Study Resources

What does it take to get a H1 in Higher Level Accounting?

Aaran Tiedt, a past pupil from The Institute of Education who achieved a H1 in Leaving Cert higher level accounting, explains how he got top marks in the exam.

Practice, practice, practice!

I spent hours practicing questions until there were no more left in the book and by the time the exam came around, I was ready. It didn’t matter what they asked me. No matter what adjustment came up, I had seen it at least once and didn’t have to waste any time trying to figure out what to do.

Time management

Again repetition is the key to this. It’s all well and good doing out a question for homework and getting it right. But if you can’t do it within the time limit of the exam, then you’ll forfeit points straight away.

Remember double entry

One of the fundamental parts of every accounting question is the idea of double entry. Most students overlook this as there is no actual question on just double entry. If you have a decent knowledge of double-entry, then understanding how to make adjustments becomes second nature. No matter how a question is phrased, you will be able to figure it out.

Don’t gamble

Every year, students look for patterns, but it’s not worth it! If your gamble doesn’t pay off and you can’t answer your four questions, you risk losing a minimum of 20%. This is too big a risk to play around with, so don’t do it.

Reaction to 2023 Accounting Exam

Each year, our exceptional teachers give their take on the Leaving Certificate higher level exam papers.

Watch what John Taylor, accounting teacher at The Institute of Education, had to say about the 2023 exam.

Sample Notes

Students who attend The Institute of Education are provided with exclusive, exam-focussed study notes to support their home study and revision. Below are a sample of the high-quality accounting notes they receive.

Top Tips

Arthur Russell , accounting teacher at The Institute of Education, shares his secrets to acing the exam.

Pay attention to timing

Students must stick rigidly to their timing. Many find themselves in the exam with 15 minutes left and one full question to complete. Panic sets in and they don’t do themselves justice, scoring poorly in their final question.

Know your theory

Any student wishing to attain a H1 must have a thorough knowledge of the theory of accounting.

Use rough work pages for calculations

Set aside plenty of pages for this. Keep workings close to the relevant questions so that the examiner can apportion marks for any work completed in a satisfactory manner. Students run the risk of scoring zero marks for a particular figure if they omit their workings. Remember that workings can be laid out in note form or account form. Do not cram your answer and workings on to one page.


Do not attempt Question 1 unless you have a thorough working knowledge of all of the adjustments to the trial balance. These adjustments include: Damaged stock; Patents written off; Bank Reconciliation Statements; Disposal of Fixed Assets and Depreciation; Revaluation of Fixed Assets; Debenture Interest due; Investment Income due; Bad Debts Provision; Goods in transit; Suspense; VAT; Capital Expenditure; Sale or Return; etc.

Financial Accounting

Remember that most of the Financial Accounting topics on the syllabus can be examined in either Section 1 (a short
60-mark question) or in Section 2 (a longer 100-mark question). Topics, such as, tabular statements, correction of errors, published accounts, cash flow statements, club accounts, service firms, would be regarded as normal Section 2 questions but have often been shortened and asked as Section 1 questions.

Double-entry system

Do not attempt to answer the Correction of Errors topic unless you have a solid understanding of the basic double-entry system, ie debits and credits.

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