Interview with December 2010 P5 Genius Hunt winner Natalie Milsted

Can you tell us more about yourself ?

I currently live in Aberdeen having moved here from the south of England in 2005 and have been working in accountancy roles for the last ten years. I started a family at quite a young age and decided about four years ago that I would work towards ACCA now that our children were older and our family circumstances afforded me the time to study.

Just after the December 2010 exams I joined an oil company as their Financial Accountant, moving from a local practice where I had been working for around eighteen months.

How do you balance between studying, job and private life?

It wasn’t easy, I work full time and have two children, my husband was very supportive and I couldn’t have done it without him. I studied for ten weekends prior to each set of exams and missed quite a few events. My family helped round the house and my husband was great at keeping things ticking along, I made sure that the time between exams and results was family time and enjoyed it.

Do you get support from your firm?

I was given a day off for each exam but no other support when I worked in practice.

Which Study Texts and/or Revision Kits did you use, or find most useful in your studies?

I tried a college course for my first exam and then an online course for the next one. Ultimately I found home study suited me the best using BPP text books, practice and revision kits and the Open Tuition study notes.

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

I planned my study over the ten weekends, creating a timetable with deadlines which I stuck to.

I read the texts, made notes and then tried numerous questions from past papers and the questions in the revision kits. I think it gives you an idea of what the examiners are looking for, particularly for an exam like P5 where there isn’t necessarily one right answer.

I read the Open Tuition notes towards the end of my revision, often there were areas that hadn’t been covered in the study text and I believe I gained marks because of OT.

December 2010 was my final sitting and I took three exams scoring 70, 72 and 81% so I really feel that I had perfected a study technique that worked for me.

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

Two things really, taking more than one exam in each sitting and finding a study style that worked for me proved successful. So many of the people on the college course I took got disheartened and gave up as they studied for a year for one exam, it made the end seem a very long way off.

How did you find out about OpenTuition and how much do you think

OpenTuition resources helped towards your success

I think I stumbled across in on google, the notes were invaluable and I sure I earned marks on several of the exams as a direct result of using OT.

Thanks for your time and congratulations!

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