How to Study Accounting
Ken Harper, Instructor
Sharon Miller, Assistant
- Cumulative Study -- Accounting is certainly not a mystery, and is easy to learn. The major secret to learning accounting is remembering that it is a cumulative study subject based on the first five chapters. Each learning objective builds on the previously learned concepts and procedures. The accounting course is organized so that you learn the most fundamental concepts and procedures first, then you will be required to build on these concepts and procedures. To learn accounting, you must master the first five chapters. These fiver chapters are the basis for the next sixteen chapters. When students run into difficulty, it is generally because they have either forgotten the earlier material or have not learned it well enough to move forward.
- Maintain a good attendance record -- You need to hear from me what topics are important, why they are important, and how to use them. Copying notes from other classmates may not always show you the what, why and how.
- Participate actively in class -- Arrive at your classroom a few minutes early. Choose a seat where you can hear and be heard. Don't be afraid to ask or respond to questions. Try to overcome your shyness. Commit yourself to ask or answer questions in class. Remember someone else in the class is probably wondering about the same thing.
- Do not use memorization as a substitute for understanding -- You need to understand both the reasons and the mechanic of accounting. Memorizing information will hurt you later on in the course.
- Take notes -- A recent study indicated that you will remember 10% to 15% of what was said in class. However, if you write it down, your retention rate increases to 85%. Note taking is essential to learning accounting. You must learn to take notes efficiently, accurately, and quickly so you will not jeopardize your ability to listen effectively.
- Make friends by studying in a group -- Exchange telephone numbers with at least two classmates. Make arrangements to study with these friends on a regular basis. Working in groups has benefits. These benefits include increasing your knowledge of accounting and improving your critical thinking and communication skills. If you are able to explain and demonstrate (verbalize) the learning objective to other group members, then you really understand the concepts. Don't be afraid to change study groups if you are unhappy with your original group. Finally, don't allow you study group turn into a gossip group, stick to your accounting.
- Be prepared -- Before going to class review the textbook, study guide, homework assignment, and class notes. Make a list of questions you have to ask me. Writing out your questions makes it easier for you to ask me in class.
- Keep up with the work -- Waiting until the last minute does not give you the opportunity to completely understand the learning objectives. If you have completed your homework and are able to verbalize the learning objectives to other members in your study group, then you will do well on the test. If however, you are trying to complete the reading and homework assignments the night before the examination, you will be unprepared. There is a saying, "He who does the homework ahead of time gets the A or B. He who doesn't do the homework ahead of time gets the C or D."
- Tape record the class lectures -- This procedure has two benefits. First, you will not be overly concerned about taking notes. Secondly, recording gives you another opportunity to hear the lesson. It especially lets you review words that you are not familiar.
- Find out what resources are available to you -- Resources available to you are:
- Study guide
- Tutorial - Sharon Miller
- Your fellow classmates
- Your instructor:
- Phone 408.864.8589
- Electronic Mail School email@example.com
- Electronic Mail Home: firstname.lastname@example.org
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