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What I think about revision notes!

STOP! Seriously just stop… put down the pen and paper and STOP writing revision notes.


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been talking about revision notes a lot. In the panic run up to the ACCA exams, the things I’m hearing and seeing most are ‘I’m writing too many notes’, ‘I can’t answer a question in the time because I’m writing so much’ and ‘I haven’t started practise questions because I’m still writing revision notes’.


And when I say stop – I mean it.


The point of revision is to RECALL the knowledge. Not to write pretty (long) notes and sentences, to try to make yourself look and feel smarter.


And I really say this from experience guys! If you had a crystal ball, you could look back and watch me sitting at my kitchen table revising. You’d see me writing SO many long notes, with different colours and so much writing – making sure I captured every single key CIMA word.


Guess what? Those were the exams I FAILED.


I spent so long (as you might be) writing notes, and never enough time learning the notes or writing enough practise questions.


Obviously, I have hindsight on my side to tell you what you ‘should’ be doing. But trust me, I know from failed experiences and so much coaching on using smart revision techniques what you really should be doing instead.


So here is my summary – a nice simple, to the point guide:

  • For each chapter – write ONE A4 page of notes MAX.
  • For each chapter – Write ONE A6 Revision card MAX.


But…that’s not enough Helen!? I need to write and know way more than that.


Yes! I agree completely. You need to KNOW more than that – but that doesn’t mean you need to write more. It means spending smarter time and effort on learning/recalling/practising that topic.


The best example of why I suggest this approach is to think about it like this.

I am an Accountant and work in Finance, so I have what I call ‘Accounting common sense’.

Imagine that I am taking your place & sitting your exam, one week from today. All I have is my Accounting common sense and your notes. And I have to PASS.  I have one week to learn, memorise and read your notes (one page of A4 only remember).


So you have to GET TO THE POINT…only write the minimum I need to know to pass… give me the KEY words, KEY formulas and KEY examples to use in the exam.


If I can’t pass the exam using your notes, then you can’t either.


Those hours of revision slots you have now saved (and have in front of you between now and the exam) are priceless. They are the key to you practising as many real exam questions as possible – TO TIME – and with NO notes!


You don’t need the notes to pass guys. You need the application, practise, knowledge and practise!


The way to PROVE you know the topic is to get a pass result in every official practise question you do. Let’s get real evidence that you know it, not “I think I know it because I’ve read the whole chapter twice”.


As you can tell, I get a little emotional and passionate when I rant on about revision methods and what you should be doing! I’m not going to apologise about that passion either – because my clients love it, need it and use that passion to motivate them.


The best way to see my passionate coaching is in my free group (CLICK HERE) I lead and support an amazing bunch of qualifying accountants just like you. You’ll get loads of coaching advice on what to REALLY do to successfully pass your exam.


I’m an accounting coach for a reason – because I know exactly what you’re going through & I want to help you get those Accounting letters. I have my CIMA Qualified letters and let me tell you, it’s such an amazing feeling! I have used my letters to boost my career, salary, job prospects, lifestyle and happiness.


I am in a senior finance position for a reason – because I have my CIMA letters. I earn an amazing salary – because I have my CIMA Letters. And I used my annual leave to travel the world – because I have loads of free time, rather than studying every weekend!


I also describe myself as the most determined and ambitious person you will ever meet. So if you spend too much time with me and watch my stuff, then it will rub off on you too! Are you ready for that success?!


If any of this blog today has helped or resonated with you, I have lots more articles and blogs to share with you here!


Don’t forget to join the group here!


Thanks so much for reading – now go and put those revision notes down and pick up some practise questions. Keep your head up high and practise, practise, practise!


And do reach out to me if you need any help or support (CLICK HERE)


Have a great week!



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