Archives For ACCA studies

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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!

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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.

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!

ACCA support

theaccablog —  21 April 2015 — Leave a comment

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by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

‘In September 2015 ACCA will be offering an additional exam session in some of our larger markets, which will be followed in 2016 by the introduction of four exam sessions a year across all of our markets, allowing you to take your exams in March, June, September and December.’

Whenever such news is announced we always tend to think about how it will affect us and then, after it has been digested, we consider how it can benefit the wider group.

Personally this decision is huge for me. My 10-year limit expires in June 2017 and, while I only have two papers left and I should by all means be qualified by then, ACCA has just thrown me and thousands of other students a lifeline.

ACCA is doing all in its power to get behind students and, in doing so, sends them a tangible message. That message is: ‘While we acknowledge the level of difficulty of these exams, we are behind you in every aspect.’ This is the message I am getting anyway.

ACCA has done this with the introduction of bloggers, live Q&As on Facebook, and the ACCA Learning Community (which hosts regular learning event Q&As with experts), and I am sure that this is only the beginning of ACCA’s way to separate itself from the rest.

This is ACCA’s way of adding that extra value to us as students, and to give us the necessary tools to succeed.

The next exam session is about six weeks away, and it is all about revision now, so here are a few pointers of what not to do while studying:

  • Having your mobile phone on
  • Cramming in too much data
  • Getting overwhelmed
  • Looking at the answer before even attempting to answer the question
  • Procrastinating
  • Reconstructing notes
  • Having a heavy meal beforehand
  • Pulling all-nighters
  • Not believing in yourself