to Study Accounting *
|The following recommendations will help you achieve the
for your study efforts. Although there is no substitute for HARD
WORK and a DESIRE TO LEARN, this guide will
help you use your study time and classroom time more efficiently.
|READING THE TEXTBOOK
- Studying accounting is not like reading a novel or studying
history or sociology.
Read to understand “why”.
- Each assignment in accounting builds on previous
If you do half-hearted work in Chapters 1 and 2, you may be confused by
5 and lost by Chapter 6.
- Accounting books are condensed. Almost every sentence is
important. Scan reading just does not work!
Work problems to understand “how”.
- This is a technical subject, it is logical, and it
reasoning. Strive to be able to say, “I understand why that is
If you can understand “why” in accounting, there is very little to
- Try to explain every new topic in your own words. Putting
new ideas into your own words is better than reciting the words of the
a hundred times.
Remember “why” and “how”.
- Even though you understand “why it is done” in
accounting, you must be able to do it yourself
- To be sure that you understand “how” as well as “why”,
the examples that are used with the reading material. Don't copy
book. Try your own skill and then check your answers.
If there is something you don't understand, prepare
questions to ask your instructor. Some students keep a notebook of
with which they have questions. PIN-POINT THE ITEMS THAT YOU DO NOT
Don't make vague comments to your instructor such as “I don't
any of this material.” Such statements are a strong indication to the
that you have made no attempt to try to understand, and will receive
little sympathy or help.
- Go back to previous chapters and notes to refresh your
Rework problems that were difficult for you. Try to work extra
that are similar to the assigned homework.
- Never wait until examination time to review your
The review-as-you-go plan produces better results, doesn't take as
and saves all that last minute worry and sacrifice of other
The forgetting curve is the mirror image of the learning curve.
forget as fast as you learn. It is a scientific fact that information
has been forgotten requires that it be relearned, requiring the same
of time it took to learn it originally.
|WORKING HOMEWORK PROBLEMS
- Read the problem! Read the instructions
and scan the problem to see what is ahead.
- Work the problems without “page flipping” back to the
chapter and/or notes.
Keep up with the class! IT IS EASIER TO KEEP UP
THAN TO CATCH UP!!
- When in doubt, look back at the chapter and/or notes –
NOT until you have tried to do the problem on your own. This indicates
you do not remember the chapter material. You are not prepared
- The “page-flipping” method is guaranteed to waste a
maximum amount of your time and to produce a minimum of results.
Note the part of the problem with which you have difficulty
and ask questions during or after class.
- Check your solution against the solution presented in
class (or online).
- Be sure that you understand the correct solution.
|MAKING THE BEST USE OF
- Classes are never interesting unless you take part.
- Always be prepared before you go to class.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you have a
at least ten other students probably have the same question but are
to ask because it might sound like a dumb question.
- Students who make failing grades also fail to attend
fail to pay attention during class, fail to do their homework, and fail
ask the instructor for help until it is too late. And when they
ask, it isn't for help. They go to the instructor to offer poor excuses
poor performance. Remember, when you start your professional career
graduation, excuses won't explain away poor performance; nor will
earn you a passing grade in this course.
|PREPARING FOR EXAMS
- Be specific in your study; concentrate on the things which
to be most important. Note items that the instructor emphasizes in
and homework problems that are assigned.
- Every exam has an element of speed. Have your “hows”
“whys” at your finger tips (but not written on your finger tips).
you are slow, you probably need to study and practice more.
- The questions that appear on exams approach the material
a slightly different direction to test your ability to reason and
rather than your ability to memorize.
- Don’t stop with just “getting the idea”. It is often
great shock to students who thought they understood the material but
poorly on the exam. “Why?” they ask. The answer is simple. Of course it
important to “understand” the material. But unless you can “apply” what
have learned, the results you get on an exam will be very
How do you know if you can “apply” what you’ve learned? The best
is being able to work all of the homework problems correctly during
review without looking at the solutions. If you can’t do that, you are
ready to take the exam and apply what you have learned.
- Again, read the problem! When taking exams, many points are
and questions missed because the student does not READ THE PROBLEM,
with multiple choice questions. Read what the question is really
not what you think or want it to ask. Avoid careless
On each exam, assume that you have made several careless errors and
enough time at the end of the exam to look for them.
- An excellent strategy to use when taking an exam is to
look through the entire exam and answer all of the questions that are
for you. Those are “sure” points and help to relieve the pressure
you go back to work on the more difficult and time-consuming problems.
- The greatest weaknesses in a student's ability to take an
are failure to concentrate, to keep his/her composure, and to maintain
steady pace. Be aware of the time to help pace yourself. But don't
your concentration or lose your composure by constantly thinking about
time factor. Don't let your mind close up on you and end any chance you
to do well. It is better to concentrate on answering only 80% of
questions and getting them all correct than to answer all of the
and missing half of them. Of course, it is best to answer all of
questions and get them all correct. And most importantly, get a
night of sleep before the exam even if you need more time to study or
think you should cram for the exam. Your mind will not function at peak
if you are deprived of necessary sleep. Your recall and analytical
will be severely diminished.
Taken from Irvin N. Gleim, Careers in Accounting, 1999.