Can you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Gabriele and I am from Lithuania. I have just turned 26, and I love traveling and horseback riding. I work in audit, and I have joined Ernst & Young team just before the December sessions (I used to work for a smaller firm before that).
How do you balance between studying, job and private life?
Balancing job and private life is already hard in my field, and when you add in studying it gets even worse. The only things I can think of to make it easier are aiming for one or two exams at a time – I can only imagine how hard it would be to take 4, I have never tried it – and starting preparation way in advance. In that way you can spread the time you need to study more evenly, hopefully allowing you to stay sane J
Do you get support from your firm?
It’s a tricky question – for each exam I have taken so far the situation was slightly different. For one of them I only got the exam fee paid, for the other I also got the revision kit, and for one I got to go to a part of training. Also, I never had to take holidays on the exam day – I always got them off.
Which Study Texts and/or Revision Kits did you find the most useful in your studies?
I used the Emile Woolf study texts, which are available online for free, and Kaplan revision kits. I also found the OpenTuition study texts very useful for revision and reassurance that I have really covered all the topics in the program. I also think it is useful to download and try solving the previous exam papers from the ACCA website.
You have scored such high marks, many students must wonder what is your study technique?
For my F8 exam I have started studying about 2 months in advance. I was taking it with F5, so my studying time had to be shared between them. As I work full time, I tried to study about 1.5-2 hours on workdays, and 6-8 hours on weekends.
Additionally, I have attended a revision course by Mike Little, who is also a tutor on OpenTuition. He was a great help with any questions I could not cope with on my own.
As for my technique – well, I first read the whole text slowly, trying to understand everything and making notes of the things I might need to revise later. I then read the OpenTuition notes, and attended the revision course with Mike. Then I did all the exercises in the revision book – for F8 it does not take that much time, as there are no calculations and most of the time I would just look at the question, draft a crude plan for an answer, and then check it in the back of the book. And the day before the exam and in the morning of the exam I reviewed my notes I had made during studying.
What do you think was the most important factor in your success in your ACCA exams?
I think it`s the fact that instead of remembering things I always try to understand them – if something does not make much sense the first time, I read it over and over again, and think about it, until I understand the logic behind it.
Also, I think solving all of the practise questions in the revision kit was a great help.
How did you find out about OpenTuition?
Mike Little, the only ACCA tutor in Lithuania told me about this website, and I found the OpenTuition notes very useful for revision.