The voice of experience: tutors’ tips for success in your studies

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By Student Blog

5 September 2016

Studying to be a CA is not easy and, at times, it can be pretty tough. However, there is plenty of help at hand from your lecturers – some of whom were in your shoes not that long ago.

Lecturers Steph Jenkins and Anna Cameron have shared some of the knowledge they learned, both as ICAS students and as tutors.

In a previous profile post, Steph said: “I completed the ICAS qualification while at EY so I’ve been through the same process as you. I’ve got a good understanding of the challenges you face when it comes to balancing work with your studies."

Here are Steph and Anna’s top tips:

  • Don’t underestimate the commitment you need to make to get through the exam.
  • Start studying from day one – not excessively, but doing the recommended number of hours. It is tough going but if you put in a reasonable amount of work from day one then you will make it manageable.
  • Don’t worry about what others around you are doing. Everyone works at a different pace and learns differently. You will probably know how you learn and study and so ensure you stick to what has worked for you in the past. If you are concerned it won’t work for the pace of your ICAS studies, then speak to one of your tutors for some tips as quickly as possible.
  • Do question practice. If you get stuck, use your module notes rather than going straight to the solution. Practise some questions to time and as you would attempt them in an exam.
  • Where relevant, ensure that you understand how to apply good exam technique to the questions (this is more important in some subjects than others).
  • If it’s appropriate for the subject, use the summaries at the end of the modules and, if you like to make notes, annotate them.
  • Write down any issues or questions you are stuck with and then discuss them with your lecturer.
  • Use the mocks to help you improve and try not to get too caught up in your overall mark. Look at how you fared in each of the individual questions within the mock and work out if there are specific areas that you need to improve in.
  • Ask for help as soon as possible if you need it.


  • CA Student blog

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