Man using laptop, hand on chin, looking away

by ACCA student blogger Sarosh Fatima

As the next exam session approaches, the panic starts to strike! For some of us, panic attacks have become almost synonymous with exams, but I can now say that I have found a way to tackle them.

I have been able to plan my studies with the help of ACCA’s self-study guides. I don’t believe in exhausting myself; instead, I have spread out my studies and focused on different syllabus areas each week. It doesn’t take me long to grasp all the concepts this way and it has helped my confidence and reduced stress.

Patience and perseverance pave the way to success. An ACCA student will always need to possess these two attributes to avoid making any mistakes in haste and under stress. Every student needs to have self-belief, and a single exam result can never define one’s ability.

Failing an exam never means that you cannot do it. It just means you can do better. Every student needs to look ahead and think positively, which will enhance their confidence in their own abilities. We should be more believing – and have confidence – in ourselves.

Our exam success is solely based on the hours we spend in the exam hall. Tackling this time and taking control of our nerves will help impress the examiner with our knowledge and exam technique skills.

So, as we prepare for the March exam session, let’s believe in ourselves!

Young woman at school

by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

Today is a fresh new day, full of countless opportunities and possibilities!

Exam results have come and gone. Congratulations to those of you who passed, and congratulations to those who have attempted your exams, deferred your success to the next sitting and have learned valuable lessons in the process

If you didn’t achieve your exam goals this time around, don’t forget to be:

  • positive – as the great Napoleon Hill said: ‘Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve’. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded individuals who can help you remain positive
  • persistent – ignore the naysayers, stick to your plan of action and execute it with a laser-like focus and conviction. Never give up!
  • patient – there may be exam sessions where you are not as successful as you hope to be… we all want to achieve our goals today! But as Anthony Iannarino said in his recent blog:
    Anything worth accomplishing takes time and energy. It takes consistency. Longer term, sustainable results are the results of doing the right thing, which always includes a few fundamentals that most people find unpleasant, over a long period of time. 
  • Do you have your steering wheel turned in the right direction?
  • Have you kept it that way long enough for the wheels to finally grab and begin to move you in the direction you want to go?
  • resilient – if you find yourself doubting your capabilities, stop, pause and forget the big picture. Instead, try to focus on your own exceptional, small, but meaningful achievements to date. That will put everything into perspective
  • adaptable – as a student, never be too big to ask questions… that’s what our tutors, mentors and peers are there for. Remember that an open mind is a receptive mind.

Anyone wishing to get in touch with me is welcome to connect with me via LinkedIn – though please include in the personal message that you are an ACCA student.

Until next time…

by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

As we approach the December exams our ‘inner chatter’ and doubts may be starting to creep in and take over. Perhaps you may be telling yourself ‘I won’t be ready’, ‘Perhaps I’ll hold off taking my exam until the March session’, ‘Missing one exam sitting won’t make a difference’… and so on. But if we spoke to our friends in the same way that we speak to ourselves at times, we would have no friends.

There is a quick three-step formulae outlined by one of the best personal development coaches in my country that states the following:

  • Do less. Think about the famous 80/20 rule, where 20% of our efforts in any particular endeavour is responsible for 80% of our deliverables. For us, as ACCA students, what does this mean practically? It means that our exams are now our priority. Delegate what you can to family members and friends in order to lighten the burden on yourself, enabling you to focus on your studies.
  • Be present. When Warren Buffett and Bill Gates were asked about their number one strategy for achieving all that they have, their answer was the same: Focus, focus! Be present in the moment!
  • Disconnect. We live in an age of continuous distraction where it’s virtually impossible to remain focused on our revision without being tempted by Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, to avoid all temptation, switch off your phones, tablets and PCs and focus on the task at hand.

Here are some practical tips:

  • Schedule your revision time and stick to it – consider that ‘the things that get scheduled are the things that get done’.
  • Wake up an hour earlier. Get in that extra one hour of study while the world still sleeps.
  • If you can, cram in 30 minutes of reading time during your lunch break.
  • Focus on the task at hand.

Let us all pull together for the final push of the year, let’s cram in our study sessions, let’s sweat a little more over the next few days… it will all be worth it come exam time next week.

You are never alone – remember that we have our exceptional ACCA Learning Community that is both a wealth of knowledge and support.

Anyone wishing to get in touch with me is welcome to connect with me via LinkedIn – though please include in the personal message that you are an ACCA student.

Best of luck to you all!

Have self-belief!

theaccablog —  25 September 2015 — 1 Comment


by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

Self-belief even spans further into your life, into your professional and personal endeavours.

For things to change for you, you have to change. For things to get better for you, you have to get better. Do not wish for it to be easier… wish you were better! Don’t wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills – and that is precisely what I want to talk about in this blog.

Reconnect to that self-belief to increase your skills within our craft – that craft being that we all share ACCA.

Many people ask the great teachers of our time, what is success? And they sit and wait for a huge, complex answer. The great Jim Rohn said, ‘success is the steady progress in reaching your personal goals, designing your life like you want it and making that steady progress in getting there’.

We all have the core beliefs of what it takes to master our studies and to be successful in our ACCA exams. They are simple and clear. They are easy to follow, easy to do, but what’s easy to do is also easy not to do and that’s the habit we need to get out of.

Our personal circumstances do not get better by chance, they get better by change. Without a sense of urgency, desire loses value.

Another eternal question: what’s the secret to happiness? The answer I have heard many of the greats articulate is progress! Yesterday’s learning won’t keep me where I am today… I need to go and do today’s learning.

It isn’t about what that ACCA course costs… it’s what it will cost if you don’t invest in it. The books you don’t read won’t help.

If you think education is expensive – try ignorance!

Please stay tuned for when I will elaborate on the 10 foundations of success in my next blog.

For anyone wishing to get in touch with me, connect with me via LinkedIn but please mention in the personal message that you are an ACCA student.

Till next time!

by ACCA affiliate blogger Durre Adan

The aim of P7, Advanced Audit and Assurance, is to apply relevant knowledge, skills, and exercise professional judgment in analysing, evaluating, concluding and reporting on the assurance engagement and other audit and assurance issues in the context of best practice and current developments.

At this advanced level in the qualification, ACCA is aiming to test students’ skills on evaluating situations and applying proficient intellect to resolve problems or recommend ‘precise’ actions to these problems.

Allow me to suggest a systematic approach to P7 that worked for me.

Most of the marks for P7 are not just for knowledge. You also score marks for your aptitude on applied scenario-based questions. Initially, there are only around five or six types of applied audit questions. Therefore, phase one is to study the techniques for all the types of applied audit questions and grasp an understanding of theories like audit risk, internal controls, substantive testing, and so on.

Many students do well when they are tested on the techniques. However, many students also fail to practise these techniques during the actual exam, which ultimately leads to a fail.

So first, I would recommend recognising the key points to learn. Then keep practising exam questions (always make sure to use revision kits from ACCA’s Approved Learning Partners). Repeat this as much as you possibly can in the weeks leading up to the exam. Repetition can be irritating and time consuming, but it is effective.

On exam day, when writing your answers, keep re-reading the techniques and reiterate them inside your head and make sure you adhere to them when applying your answers to the question scenarios.

While preparing for P7, take time to practise writing a minimum of five bullet points for each accounting standard to help drive home in your mind the key topics. Understanding the more complex ISAs such as succeeding events and initial audit concepts is important. Core standards on areas like audit risk and response, evidence, and audit reports must not be overlooked either.

If that all seems straightforward enough, why isn’t the pass rate for P7 as high as it could be? It is discouraging, but you need to read, comprehend, grit your teeth and try to follow the above.

Rigorous exam practice can always save you from making any blunders in the exam – and I hope you find my detailed tips useful for your exam practice.

Good luck to those preparing for P7!