How to Study and pass IFRS Exam

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Although the approach is subjective and study technique for IFRS exam may differ from person to person, if you maintain the momentum of preparation, we believe that the below points would help you identify the best suitable one.
  1. Finalizing the date of IFRS exam and gathering study material
The date of examination is recommended to be decided well in advance, which would allow you for sufficient time to gather appropriate study material like books/e-books, coaching videos, and presentations. There are various options available for training videos in the market right from 60 hours to 120 hours of training. If you have prior knowledge of international financial reporting standards, you may opt for a 60 hours video. However, if you have no acquaintance with accounting standards, elaborate training videos may be the right choice for you. Books consist of questions and answers from past examinations and summary notes that assist with last-week revisions. It is imperative to select the training material provider wisely.
  1. Completing entire syllabus within two months:
If you have opted for IFRS training videos, it is important that you complete one view of training videos for entire syllabus within the first two months. Take out 2.5 hours daily, thrice a week (on weekdays) and 7.5 hours collectively (on weekends), which makes up to nearly 15 hours a week to meticulously attend video lectures. This way, you will possibly complete training videos in a span of about two months. We recommend that the study should begin with simpler and basic topics like IAS 1 – Presentation of Financial Statements, IAS 16 – Property, Plant and Equipment and other asset related topics. Moving from simple to complex will boost your sense of confidence that you are aware of the concepts and can easily complete entire syllabus shortly.
  1. Reading books and taking down your own notes 
After completing video lectures, you may start with meticulous book reading sessions, preferably in the same sequence that you followed while watching videos earlier. Taking down your own notes in an A4 size notebook would help a lot in reading, writing, and memorizing concepts. It will enable you to understand everything even better and retain it. 
  1. Solving question papers of past examinations
Solving past examination question papers is vital to succeed in this examination. While solving, you may mark the tricky ones. Those that took a lot of your time can also be marked. Questions that are prone to mistakes are the most important in these paper solving sessions. Greater emphasis can be put on these, later. As ACCA mainly expects examinees to clearly explain the basis for their answers and signifies concepts rather than mere calculations, it is of paramount importance that you understand, comprehend and practice things a lot. Lack of clarity on various concepts and deficient explanation has been the most common reason behind failure in Dip IFRS, as reported by examiners so far.
  1. Interlinking of topics and understanding the practical application
A question in the examination may not be related to a single standard and may require you to apply the knowledge of multiple financial reporting standards at a time. Thus, while studying, take time to thoroughly think over the impacts of one standard on another. Further, mere theoretical knowledge is of no use if one cannot apply the same practically. Thus, understanding the practical applicability of each concept should be practiced while studying, which would enhance your understanding to a different level.
  1. Form a study group or find a study buddy:
Some of the international financial reporting standards are complex to understand and interpret. For better understanding and retention of these concepts, group discussions prove to be of immense help. You may also find out a study partner and carry out discussion and brainwashing sessions together rather than just book reading. Group study sessions will keep your brain active and motivated, thereby boosting your confidence level. However, to maintain high efficiency, it is imperative that you avoid overspending time on non-vital issues.
  1. Understanding the marking scheme from past examination questions
Understanding the marking scheme is essential in order to perform better in examination. Solve past examination questions, self-evaluate and mark on your own with the help of marking schemes given on the ACCA website – under the past examination section. This will enhance your understanding on what do examiners expect of you and how you would be evaluated in the examination.
  1. Reading and practicing
Keep reading and practicing till the final examination date. There will be many ups and downs till the day finally arrives. The secret of success in Dip IFRS examination lies in reading, re-reading and practicing constantly till you get it right. You need to take up IFRS online course to get detailed education on the basic and core fundamentals of IFRS certification. In addition to that, you can also go for Diploma in IFRS to avail of similar yet detailed learning about the concepts as that of the IFRS online course. If you want to learn IFRS easily, then taking up the course is a better idea, but still here are some of the things that you can start with:
  • In the first phase of the IFRS online course, you will learn about the basic accounting standards. It will help you understand the financial reporting networks.
  • You will then be taught to find the differences and similarities between the standards of multiple recognized bodies such as ICAB, ICAI, and others.
  • The course will continue and will teach you the true attributes of the framework. Along with the standards of IFRS, the course will also help you get a detailed idea about the structure of IFRS.
  • After that, your course will move forward to learning of individual standards. It is highly essential for you to get detailed knowledge by the end you complete IFRS certification.
  • Even after the Diploma in IFRS course is completed, you need to make sure that you stay up to date with the new standards and other such relevant information.
In a nutshell, it will take around 4-5 months to prepare yourself well for the Diploma IFRS examination. Diploma IFRS is a widely accepted qualification and thus, should not be considered as a cake walk. It is thus important not to take it casually as well as not to be nervous at the same time. Consistent efforts and perseverance will definitely pave the way for you to clear the examination in first attempt. Gap between studies and exam attempts is not recommended. There is always high probability of success, if you maintain the momentum of preparation.
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