Interview with Jenny, ACCA Global Prize winner, who scored 90% in the Paper F9 June 2015 exam.
Please tell us in which country you live, and what work do you do.
I live in Wales and am currently employed as the Hospital Accountant for a Not For Profit Private Hospital although I have only been in this role for a month having left my previous employment to look after my mother when she was ill. I’m really enjoying the new role so, between that and the exam results, things are looking up.
You have achieved great marks across the board this sitting (F4 – 85%, F5 – 93%, F9 – 90%) It is very impressive! How much time each week did you spend studying, on average?
As I was between jobs in the run up to the exams I was able to spend more time studying than I usually would so I treated it like a job and spent around 6 hours a day during the week at my desk – although I probably did get distracted more than I would in a work environment – it’s amazing how enticing housework can seem when you’re hitting a brick wall on something! Normally though I would spend around 2 hours per night Monday to Friday and then 6-8 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. It was a luxury to be able to put the extra hours in for this session and meant I didn’t become quite such a hermit.
Which study resources did you use?
I used the Kaplan study text and exam kit and also the BPP exam kit as I wanted to make sure I had as much practice as possible on exam style questions as possible. I also used the past papers and articles from the ACCA website and the Open Tuition Section A practice questions.
Did you get support from your firm?
Not applicable for these exams but in past sessions I have been able to book the exam days and day before as holidays so am hoping to be able to do the same in December.
What was your approach to your studying? Did it vary from exam to exam?
My approach was probably identical for F5 and F9 but maybe a little different for F4 since it has no computational element so was more about memorising and muttering to myself. I went through each text book a few chapters at a time, rotating between each text so it would be a few days before going back to each one. I would then make my notes. Anything that I couldn’t easily remember or struggled with I would then watch the relevant OT lecture.
I didn’t look at any exam style questions until I had completely covered the entire syllabus for each and then approached revision in the same way. I also did at least 4 timed mock exams for each subject as I was worried about my time management – although I still struggled with that in the exams unfortunately.
I did try to force myself to spend more time on weaker areas as the temptation is to keep doing practice questions on areas you feel comfortable with and I think this helped.
What would you say was the most important factor that helped you to achieve such a high mark?
I know it’s been said before but it really is about practice and time invested. I approach each exam wanting to score as high a mark as I can so I’m pretty hard on myself during the revision stage. If I lose marks for something on a practice question I focus on where I went wrong to try to ensure it won’t happen in the exam.
How did you find out about OpenTuition, and which of our resources did you use?
It was recommended on another website so I thought I’d check it out and am very glad I did. It can be a bit lonely when you self study so it’s great to connect with other students and the tutors are great when you get stuck on something. I have to say a big thank you to John and Mike for patiently answering my sometimes inane questions with style, humour and really good explanations! I also used the lectures which are really helpful and very good for putting things into context – and for sometimes being a lot clearer than the study texts (no offence intended Kaplan!).
Thank you for your time and again, congratulations