Interview with Kazi from Bangladesh, Genius Hunt winner in Paper P1 who scored 85 marks
Please tell us in which country you live, and what work you do.
I live in Bangladesh. I am doing a full time job at one of the leading global pharmaceutical companies. I am working as a business planning analyst focused towards budgeting, controlling & management reporting.
If you are working, then how do you balance your time between studying, working, and having a private life?
To me, the best option for a working student is to utilize the weekends. I used to study new chapters during my weekends and then revise them during the weekdays after work or while I was travelling between my home & office. That strategy worked really good for me. Having said that, I must mention that keeping your head down on books is not always acceptable as you also need to maintain a social life. My family played a very important role here by giving me the space to study considering the importance of this qualification for me. I am really grateful to them.
Do you get support from your firm?
I am thankful to my supervisor who fairly recognizes the amount of effort needed for this qualification. Together we align works between ourselves proactively to keep the workload as low as possible just before the exams. If possible, I take a few days leave prior to exam dates to have an uninterrupted last minute revision. For the financing part, I bear my tution.
Which study resources did you use?
I used Kaplan.
Having scored such high marks, many students are asking – what approach did you use to your studying?
I started with the text book first. While reading the text I concurrently referred to OpenTution for better understanding. After finishing a chapter/topic I reviewed few past questions from the respective subject area and solved one or two from the list. That made my foundation. I kept that practice throughout my whole preparation time frame. Moreover, I always went through the technical articles and the examiner’s review. Technical articles are very important to my understanding especially for professional level papers. Those articles are often written by the examiner himself/herself and are not meant to be missed. Finally, I sat for mock exams. Sitting for a mock makes you realize how you should manage time during the main exam. I have seen many students failing because of poor exam planning. It is very important to approach in a structured way. For example, if you find that you are better off starting with the 50 marks case study first, then do that. Stick to your plan during the main exam and don’t try to change your approach. By going through the mocks, find out what your most effective approach is and have faith on that.
How much time each week did you spend studying?
It varied from time to time. I personally believe that a good preparation is not time bound. It’s actually the quality of preparation that matters. However, chalking up a plan and sticking to it is a must. It might be 2-3 hours a day or 12 hours a weekend, depending on your need. But it is very important to study every week otherwise things get loose. Give reasonable amount of time to understand difficult areas of the syllabus and concentrate your practice on those. You’ll find some topics easier than others; finish up those early. It will save time and boost your confidence. Make a weekly calendar showing your plan of study i.e. what to cover in each week.
How important do you regard the practicing of past exam questions?
It is very very important. As I said earlier, practicing past papers would give you the pulse of the main exam. You would become more familiar in time management. Further to that, reviewing answers to past questions really helps you to understand what the examiner really wants to see in the answers. That covers writing style, answer approach, “key words” & even the length of the answer. While answering, put yourself in the examiner’s shoe and think what is actually being asked. Understanding the question is a key to success and that skill can only be developed by reviewing past papers.
How did you find out about OpenTuition?
I found OpenTuition just by surfing the internet during my early days in ACCA. later I received recommendations for the site from other ACCA students. I regularly used the lecture videos along with the course note. I found the lectures very effective – concise, clear & easy to capture.
What would you say was the most important factor in achieving your success?
Not specifically one factor, but a combination of – planning, regularity of study, practice & confidence.
Thank you, and congratulations