Archives For Study life balance

by ACCA affiliate blogger Rizwan Khanani

Looking for a job? Have some time to spare? Well, use it well! But how?

After wasting hundreds of precious hours, I have come to understand just how important time is and just how scarce a resource it really is.

Well, better late than never, I have realised some things every young finance professional should do whenever he/she can find the time.

  • Learn Microsoft Excel
    Make sure to gain a good understanding of MS Excel as it is your primary weapon in the field of finance and accountancy. Please don’t procrastinate like I did… I thought it was pretty simple and that I would grasp it once I secured a job or internship.Trust me, Excel is an amazing tool that will make your work life much more efficient. If you are not yet proficient, attend an Excel course, and supplement what you learn with some great tutorials that are available online.
  • Watch financial scandal documentaries
    During our academic lives, we come across names like ‘Enron’, ‘Bernie Madoff’ and ‘Lehman Brothers’. We only get to hear about the frauds that have been committed, but do we ever know the full story? If you can spare a few hours, try and watch documentaries like ‘Smartest guys in the room’ (Enron), ‘Too big to fail’ (Lehman), ‘The next financial crisis’ (US economy crisis), which all explain in great detail the events that led to these huge corporate failures.
  • Read
    This can be for any business graduate or even a science graduate who is willing to invest time in their personal growth and expand their views on things, events and people. Some books I would personally recommend for this purpose are:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
    Who Moved my Cheese?
    Freakonomics
    One Minute Manager
    Communicate to Win
  • Look for an internship or a part-time job
    Real life experience beats everything. There is no substitute for it. Even if the job is not relevant, if you are a new graduate, you have much to learn and the corporate world has much to teach you.
  • Pursue your interests
    It’s a dream come true if you have a job that you enjoy doing. But what about your free time? If you are an affiliate or have just completed your exams, why not take some classes for that hobby or interest that you have always wanted to pursue, but maybe have had to put off while studying? It can be anything – rock climbing, music, sketching, public speaking, painting, martial arts, literature, writing… whatever.
  • Learn a second language
    This may not be for everyone but, for most of us, learning a second language can be a huge advantage if you plan to work at a multi-national corporation or want to move overseas.

Have fun utilising your free time in the most efficient manner!

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worksmarter

by ACCA student blogger Tim Chippindall

Exams and studying cause people stress, there’s no getting away from the pressures, especially when this is amplified by juggling a full time job and social life as well. The onus for me is working smart. I’m approaching my study’s not just as a topic I need to learn, understand and apply but digging deeper and trying to understand and develop, how, why, when and with what I learn most effectively and efficiently. A number of sources suggest that one of the best resources for exam success is practice questions and that’s an excellent tip. It prepares you for the style of question you are going to be asked, and really helps to underpin your knowledge. I think however more thought is required before you dive right into practise questions about what kind of style of learning is best for you.

I learn best in quiet environments. I can’t just pick up my books and 10 seconds later be studying. I need a separate space and I also enjoy listening to music while I study. All these needs are important. Studying takes up a lot of your free time and it’s important to reward yourself by providing you with what you need to make the most of it. Personally I make maximum use of my local library, which is heavily populated by people studying professional qualifications!

The idea of this blog post is to make people aware that not everything about studying is in the book in front of you. Some aspects go far beyond, and understanding these eternal factors makes it much easier for students. I always make sure that I keep distractions to a minimum and it’s really important that I’m in the mood for studying. It’s very easy to finish work and convenience yourself that you’re not in the mood for study however. Having a routine helps and also having your comfortable environment is a great tactic to avoid procrastination.

Although people feel the benefit of reward after they have finished a study session take time to give you the best chance and reward yourself for making the time to study, by giving yourself the correct tools you need, whatever they may be!

Best

Tim

student_blog

by ACCA student blogger Pantellis Fouli

Hello everyone. This is my first ACCA student blog article of 2015. So I start with this. As the time nears for our ACCA exam results to be announced we need a clear vision of what we will do in each scenario. Of course by now I would hope you are with assumption that you WILL pass thus you’re already on your second week of study with your new ACCA paper.

ACCA, as life is in general it’s all about making a decision, a plan and sticking to it. There is no stand still, we DON’T wait to see what IF. We are fortunate to be on the way to an exceptional professional qualification thus if we encounter some stumbling blocks on the way, we deal with them.

This time of the year everyone has their new year resolutions written out and they are giving it their best shot, I would say differentiate from the rest, be willing to do what only 5% of the people are willing to do to get the results only 5% of the population has, make that ONE new year’s resolution that has ties with ACCA and stick to it

This may be if you ALWAYS leave studying last minute, don’t, draw up a plan and STICK TO IT, and honour promises to yourself. We would not lie to our loved ones would we, why would we lie to our self-time and time again by breaking these promises!

Soft skills are so very important, not only for ACCA, but for your career path in general. You should make it a point to leave everyone better than what you found them, this means add value to everyone’s life that comes across your path, and this will enrich the lives of others and yours too. These soft skills can be learnt through books, courses or mentors and it’s a highly valuable investment.

Till next time….

Prepare for results day

by ACCA student blogger Shahroze Naeem

I’m confident many of us are eagerly waiting for 8 February so we can find out how well we did. Meticulous exam preparation will pay off for some, while others would have to try their luck the next time around.

I did not sit any examinations this session, so I don’t have to worry about anything :)

As for those waiting for the result day, here’s what you should be doing right about now:

1. Expect the best, prepare for the worst

This is easier said than done. No one will actually consider the worst case scenario. My question is, why? Why can’t we consider that we have a 50% chance of failing as well? Being optimistic about something is a different thing – considering the realities of a situation is something else.

No matter how hard we try, the rate of passing is always going to be 50%. Therefore, let’s prepare ourselves if things don’t go according to plan. Make a backup study schedule for yourself and keep your notes with you until the result day. Ensure that you make a thorough plan to appear for the next examination session so you can succeed the next time.

2. Work on preparation loopholes

Preparing for exams, there are always some areas that we fail to cover effectively no matter what. You should keep a keen eye on those areas because they need the most amount of practice if you have to reappear.

Have everything ready before the result day takes you over with a surprise and you then find out you have to begin with scratch. These loopholes can be eliminated if someone is reappearing and you will therefore stand a brighter chance of not only passing, but passing with an impressive score.

3. Doctor says, take your daily dose of positivity 

Reading at least 5 motivational quotes or 2 pages off an inspiring book daily will help you change your point of view regarding failure. With a positive approach at reality, you will be so much better off. Failing with a score of 49 is not a bad thing – you just have to work hard enough to deserve that 1 extra mark.

Do let me know in the comments section how your waiting time is coming along and if you have any of the above in your check-list. All the best for the result day!

Why I decided to delay taking my final two ACCA exams

by ACCA student blogger Adhitya Fadriansyah

Hello everyone, how did the recent December exams go? Hope they went well for all of you. As for myself, it was the first time since I started my ACCA journey in 2011 that I decided not to take my remaining two papers in December. It was a tough decision to make, but the right one for me at this time. In this article I would like to share my experience on how I came to decide to delay taking my final exams.

Typically I have always registered during the early entry phase; (registering early will not only cost less, but will also help you in your study plan). However, after receiving and analyzing my June 2014 exam results, I took a more prudent approach to the December exam session and planning it in more detail. When combining my work schedule and my study schedule, I foresaw a big clash: I was offered a once in a lifetime opportunity for an overseas training in the US for seven weeks that I did not want to miss. Since the training was held from the end of September until mid November, I decided to wait until the late exam entry deadline before I made my decision.

The seven weeks overseas training program proved to be very useful and interesting. It consisted of very good material about the industry, combined with a company overview and soft skills. The training itself required n assessment test as well as group presentation and individual presentation. My experience of studying ACCA, particularly in Financial Management and Performance Management helped me a lot during the training program. So at the deadline day of the late exam entry, I decided not to take the exam in December since I had fully concentrated my time on the training program.

Delaying to take an exam can be a sensible option for you depending on your circumstances. After all, careful approach and good planning is one of the key success factors in pursuing ACCA.

See you soon in the next exam in June – I hope I can pass two of my remaining ACCA papers then!

Blog Editors comment: That’s the advantage of doing the ACCA Qualification – the flexibility. You can work and study for our accountancy qualifications around full-time or part-time work; progressing at your own pace.