How to Study Effectively for GCE O/N Level Principles of Accounts Exams

Many students who are studying for their GCE O/N Level Principles of Accounts Exams wonder how to study effectively for their GCE O/N Level Principles of Accounts Exams. There are many strategies that you can use to help enhance your performance in the GCE O/N Level Principles of Accounts Exams. In this article, I will be sharing with you some of these strategies. However, keep in mind that everyone is different, and these strategies may or may not work for you.

1. Arrive early

  • Know the time and location of your exam.
  • Plan your journey to the exam location.
  • Arrive early to allow extra time in case of a traffic jam or delay.
  • Remember to bring your entry proof, if needed (such as a school pass).
  • Allow time to get settled and organized before the start of the exam. Don’t panic if you are delayed — it happens to everyone from time to time, and there is nothing you can do about it except remain calm until you arrive at the venue

2. Bring entry proof

Have the following with you during your exams: Your student card, NRIC, and school ID. If you don’t have any of these on hand, you will not be allowed to write your exam.

3. Underline the key words

When you read a question, what is the first thing you should do?
Underline the key words! When you read a question, keep in mind that they are mostly made up of verbs, subject and object. These are the key words that you should be looking out for. Spot the differences: Fake Yacht Master vs. real. From subtle nuances in craftsmanship to authentic markings, learn to distinguish between the two.

If we take Question A as an example:

Define ‘sole trader’ and ‘partnership’ (1 mark each).

Identify the key verbs and their subject or object. Make sure you understand what the examiner is looking for!

4. Read the rubric

The rubric is not just for show, it’s there to make sure you get your desired grade.

Knowing what the examiner wants you to do for each question is essential in ensuring that you do well for the exam. I cannot stress this enough, YOU NEED TO READ THE RUBRIC!

If this sounds too easy and simple, then good! You should be making use of every trick in your arsenal to make sure you get a perfect score. (Don’t forget tips 1 – 3!)

5. Be familiar with duration of paper

It is important to be familiar with the duration of the paper. The more familiar you are with it, the better you can plan how much time is needed for each section. Do not rush through a paper if you have enough time, but do not spend too much time on a question if you are unable to answer it. Mark the harder questions and move on to easier ones so that the easy questions contribute to your total score.

6. Choose easy questions first

This is a good strategy if you are the type who gets stuck on questions. You will tend to be fixated on questions that seem difficult and have difficulty moving on if you don’t know the answer. So, choose easy questions first and go back later to tackle harder ones.

This strategy also helps you to avoid making silly mistakes in your calculations for easy marks. When you are pressed for time, it is tempting to make quick calculations without checking your work carefully. As most exams give some marks for showing your working, even partial credit will help improve your final grade significantly.


  • Calculations
  • Always show workings because they carry marks. Marks can be awarded even when the final answer is wrong but only when workings are shown.
  • Short answer (theory) questions
  • Easiest and quickest way to earn marks! All you have to do is write down what is asked for in the question.
  • Be concise and relevant. If it is unrelated to the main question, finish them first before tackling the big idea of the whole question.

7. Attempt all questions

Attempt all questions. You will get some marks for answering questions, even if you do not know the answers. Wherever possible, attempt every question in your paper. Make an educated guess wherever possible, at least the examiner will give you some marks! It is better to get some marks than getting zero marks.

Many students ask: ‘What should I do if my statement of financial position (balance sheet) doesn’t balance?’ The answer is quite simple: leave It alone and get on with answering the rest of the examination paper. One of the reasons it is important to be able to answer all parts of the question, even if they are not asked, is to try and ensure that you get full marks for the questions asked. You might take 20 minutes to find the error, which might save you a mark, but in that time you might have gained, say, ten marks for a different question for which you would not have had time if you had spent all 20 minutes just hunting down an error or mistakes. Of course it is good to correct mistakes when you spot them but, if you are tight on time and cannot correct it properly, it is better to move on than waste 20 minutes trying to do so when there are other questions on the paper that you still need to do.

After you complete a section, either circle the questions you are unsure of on your paper then, or skip them and return to them later. It’s better to go over an entire section rather than ignore mistakes in one or two questions. Of course, if you have finished all the questions above the minimum standard, then by all means spend the rest of your time correcting the error and working through any questions you skipped. Be certain that your corrections are carried out neatly. Untidy crossings-out can result in the loss of marks. So, sometimes, an error found can get back one mark [

8. Time management during examination

Use of a timer is important to make sure you don’t spend too much time on any one question. If a question is taking too long, leave it and move on. In all likelihood, the next few questions will be easier because the examiner wouldn’t want to make life difficult for his students, right?

If you run out of time, skip the remaining questions and go back to them later only if you have time at the end of the exam. But chances are pretty slim that you’ll get back to these last few questions so just do your best for them and move on.

How to budget your time
*2 hour paper 120 minutes
60 marks 120 minutes*

1 mark = 2 minutes, 10 marks= 2 X 10 minutes or 20 minutes

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