Niamh Connolly talks about her experience in taking on the accounting exams and how you can nail these exams!

The CAP2’s – the dreaded four, you are likely to hear descriptions like this up until exam time; do not let it upset your rhythm.

There is no denying the apprehension associated with the week of the CAP2 examinations – we all felt it, but as so many say once they come out the other side, you will never face an exam week like it again.

However, there is no point starting at the end; let us go back to the beginning – study leave. With two months stretched out before you, it is important not to fall into the trap of putting everything on the long finger. Coupled with this however, you have to take this challenge day by day – it is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, how does one ‘nail’ these papers? The following three steps played a vital role in my getting over the line.

  1. Plan

Make a study plan and, insofar as is possible, stick to it. Each subject deserves a look in. At the end of the day, it is great to pass the one you like, but you cannot forget about the others. Allocate time to each. Grant Thornton offer great examples of study plans on the exam hub; I found it extremely helpful to have a base to build from, instead of starting from scratch.

  1. Practice

Exam questions, exam questions, exam questions! As daunting as they may seem the first day, the more you do, the more prepared you are for what actually comes up on the paper. You never know, a sample question may take centre stage on the day.

  1. Ask questions

Ask the question! No matter what it may be, asking and discussing content with others instantly helps. It may not resolve your problem, but I can tell you that it will steer you in the right direction. The revision sessions organised by Grant Thornton are the perfect example of where asking questions is vital. I can guarantee you that someone else is sitting there wondering the exact same thing; ask the question!

To sum it all up, it is a tough ride, but you will get there. Use the exam supports available in the office, they are there for a reason. The exam hub is an extremely helpful resource; I do not think you will come across a Grant Thornton trainee who disagrees with that. Approach each day as it comes; in this case, slow and steady really does win. Finally, remember that you have 0% going in, everything you put on that paper brings you closer to the finish line; the sought after 50%. And, as Dory famously says, “just keep swimming”.