Interview with Coral – ACCA P2 Genius Hunt Winner December 2013 Exams

Congratulations! You have scored 84 marks in Paper P2! Can you tell us more about yourself?

I am Coral Jones and I live in England. I work full time at an accountancy firm in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk & I study at an accountancy college in Cambridge.

Many students are working just like you, how do you balance between studying, job and private life?

I work full time, and study at college on a day release basis. I also continue my studying at home in the evenings and at weekends. I make sure I plan the studying I am going to do and when, to ensure I get a good balance between the two papers I am sitting, but also between my personal life as well. I do my best to take time to relax and enjoy my hobbies as well as focus on studying. I think its important to spend time enjoying yourself as well as studying for exams.

Do you get support from your firm?

I am very fortunate in that my firm pays for my tuition fees, and my exam entry fees. I attend college over a three-month period prior to the exam, on day release from work, and I also get one days study leave as well as the exam day off from work. I realise this is more than others get, so I am very grateful for the support I have.

Which Study resources did you use, or found the most useful in your studies for this exam?

I have used both BPP & Kaplan learning materials whilst studying. Although I think both of these are very good, I have found the notes that my college provide the most useful, since they explain technical areas in a simple and straightforward way. I also have access to online tutorials through my college, which include interactive webinars with college tutors. Often, if I don’t understand an area, I will try to use several different study resources, as each can give a different approach/perspective on the subject area.

You have scored such high marks, many students must wonder what is your study technique?

I try not to get overwhelmed by the amount of learning I have to do, and take things one subject area at a time. I also note down areas where I struggle, or make mistakes, particularly when doing past exam questions. I can then go back and re-visit these areas to strengthen my knowledge. I never try and question spot either, because I don’t believe it works.

How did you manage your time and plan your studies? / How much time did you spend in studies daily?

If I have covered an area before in a previous paper, I tend to spend less time re-visiting that subject, but rather focus my time and effort on new topics that I haven’t yet studied. I try to spend between 1-2 hours on a weeknight, and 3-4 hours at the weekend studying. Sometimes though, if I feel like doing more, I will, but if not, I don’t push myself, because I find it very hard to take in any information if I’m distracted by other things.

How did you cope with the syllabus when you felt it was boring to study a certain chapter?

I think it’s impossible to be interested in every single topic that the ACCA exams cover! For the areas that I didn’t find as interesting, I tried to mix them in with areas I did enjoy studying. I’d start with the less interesting area, then move on to the better area, almost so I had something to look forward to!

What is the best strategy do you think student should adopt for revision?

Plan your studying, and don’t leave it to the last minute. Set sensible goals, that are achievable, for example, set yourself a number of questions to do by a certain date. By doing the questions within the time frame, you’re getting good practice in, but it will also boost your confidence about your progress and achievements.

Do you believe that past exam practice is the best way to past ACCA exams.

I think that doing past exam questions is essential. It’s the best way to practice what you have learnt before the exam. It also helps you get used to the examiners style of questions and the wording that they use. This helps you to know what to expect come exam day. I don’t think I would have passed my exams with doing past exam questions before the exam itself.

What do you think was the most important factor in your success in your ACCA exams?

I think my dedication to studying and revising was the most important aspect in me being successful in the exam. I work really hard up to and including the exam, and it definitely feels worthwhile when I pass with a good score.

How did you find out about OpenTuition and which  OpenTuition resources helped you towards your success.

I found OpenTuition whilst I was looking on the internet for some help with my studies. I think its great to be able to read forums where others chat about areas they’re good at, and areas they struggle with. It helps to know you’re not alone if you find it tough, and you can take confidence from it that you’re working in the right direction towards the final exam.


  1. Profile photo of sukshma239 says

    Hi Coral,

    First of all Congratulations! for scoring such a high marks in P2.

    As I read your interview, I found that you are really busy … still I thought that there is no harm in asking …. is it good if I treat you as a last resort for asking about any areas in P2 in which I am not clear ?

    Congratulations! once again.

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