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How to Study for Accounting

Accounting is one of the most important aspects of business, and is also one of the toughest concepts to learn. In this article you will learn some tips to help you better understand accounting.

9 minutes long
Posted by Sam Farber, 4/10/2022
How to Study for Accounting

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Accounting is a subject that requires a great deal of focus in order to pass with flying colors. If you want to ace your accounting class, you won’t be able to avoid studying. It is difficult to master accounting concepts in a matter of days or weeks.

Accounting is one of the most important subjects that students will study during their academic careers. We begin learning Math in elementary school and continue to expand our knowledge in college and high school with more in-depth accounting classes. It is almost always referred to as “the business language.”

Form Your Own Study Group

Working alone can be tedious and overwhelming at times. Working in a study group is beneficial for students of any major, but it is especially important for accounting students. Accounting is a difficult career to learn at first, so it is not uncommon for students to encounter difficulties while studying or completing a homework assignment. Working in a group provides you with a variety of perspectives to help you solve problems.

Study groups develop an organic environment in which members begin teaching concepts and ideas to those who do not fully comprehend the material. Because teaching is one of the most effective ways to learn a subject, this collaborative environment is an excellent place to hone your engineering skills.

Finding a study group is relatively simple, particularly in college. Simply ask your classmates, post a message on a class GroupMe, or request that your professor send out a mass email inviting students to meet outside of class to study if they wish.

Once you have your study group formed, you must realize some study groups can be more effective than others. Some guidelines to follow when choosing your study group are:

  • Keep the groups limited to 3–5 students
  • Do the work by yourself first, then collaborate when needed
  • Ensure each student in your study group is able to come up with a solution to each problem

Try to solve a problem before asking for help

When you don’t know the answer to a specific question, it’s easy to give up. No one, however, wants to do your homework for you. People are much more likely to assist you if you have already started the task. Attempting to solve a problem on your own before seeking help from professors or classmates will force you to expand your knowledge while also teaching you problem-solving skills that will be useful in the real world.

Pay Attention in Your Accounting Class

Although it may seem self-evident, paying attention in class is critical to succeeding in a university-level accounting program. When your professor goes over the concepts with you, they will also help you brush through the logic of the idea, making it easier to understand and digest. It is always easier to understand information when someone else teaches it to you rather than grinding the content yourself. To improve efficiency, avoid being distracted in class by not scrolling through social media platforms or responding to text messages from friends.

Accounting is one of the subjects that continues to build on existing content, so it is critical to understand the fundamentals of accounting before moving on to more complex accounting topics. The class content is taught in a sequential manner and will always connect to previous/future content that you will learn.

Take Handwritten Notes

Handwritten notes can either be on paper or on a tablet such as an iPad, and can be extremely beneficial in subjects such as accounting because many of the equations you will be working with will reoccur, and taking handwritten notes will help you memorize formulas much faster.

A theory that has been developed to help individuals remember information quicker and more effectively states “In order to better remember a certain set of information…simply read it 10 times, say it out loud 10 times, and then write in 5 times. Using this strategy will help you to become more familiar with the class notes that you take during your accounting classes.

Find a Study Partner

While you may prefer to study alone due to your flexibility or pure focus, studying with another accounting student can have many amazing outcomes that will help propel your accounting understanding to the next level. Many studies have found that when you teach someone new information, you are more likely to understand that information yourself. While having someone else present while you study will help to keep you focused and motivated to continue learning.

Identifying the aspects of your accounting class curriculum that you do not understand could be a good way to spend your time while studying alone. When you and your study partner are able to meet, you will be able to assist each other by sharing ideas and notes. This way, you can make the most of the time you have together as well as alone.

Read the Accounting Textbook When Needed

Professors create their notes and slides based on the textbook. On the syllabus of every course, professors will explicitly state which learning materials should be used to supplement the lecture materials.

Some of the commonly used textbooks for university-level accounting programs include:

  • Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper
  • Warren Buffett Accounting Book by Stig Brodersen and Preston Pysh
  • Schaum’s Outline Principles of Accounting I by Joel Lerner and James A. Cashin
  • Accounting Principles 12th Edition by Wygandt, Kimmel, and Kieso
  • Fundamental Accounting Principles 23rd Edition by Wild, Shaw, and Chiappetta

Note: Please check your schools’ course syllabus for the exact textbook used by your professor as the learning materials vary from school to school

Understand Key Accounting Concepts

All components of Accounting start with the basics, and learning accounting principles is no different. In accounting, you learn about assets and liabilities before diving into deferred income tax; you learn about debits and credits before learning how to depreciate. Everything starts off with the basics, which slowly evolve into more complex formulas as you add more conditions and variablAccounting principles, like all other aspects of accounting, begin with the fundamentals. In accounting, you learn about assets and liabilities before deferred income tax; you learn about debits and credits before depreciation. Everything starts with the basics, which gradually evolve into more complex formulas as more conditions and variables are added to the formula. As a result, if you don’t understand the fundamental concepts, it will be extremely difficult to build on top of them.

Attending class and taking handwritten notes will help you improve your understanding of fundamental accounting concepts.

How to study for accounting if you are struggling

If you are struggling after hours of staring at questions and continue to run into homework problems, there are many support systems in place to help you ace the course and get some additional practice.

For example, you can reach out to your professor or teaching assistant (TA) to schedule an office hour for them to walk you through the ideas, you can reach out to help centers at your university that have upper years who can help you as well, you could find a private tutor who could help you 1 on 1 to resolve your burning questions, and finally, you could also access homework help apps like Kunduz to help. The problem with the first two options is that these resources are not available all the time, and thus it would take quite some time for your professor or TA to respond to your problems. For private tutoring, it is expensive, as tutors often cost more than $50 USD an hour! Thus, we recommend that homework help apps would be the best option for students.

Kunduz helps students in a wide range of subjects including Accounting, Finance, Economics, and many more. They are available 24/7 and respond to questions as fast as 15 minutes while providing step-by-step homework help. It has a vast network of 40,000+ tutors globally and has answered 58M questions in 11 different subjects. It offers one free and two paid subscription plans:

  • Free: free question credits for any subject matters
  • Standard Plan: $9.99 USD / month for 50 questions
  • Unlimited Plan: $14.99 USD / month for unlimited questions

Thus, if you are looking for an affordable solution that can provide you with 24/7 Accounting support, Kunduz would be an excellent supplement to your lectures, allowing you to excel in your Accounting class!

Kunduz is YC backed global EdTech platform that aspires to democratize education.

Go Through Examples Provided in Class

There’s a reason why professors go over examples in class! These examples illustrate key concepts that students will learn in that lecture, and to be honest, the actual exam will most likely have similar issues.

Furthermore, some university professors may not provide practice exams or problems, making learning even more difficult. As a result, understanding the in-class examples is critical in order to be prepared for exams.

Practice! Practice! Practice!

Most accounting classes will have practice problems for students to use to enhance their learning. Some take in the form of textbook problems, some take in the form of assignments. Frankly speaking, concepts such as time Financial Statements, T-Accounts, The Accounting Equation, and Advanced Managerial Accounting aren’t very challenging once you know how to solve them. It’s more mechanical than abstract, which is why practicing these equations will directly translate to significantly better scores. We recommend students complete as many practice problems as they can before exams to be fully comfortable with the material.

Leverage Your Resources

Additionally, if your instructor gives past tests, that’s a big bonus! Past tests reflect the instructor’s approach to creating questions. Using past tests, students can get a gist of the difficulty of the actual test and format as well!

If you are stuck on a textbook problem, an assignment question, or a past test question, definitely check out Kunduz to get the fastest problem-solving approach and solution from its network of expert Accounting tutors!

Hopefully, this article provides you with a good idea of some accounting tips to help you ace your next accounting exam or simply just help you study! If you follow all the steps listed in this article, you are very likely to perform well in class because it covers some of the most important steps to mastering a new topic. Along the way, just know that when you are struggling with a concept, tools like Kunduz can guide you through those difficult situations!

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