Interview with ACCA P1 Genius Hunt winner Rebekah from England

Can you tell us more about yourself ?

My name is Rebekah Debono, I am 25 years old and live in Buckinghamshire, England. I have worked full time for an accountancy practice since 2005. I started at the firm as an administrator and worked my way up to the accounts and audit team in 2006. I distance study in my own time, although I once attended a BPP weekend revision course, which was really useful for my previous F7 exam, as this required specific layouts.

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

I work fairly long hours as I am full time but I try to ensure that I spend a little time during the evening and at weekends reading my textbook and occasionally doing practice questions. However, I tend to do much more focused studying 2 or 3 weeks before the exam, as my work allow me to take a combination of study and annual leave to focus and revise during this period.

Do you get support from your firm?

Yes, I get a small annual allowance for my study materials which aren’t very expensive.
I am also allowed 10 days study leave per annum, plus the exam days.

Which Study materials did you find the most useful in your studies for this exam?

I have always used BPP materials for distance learning, comprising of a textbook, practice & revision kit and passcards.

You have scored such high marks (86 marks in Paper P1) many students must wonder what is your study technique?

I generally spend up to 2 months reading through the textbooks in full, so around an hour daily. Then during the 3 weeks prior to the exam I begin more focused and intense studying for around 7 hours a day. I always attempt every practice question in the BPP kits as a minimum. I then spend a couple of days cramming using the textbook and passcards just before the exam, in order to memorise information which I hope will gain me extra marks, such as written areas of the textbook rather than the numerical sections, which are more easily learnt through the practice questions.

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

I think that although my approach may be unconventional and a little last minute during the 2 or 3 weeks prior to the exam, I find that it helps me to fully focus and concentrate on the exams without other work or life distractions. I appreciate not everyone can spend this length of time at home to study before the exams but I think that being able to take even a small amount of time out to fully focus without distractions is important.
I never try to question spot or pre-empt what is going to be in an exam as I think that can be dangerous. I try to learn everything in the textbook and spend a little extra time concentrating on my weaker areas just before the exam day.
I also find that it is important to be disciplined and set out a study plan detailing what you plan to do and when, for me this means I can ensure I’m on schedule with my revision and then I don’t start to panic that I’m running out of time!!

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

I found out about opentuition by using Google to search for information on specific ACCA exams. I find the forums most useful and with distance learning, it’s always good to know that you’re not alone and other people are going through the same exam worries and stress!

Thank you and congratulations!



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