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A study technique that will help you crack F1

It would be a C.R.I.M.E. to fail this paper Ė just use our mnemonics to help you get that pass

October 2016

The ACCA paper F1 syllabus is incredibly varied and the amount of information that you may be examined on can be scary. However, there are simple things that you can do to help build and retain knowledge and this is not just for the F1 paper Ė you can use the same techniques throughout your ACCA journey.
Mnemonics are one fabulous way that you can build and retain knowledge. Take this question for example: Which of the following is NOT a component of an effective internal control system?
A Control environment
B Control monitoring
C Internal audit
D Risk assessment

All of the four options seem plausible but the answer becomes obvious if you knew that the essential components of an effective internal control system can be represented by:
C Control activities
R Risk assessment
I Information systems
M Control Monitoring
E Control Environment

Mnemonics can be effective at helping to remember lists of detail and other key terms. During our F1 course I share my own mnemonics with the class, but actually the best mnemonics are often ones that you generate yourself. When I started to teach F1 the areas in which I struggled to retain knowledge the most were management theory and team roles, so I started to try to create mnemonics to help me remember key information. For example, I could never remember all of the Belbin Team Roles, and so created the mnemonic CRISP FETE. And once I was able to remember the roles I found it easier to remember what each role actually involved.
C Chairman, coordinator
R Resource investigator
I Implementer
S Shaper
P Plant

F Finisher, completer
E Monitor-Evaluator
T Team worker
E Expert, specialist

But please take care Ė donít use up too much valuable time trying to create mnemonics for which, if you are lucky, may help in one or two questions in your exam. Also, while I think that mnemonics are wonderful at helping build and retain knowledge, you obviously need to remember what each letter stands for and they, of course, donít ensure that you understand the topic.
Iíve got one more mnemonic for you and that is for Peter Druckerís five main categories of management. The mnemonic is MODES, and once again while it doesnít build your understanding of Druckerís work it can help you build your knowledge of these key elements.
M Job Measurement
O Organising work
D Developing people
E Motivating Employees
S Objective Setting

As you can see, Iíve not used the first letters of each of the elements but thereís no rules about creating mnemonics Ė it must simply be a mechanism to help you recall information.
In summary, mnemonics are a valuable tool that you can use throughout your ACCA studies to help retain and recall knowledge. Mnemonics wonít pass the exam on their own but they can help make the process a little easier.
ē Paul Kirkwood, lead ACCA tutor, Avado

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