Don’t give up!

theaccablog —  14 May 2015 — Leave a comment

by ACCA blogger Mili Rawal

ACCA exams… they may be challenging, but they are not impossible.

The key for me was to practise past exam papers under timed conditions. Also as equally important was understanding how to allocate sufficient time in each part of the exam question according to the marks available (and making sure to adhere to the 1.8 minutes per mark rule).

If you are planning to take a three-hour exam, make good use of the 15 minutes’ reading and planning time at the start. Practising your technique in this way will not only improve your time management in the exam; it will also give you a greater awareness of the many question verbs, helping you to prepare your answers accordingly. Practice makes perfect!

The structure of your answers is also very crucial. Write in short paragraphs with headings and sub-headings as required.

Don’t forget to access the technical articles on ACCA’s website, which are very useful as they provide more hindsight about various topics in the syllabus, which in turn will help you to better prepare for your exams. I always made sure to read these.

I believe that healthy eating is also beneficial as it stimulates your brain. A few of my favourite foods include almonds, tomatoes, oranges and dark chocolate. The article on brain food is very tasty!

Exercise is also important. I took seven deep breaths before writing down my answers. It helped me to overcome exam anxiety, maintain a calm mind and focus. It’s simple, yet very effective.

To all the students who are resitting papers in June, don’t give up. Don’t let failure get to you. ‘Think ahead’ as ACCA says. I experienced my own share of fails, but I never gave up.

Even though my ACCA journey is not yet completed, I am now proud to call myself an ACCA affiliate. So try to enjoy your studies and never give up.

Good luck to all students around the world who are studying hard for their upcoming exams.

Think ahead and be proud to be different!

ACCA support

theaccablog —  21 April 2015 — Leave a comment

support

by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

‘In September 2015 ACCA will be offering an additional exam session in some of our larger markets, which will be followed in 2016 by the introduction of four exam sessions a year across all of our markets, allowing you to take your exams in March, June, September and December.’

Whenever such news is announced we always tend to think about how it will affect us and then, after it has been digested, we consider how it can benefit the wider group.

Personally this decision is huge for me. My 10-year limit expires in June 2017 and, while I only have two papers left and I should by all means be qualified by then, ACCA has just thrown me and thousands of other students a lifeline.

ACCA is doing all in its power to get behind students and, in doing so, sends them a tangible message. That message is: ‘While we acknowledge the level of difficulty of these exams, we are behind you in every aspect.’ This is the message I am getting anyway.

ACCA has done this with the introduction of bloggers, live Q&As on Facebook, and the ACCA Learning Community (which hosts regular learning event Q&As with experts), and I am sure that this is only the beginning of ACCA’s way to separate itself from the rest.

This is ACCA’s way of adding that extra value to us as students, and to give us the necessary tools to succeed.

The next exam session is about six weeks away, and it is all about revision now, so here are a few pointers of what not to do while studying:

  • Having your mobile phone on
  • Cramming in too much data
  • Getting overwhelmed
  • Looking at the answer before even attempting to answer the question
  • Procrastinating
  • Reconstructing notes
  • Having a heavy meal beforehand
  • Pulling all-nighters
  • Not believing in yourself

Reignite your passion

theaccablog —  1 April 2015 — 2 Comments

Chinese student reading on campus

by ACCA student blogger Adhitya Fadriansyah

Hi everyone! Greetings from Indonesia. Lots of us will be preparing for the upcoming exam session in June. If you have not done so, it’s better to start now as there will be no good outcome if we keep on procrastinating our study. As for myself, I passed one out of three exams I attempted back in June 2014 and I decided not to take an exam in December. At the beginning, I found it a little bit challenging to restart my studies again as it has been over a year since I have taken an exam. However, my top tips for staying on track when restarting my studies are:

1. Take a vacation. It is very easy to fill up your mind with a negative mindset due to the fear of failure. For me, one of the most effective ways to clear my mind is to have a vacation with my family. Once you have removed the negativity from your mind, you can start off your studies with a fresh mind.

2. Remember your goal and the reason for your motivation.

‘Begin with the end in mind’ said Stephen Covey, the US author, educator and businessman. By knowing the end goal, it will be easier for you to overcome any challenge you might face. Make a token out of your biggest motivator, be it a picture of your spouse, your children, your family/friends, and hang them in your cubicle/study desk to let it act as a reminder for you to reach your goal.

3. Do the simple things first to get started and increase the frequency and difficulties gradually.

Do not get bogged down by imagining the most difficult part of the exam. Believe in yourself that there is no problem or question too hard to be solved. Break down the hard topics into smaller and easier parts, and work on them step by step. Once the ball has started to roll, you will eventually be self-motivated.

I wish everyone the best result for the upcoming exams. Studying for my two final papers has been very challenging for me. However, I believe that there is no bar higher than the bar we set ourselves. With that being said, let’s raise the bar even higher, overcome the hurdle and reach the blue sky!

Student Accountant editor’s note:
How are your preparations going for your next exam(s)? Email us at studentaccountant@accaglobal.com to say how you’re preparing or comment on this post

exampractice

by ACCA student blogger Timothy Chippindall

There are plenty of resources available to you as an ACCA student. The Internet can provide resources relevant to our studies and these often give us different perspectives from our normal textbooks. As with any syllabus there are different ways to teach, thus allowing for different teaching and learning methods. All of these different ways of learning help but we do need to keep mindful the examining body. ACCA are the body setting the questions and they are very much in the driving seat. This led me in my recent studies to “home in” on the style and type of question I would be expecting in my exams. I found the natural progression from this train of thought was past papers.

There is much more than meets the eye to the myACCA portal. The resources available can help a student focus on applying the knowledge they have learnt, understanding not only the question that may be asked by also gaining a insight into the approach of exams questions. I found it was helpful in the context of studying because I was able to examine the question while not under exam pressure and really get to the root of the question being asked. I can then also see the structure, taking into account how much one question is asking on one topic, or if the question is broader and I am expected to apply knowledge on various topics to obtain full marks. This kind of practical approach can really open up the mind to understanding where the bulk of the marks are going to come from.

I recently took and passed the Corporate and Business Law Paper (F4). One of the ingredients for my success was down to the past papers, but more importantly the detailed feedback I received from using the Practice Test, which can be purchased through myACCA.

This was the first time I have used the Practice Tests and going forward will definitely use again. I cannot stress enough after having used this how useful it was. Particularly for anyone taking the multiple choices CBE based exams. You take the online assessment, which is exactly the same as taking the actual live exam. Once the exam is complete you submit and again as per the real thing you are given a mark. What follows next is the best part. You are provided with detailed feedback on how well you did on each topic area, details of topic or topics the question was asking for and percentages of correctly answered questions, with a simple traffic light colour scheme showing you areas you are excelling at, areas your currently at pass rate for and areas you need to improve on.

This type of resource really is invaluable. It is well put together; it tailors itself to your needs and really gives you direction for your studies. Would I recommend? You bet!

Best

Tim

road-to-achievement

by ACCA student blogger Mukund Agrawal

Hey guys, apologies for the long article but I am hoping it will prove useful. In this post, I take a different outlook on failure, a psychological outlook. All of us sitting ACCA exams prepare as hard as we can and may still manage to fail and this could create a psychological barrier in our head. The aim of this post is to help break through that barrier so we can be geared up and armed for the next exam attempt.

Personally I failed in both my June sessions (2013 and 2014) which was disconcerting and disheartening. I will not go into the boring details but nevertheless, with the help of the tips below, I was able to attempt four, yes four, papers in the December 2013 and 2014 sessions and successfully pass them.

Here we go…

1. “So what?

Asking this question to ourselves is an important technique to get over failure that I learned from my uncle. Asking this question firstly makes you think about the consequences of the supposed failure and secondly, once that is done, a realization sets in that the “failure” is not all that bad. It’s not the end of the world. The wonderful thing about life and especially ACCA with its new format of four exam sessions a year is that you will definitely get a second chance. And a third. And a fourth. This mindset thus gives you the much needed hope that you can do much better. This shouldn’t make us complacent but at the same time, it gives us some breathing space. As Eloise Ristad said, “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.”

2. Atychiphobia

Atychiphobia – Fear of failure. This fear is worse than failure itself. Failure implies an effort to do something that didn’t quite work out. Fear of failure means not even putting in that effort just because you are so afraid to fail. Countless students have fallen prey to this. Some of my friends registered and studied for the exams well, only to not appear for the exam. Why? “I’m going to fail!” This thinking is UNFOUNDED and BASELESS and only serves to keep you forever in its clutches. Rising from it would only be possible once you banish these thoughts from your head. How can this be done? SELF-BELIEF!

3. Self-Belief!

A simple enough attribute, a much needed attribute and yet lacking in so many a person. Countless books have been written on the power of self-belief and rightly so as it is so crucial in literally anything and everything we do. Imagine you didn’t have the belief to even get out of your bed in the morning. Chances are, you probably didn’t! It’s also a fickle emotion that can slip away very easily until you have achieved mastery of it and are confident in yourself. One way to do this is to simply look at the successful things all of us have done in life, be it big or small. This will tell your inner self that, “YES I CAN DO IT. YES I CAN DO THAT. YES YES YES.” Your mind will then start thinking of ways to actually get that seemingly “impossible” thing done. Believe me, it’s pretty cool!

4. Supportive and positive surroundings

I cannot stress enough on how important, how imperative, how central it is that this facet exists in your own lives. I was only able to sit  four papers twice because of the support I had from my family, friends, colleagues and institutes. Among this entire support one person, my uncle, being probably the most positive person I know ever, showed me things in a refreshing and encouraging light that convinced me that I CAN DO four papers. It’s not impossible and if someone else can do it, why can’t I? Why can’t we? So find these people in your lives and they will uplift you and enable to successfully and enjoyable get over failure and achieve greater and greater heights.

I hope this helped all the readers of this article. Please feel free to connect with me if in need of more such motivational tips and advice. We all have gotten over failure at one point or another in our lives and I am sure, together, we can do it again.

P.S All the above is necessary, but also remember the five P’s – Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. SO STUDY HARD AND GOOD LUCK!

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy