Archives For Exam failure

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!

by ACCA student blogger Kevin Bradfield

How does one get the drive to continue studying after having failed the same exams consecutively?

One needs to reconsider the strategy being employed. From my personal experience, I have studied the text and syllabus for an exam only to end up failing.

I decided on the resit to scan through the study text and the syllabus and felt I was more than ready for the exam, especially as it was a resit.

However, I failed again. What was I doing wrong?

A suggestion a passed finalist gave to me was to discard all the prior knowledge I had on the subject and to start over, as if I was taking the exam for the first time. She implied that I was going into the exam with ‘preconditions’.

I think this piece of advice is a good one, but after having extensive knowledge of a subject, it’s difficult to do.

I will, however, try this advice, and see how it turns out. I would encourage anyone who is in the same position to try and do the same too.


by ACCA affiliate blogger Farisa Najam

My feelings a week before the exam results are not only full of fears, but also full of anxiety. We all work very hard for six months to pass. Passing or failing these exams makes us feel positive or negative about ourselves. It affects our confidence and makes us worry about how others might react to our results.

ACCA students taking exams have to go through this phase twice a year (soon four times a year thanks to the new exam sessions!). No, I will not tell you to relax and not to worry because I have been in the same boat and you definitely cannot control your natural emotions. Hopes should always be high.

I always had a really panicky feeling before checking my exam results. Well, that’s pretty natural. I always used to think why did ACCA release results so early before I could get to pray properly! It was always difficult to make a decision whether I should go ahead and enter for my next exams or wait until the results.

While waiting for results and taking classes, I always had nightmares about my upcoming results… Would I pass all papers?

A week before the results, I also had nightmares that I marginally failed by scoring 49% or that, at times, I had just passed with 50%. Trust me, the fear of flunking at 49% used to stay with me until that moment on results day when I checked my emails, scrolling down with my eyes closed and heart beating heavily.

The moment of relaxation after seeing myself PASS is unexplainable. Every ACCA student must have gone through this and new ACCA students will definitely experience it. My only advice is to surround yourself with family or friends, go out for the day, do what you love to do, and don’t spend your time worrying about something you cannot predict.

Remember, even if you fail, never give up because FAIL means First Attempt In Learning.

Good luck!

Don’t forget to share your experiences with us. How do you tackle the anxiety or fear of exam results?


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