Interview with ACCA F5 Genius Hunt winner Agnieszka from Poland

Can you tell us more about yourself?

My name is Agnieszka, I come originally from Poland, but I have been living and working for the past 3 years in Denmark. I work for one of the UN organizations, UNOPS, in Finance Department, General Ledger team. I have started my journey with ACCA in 2011 and have just finished fundamental level.

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

Balancing work, study and private life is quite a difficult trade-off. Most of the time, private life is the part I have to compromise. In June 2012 session I have been sitting for 3 papers (F5, F6 and F9) and this was the most demanding session for me so far. Two months before exams I was not going out or meeting friends outside work, focusing only on work and studies.

Do you get any support from your firm?

My employer pays for study materials and exam fees. I also get time off on the day of exam and 1 day before. I have a privilege of working with qualified accountants in my department. My supervisor is one of them, and as a mentor he supports me with advice and in achieving ACCA Performance Objectives. With all that support and hard work on my side, I expect to become certified accountant next year.

Which Study Texts and/or Revision Kits and other resources did you use?

I base my studies on BPP materials, which my employer provides, and complement the knowledge with online lectures. I also try to read other available books, as I believe that learning the same material from 2 or more different sources helps to understand better and not to miss important parts. I always use pass cards and/or slides before the exam – as a quick reminder of all important information covered in the book.
For this particular exam, BPP Study text was the most useful (being also the longest and most complex from all the books I used). BPP was a very good base, but some more difficult parts (such as variance analysis for example) were explained in more ‘digestible’ manner in lectures I used.

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

My study technique is nothing more than time spend on studying and staying focused. It is important, of course, to attend questions and revise the material before exam, but the success in exams is proportional to the time spent on studying and personal efficiency. I find myself having troubles with effective studying after longer breaks, but as long as I study regularly and stick to my study plan, it is much easier to focus and remember new information.
For June 2012 session, following study techniques of one of ACCA medallists, I started to keep track of all the mistakes I have made when practising questions, and revising them before the exam. That has certainly helped me to score well on all 3 exams I have taken.

How much time did you spend in studies daily? What would you say is the best approach to revision?

If I study regularly, I spend around 3h every day with books, usually late evening. For every session I try to take at least 2-3 days leave from office to study continuously for 4 or 5 days, including weekend before the session. The most important and beneficial for me is the day before the exam. Many people believe that you should rest and prepare mentally for the test, but for me this is the time when I can revise and keep in mind all the details – just reading the notes and looking through books once again.

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

Consistency. Studying almost every day and keeping in mind why I am doing it and what I want to achieve has kept me focused.

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

My friend studying towards ACCA recommended Open Tuition, and I found it very useful for understanding issued that are complex. I use your online lectures for each exam and I am recommending them to my colleagues studying ACCA as well.

Thank you for your time and congratulations!

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