Can you tell us more about yourself ?
I am 27 years old, I live in Crawley, in the South East of England, I work full time in a Medical Imaging Systems company as a Financial Accountant. I study ACCA in my spare time.
How do you balance between studying, job and private life?
I think that it is very important to achieve the right balance between studies, work and private life. If one area suffers, it will lead to poor performance, dissatisfaction and ultimately a lack of enthusiasm and motivation for the other areas of your life. For me, I achieve this by always ensuring I have a couple of days free from studying per week, and making sure I leave work by 6pm every day. If there is more work that needs to be done, I prefer to start earlier or work through my lunch hour. I think it is also helpful to schedule important things such as studying, exercise and family time into a diary, just as you would any other important task or appointment.
Do you get support from your firm?
Yes, the company I work for pays for my tuition and exams and allows time off to attend exams.
Which Study resources did you use?
I used BPP’s distance learning pack, which consists of study text, practice and revision kit and two “course exams” which you are required to send off for marking and feedback. I found this aspect really helpful in monitoring how I was progressing.
You have scored such high marks (94 in paper F4), many students must wonder what is your study technique?
I was particularly worried about F4 as I am very much a “numbers” person, words don’t come quite so naturally to me! So throughout the learning and even the revision phase, I felt like I was very aware of the fact I needed to put in extra effort to make up for this. I think it is because of this extra effort in ensuring that I was confident in all areas of the syllabus that I was able to achieve a high mark. I was genuinely shocked when I saw my exam result, it just shows that you do not need to have to be a law student, just to have a basic knowledge covering the whole syllabus, in order to pass the F4 exam.
How did you manage your time and planned your studies?
I studied F4 and F5 at the same time. Unfortunately, I only had 10 weeks from obtaining the study kits to the date of the exam, so I had a lot to do in a short time. I spent the first 6 weeks learning the syllabuses, an average of around 15 hours a week (split over 5 days per week), I then spent the final month purely revising areas I wasn’t comfortable with and doing what felt like hundreds of past exam questions! This was around 20 hours a week in total between F4 and F5. The week before the exams, I took two days off work to study solidly and to do some full mock exams under exam conditions.
How did you cope with the syllabus when you felt it was boring to study a certain chapter?
When a particular chapter is boring or tedious, it is very easy to get distracted or to give up altogether. However, I found that by limiting my study sessions to a couple of hours at a time, I could just tell myself that I just had to give it 100% for another hour or so and then it’d be done and finished and I could move onto something else.
What is the best strategy do you think student should adopt for revision?
Revision is all about exam question practice. Yes it is hard, and frustrating at first, but there is no better way to learn and improve than to have to think for yourself, make mistakes, and then learn from them so that you don’t make the same mistakes when it comes to the real exam!
Do you believe that past exam practice is the best way to past ACCA exams.
Yes. Without a doubt.
What do you think was the most important factor in your success in your ACCA exams?
Hard work and commitment. You’ll only get out as much as you’re willing to put in.
How did you find out about OpenTuition?
I actually didn’t discover OpenTuition until after the December 13 exams, but I am now studying F6 and F9 and I have been listening to the lectures while getting ready for work in the mornings or while cooking dinner. I find it is supporting the BPP texts quite nicely, and I’m taking it all in much more easily by having two different types of learning.