ICAN exams are some of the the most difficult exams to pass in this country. There is a popular belief that because the exams are so difficult, it is impossible to pass any of them in a single sitting.

This belief is so prevalent that some candidates even schedule their journey to certified-accountant with allowances for resit exams.

If only people do proper research, they would find out that many students actually pass in just one sitting.

And the truth is, you don’t have to be an exceptional student to pass. By following the tips below, coupled with hard work and careful planning, you would avoid the pain of paying too much extra money.

Note that the tips below apply to all ICAN-organized tests. So whether you are at the ATS, Foundation, Intermediate or Professional (PE 1and 2) exams level, following the simple study strategy below would ensure a good pass at the first sitting.

1. Begin your preparation for the exams early

Most newly registered ICAN members always make the mistake of leaving the exam preparatory period till the last minute.

No matter how brilliant you are, not starting your preparation early is a recipe for failure. Fact is, all ICAN exams involve tons of materials to be read before you are fully ready.

If you start late, you are in danger of not studying a big chunk of your notes or study pack.

Other aspects of preparing early include:

  • Getting your study materials/ study pack on time
  • Having important recommended textbooks on time
  • Getting past questions papers

If you registered at an ICAN center, you don’t have to wait for lectures to begin before you start studying privately. It is good to familiarize yourself with the courses before actual lectures begin.

That way, it becomes easy to understand what you are been taught.

Never assume that you know enough to start your preparation early.

2. Focus and get on with it

If you have already committed yourself to writing the exams and had paid the required fees, then you need to avoid all distractions and just focus.

It is common to hear candidates complain about how wide the syllabus is. They allow that to discourage them. That is simply looking for excuses.

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Another common complaint is the presence of too many maths-related topics like statistics. If you want to be a world class accountant, there is no running away from topics like that.

Accept the fact of some topics as your cross. Strengthen your shoulders as best as you can and carry your burden to the finish line.

If you start early and focus on the objective, things like the size of the syllabus and lack of time would not mean much in the long run.

3. Read 99% of the study Pack

In other words, read everything. This also boils down to why you must start your preparation early and avoid any distractions.

It is understandable that some aspects of the study pack might be difficult to grasp. Some can be very confusing even if you have the benefits of tutors.

Read them all the same. Never skip any part of the Study Pack out of frustration.

By putting your mind to studying even these difficult parts, some things would stick in your head. A good trick is to start off with what you consider the simpler sections.

And if you are not so good with calculations, you can leave studying them to the last. The truth is, if you start with the difficult parts, you might get bogged down studying one thing thereby wasting too much time.

The danger is, by the time you finish the difficult sections, you may be too mentally exhausted to even study the simpler and easy-to-understand parts. | Ican Pathfinder

Once again, make sure you read everything in the study pack and start with the easier sections.

4. Past Questions must be studied thoroughly

If you want to pass ICAN exams at your first sitting, you must study the past questions. This is also very important and it must be incorporated as an important aspect of your study period.

Studies have shown that over 70% of students who studied past questions passed ICAN exams at the first sitting.

Studying the past questions would help you in the following ways:

i. You would be able to understand the structure of the exams questions and how to go about answering them.

Past questions would reveal the different types of questions involved and how much time is necessary to spend on each question.

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ii. One of the important things in studying past questions are the answers provided to each question. These are answers from people who know what it takes to pass ICAN exams.

From the answers, you would have a pretty good idea of what examiners expect from students as far as answering the questions are concerned.

iii. You can time yourself: in ICAN exams, timing is very important. If you use more than the allotted time on some sections, you are likely going to be left with a pile of unanswered questions.

One of the best ways to pass your ICAN exams is to stick to time. Your past questions can help you practice timing. Answer the questions with a timer.

That way, the exercise becomes a practice run for the real thing as far as timing is concerned.

iv. Studying past questions would give you a good idea of the sort of questions to expect.

Careful study of the pattern the exams are set would reveal the likely questions to come. This way, you would know what part of thesyllabus to dedicate more time to while studying.

These are just some of the benefits of studying past questions. So make sure you don’t neglect this part of your journey to an ICAN-certified accountant.

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5. Get enough sleep on the eve of the exam

If you start your preparation early enough, getting enough sleep on the eve of the exam shouldn’t be a problem.

Many students make the mistake of staying late at night (or waking up early in the morning after a few hours’ sleep) to do some last minute studying. That is wrong.

On the Eve of the exam, what you should be doing is light revision.

With enough sleep, you would arrive the exam hall fresh with your brain functioning optimally. The experts would tell you one of the top reasons for failure is not sleeping enough!

Don’t to come to the exam hall feeling groggy and prone to forgetfulness. That is what inadequate sleep would do to you.

6. Be calm

If you sense panic coming on exams day, do whatever it takes to calm down. Panic and nervousness would simply make you forget everything you studied.

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One way to be calm during the exam proper is to make sure you arrive the exams venue very early and get used to the environment. You can pray or meditate prior to the exam to ease your jangling nerves.

7. Start with multiple choice questions.

The thing about multiple choice questions is that they are generally easy to answer. Apart from that, starting with them would help ease you into the exam groove.

Also, multiple choice questions would also give you tips on how to answer the longer theoretically questions. They would actually refresh your mind on some of the things you read while studying.

However, never waste too much time here. Time yourself and move on as quickly as possible to the other sections that carry higher marks.

8. Answer all questions.

Try as much as possible to answer all the questions you are asked to. Normally, you are required to answer a certain number of questions for each section from the theory part of the examination.

Attempt the number of questions you are asked to by all means. Even if you don’t know the answer, try and write something reasonable.

There won’t be deductions for bad answers. So you have nothing to lose

Many experts would tell you that a good score in multiple choice questions; good score in the short answer section; and good score in two theory questions would be enough to pass your ICAN exams.

But if you read and prepared adequately, there is no reason not to answer everything according to the instructions. Even with the very tough questions, you should know enough to write something.

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