Archives For ACCA exam preparation

Have self-belief!

theaccablog —  25 September 2015 — 1 Comment

Selfbelief

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!

Advertisements

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!

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.

diary
by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

‘There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to achieve it.’ Napoleon Hill

It is a well-known fact that only 3% of adults have clear, written goals. We come together every so often because we have a common goal, and that goal is to qualify as an ACCA, so let’s practically see how we will approach our common goal.

  • Step 1: Decide exactly what you want.
  • Step 2: Write it down.
  • Step 3: Set a deadline on your goal. Set sub-deadlines if necessary.
  • Step 4: Make a list of everything that you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal.
  • Step 5: Organise the list into a plan.
  • Step 6: Take action on your plan immediately.
  • Step 7: Resolve to do something every single day that moves you toward your major goal.

Let’s use myself as a practical example:

  • Step 1: Qualify as an ACCA, successfully pass my remaining two papers P2 and P6, and commence college on 6 July for my P2 studies.
  • Step 2: Done.
  • Step 3: Deadline, sit and pass P2 in December 2015. Sit and pass P6 in June 2016.
  • Step 4: Sign up for college (evenings); study first thing on Saturday and Sunday mornings; attend all lectures; attend all progress tests; attend all mocks; work through at least six past papers; and solve the revision kit twice.
  • Steps 5 and 6 are self-explanatory.
  • Step 7: Wake up each morning an hour earlier to make sure I can read at least 10 pages of a good book; workout first thing to get the endorphins released (happy hormones!); and review my weekly and monthly goals.

Don’t forget to connect to ACCA’s Learning Community

I intend to keep in touch more regularly. An ACCA student recently left me some great feedback on my LinkedIn profile regarding my blogs. What she and most of you may not realise is the strength and motivation this gives me to carry on with this exceptional professional qualification – so thank you!

Feel free to connect with me for any further questions you may have. Until next time!

Don’t give up!

theaccablog —  14 May 2015 — 1 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!