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In this guide we will cover how to prepare to retake the Business, Technology and Finance exams including reviewing what went wrong and how to prepare for your retake.

Reviewing what went wrong

Immediately after the exam it is useful to spend time reflecting on your exam performance. Think about the following questions:

  • Were you relaxed in the exam, or too stressed to focus properly?
  • Was time management an issue? Did you finish early after rushing the questions?
  • Did you find questions on a topic area that you hadn’t revised?
  • Had you completed enough revision before the exam?

Understanding the answers to these questions can help you think about what went wrong and provide you with actions on how to spend your time preparing for your retake.

If you did not have a clear mind when attempting the questions, or finished early, then it may be that you misread some of the questions or answers. So, although you have the knowledge you did not demonstrate it.

When attempting your retake, try and organise your exam day to keep calm and manage your stress levels.

If you found there were topics in the exam that you hadn't revised, then make sure you revise these topics carefully before your next attempt and revisit the relevant questions in the question bank. You can also review the syllabus to look at the weighting of each exam question, find the syllabus on the exam resources.

How to prepare to retake your exam

Review any feedback that you have on your exam, to identify areas of weakness. These are the topics to focus on, before your retake, without forgetting the other topic areas. To help with this, view the marks feedback within your online training file.;

Start by reviewing the specific chapters in the ICAEW workbook and ensuring any summary notes you have reflected the whole syllabus area. Focus on learning these facts in different ways, such as drawing a picture to represent key words, or explaining the topic verbally.

Question practise is vital and so re-visit the questions in the ICAEW question bank at least twice for the topics that you are less comfortable with. Ensure you don’t just read the answer at the back of the book but understand why that is the correct answer for this question.

Review the exam resources available on the ICAEW website.

Failing an exam is a setback but happens to many people for different reasons. This is now a time to reflect and be proactive, so that next time you will be successful.