Exam failure? It’s certainly not the end!

theaccablog —  17 February 2015 — 3 Comments


by ACCA student blogger Shahroze Naeem

If you didn’t pass your exams, then it’s understandable that the recent failure you suffered has affected your morale. Some of us might even be thinking about a possible Plan B. But failure is not about giving up.

The essence of failure is in defining victory. After all, if we did not fail from time to time, victory won’t seem so sublime, would it? If you have recently suffered from exam failure, here’s how to get your game face back on:

1. It’s just another day at the field
Even if you have failed a couple of examinations, it’s just another day at the field. Don’t make it worse on yourself by thinking about it too much. Focus on how you will make it better. It’s now that you plan the next examination session and stick to it from Day 1.

You don’t have 6 months to prepare – it’s 4 months for preparation and 2 for revision, if you intend to plan it right. If you’re studying ACCA’s professional subjects, those 4 months will actually define how well the remaining 2 will go.

2. Set your goal
The first thing on your plan should be your goal. Your goal is not to score a 50. It should be to score as much as possible. Students that wish to just cross the boundary are the ones that flunk the most. Ensure that you cross the 50-score mark by miles the next time.

3. Be confident. You don’t need a Plan B
Quitting is never an option. If you have failed, it’s time to get back up and prove you have what it takes to succeed. I have seen many students switch their professional subjects and suffer defeat time and time again. Don’t baffle around – instead, define what you want to become and pursue the relevant subject.

Re-sitting is not a bad thing. Wandering around and constantly changing your professional subjects is. Be confident and say goodbye to any Plan B.

Good luck for the next exam. More power to you all in 2015.


3 responses to Exam failure? It’s certainly not the end!


    This article is so true. I failed my P7 last June sitting. I then felt so bad that I decided to throw myself into work and not to take the paper in December 2014. I even planned to switch to another P paper. But this year I had an epiphany and I decided to stick to P7 and will be taking it this coming June. Failing the first time around has been a blessing in disguise. I am so much aware of how important it is to properly plan my revision and to have a consistent approach. Thanks for writing this article. it is certainly a good read and a boost for students like me who have failed exams before. Keep coming up with good articles like this.


    Not reaching the evasive 50% can really impact your confidence in a negative way. However (having fallen short of it in the past myself) the initial disappointment will wane and your objective now is to make sure the paper doesn’t beat you twice.

    I’d recommend the following:

    Dont change your electives – you picked elective subjects based on personal preferences or career requirements. If you change now, you will now be tackling a ‘second choice subject’. Also, your initial efforts will have gone to waste on a paper you will no longer be pursuing.

    Try to identify, in an objective manner, where you went wrong. In the heat of battle in an exam, it can be difficult to recall how you answered questions but it can be a worthwhile exercise. Certain papers (such as auditing) require the use of specific terminology…if you don’t use this in an exam, you are making it difficult for the examiner to allocate full marks.

    Use your previous exam as a learning experience. – you spend relatively little time actually doing an exam in comparison to the amount of time spent studying for it. Even though your attempt was unsuccessful, you have gained some ‘match practice’ and it’s a positive aspect to failing an exam.

    Discuss with a lecturer – failing an ACCA exam is commonplace from the point of view of the lecturers. Generally, they will be willing to help you get over the line at the second time of asking.

    Start revising and practising questions as early as possible. – remember, you don’t have to learn off the syllabus again. It may have been the case that failure was due to inappropriate amounts of time allocated to various questions.

    Remember: you have approximately 1.5 to 1.8 minutes (at the extreme maximum) for each available mark in an exam. Time management in ACCA exams is of paramount importance… Much more than at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

    You must be disciplined here. The papers are set in a manner that requires the full 180 minutes and you need to use all of them.

    Practicing means answering the questions within the time frames you would be required to meet in the exam. This aspect of revision is critical.

    Best of luck at the second attempt!


    though am just about to enter the university….pursuing acca will be my pleasure.Exam failure is certainly not the end,but rather to prepare us for the challenges ahead of us that is our career.

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