intend revising. Try spending a little more time on your weaker subject areas, but do not neglect any.
  4. Work on your weaknesses - Identify the subject areas that you’re not sure about as they will require more effort. If you’re not sure on something, speak to your Kaplan tutor, they will be happy to go over a specific topic.
  5. Make your revision active – Revision is more effective when you do more than just read a book. Concentrate on a small subject area and make sure you understand, can explain and can apply the subject. A good way to do this is to turn what you know into a diagram or summary notes.
  6. Practise – You will never know if you really understand a subject, unless you test yourself. It’s one thing to make notes about the subject, but you also need to be able to answer questions about the subject too. By practising questions and preferably mock exams you will get a good idea if you’re on track to pass or fail.


  1. Revise for too long at a time - Your concentration will lapse if you do too much on a subject at once. A full revision session shouldn’t be longer than 3 hours, and one hour is probably best per subject. Allow a break of at least five minutes each hour.
  2. Panic! - If you’re worried about your exams, don’t keep it to yourself, speak to your tutor they will be able to offer you advice and reassurance.

If you feel you’re in need of further support, Kaplan also has a range of courses designed to help you prepare for your exams. Find out more about Kaplan AAT, ACCA and CIMA revision courses.

For a more detailed breakdown of structuring your study and revision checkout the article on 'Top tips to approaching study and revision'.