- This topic has 61 replies, 31 voices, and was last updated 2 weeks ago by sindy.
- July 20, 2017 at 7:58 pm #397843victornewman
I just wanted to share my ACCA experience. I took 11 exams from September 2016 to June 2017. I have been unemployed for two years in London, I decided to convert myself to accounting. I studied full time, alongside short term jobs to pay for the rent (estate agent on Saturdays, French teacher one to one etc.).
In September I took F4, F5, F6, F9. F4 was tricky despite its high pass rate and I scored less than I anticipated, as a French the English law system is a bit obscure. I spent more time than expected to prepare it, don’t get fooled by its high pass rates. I enjoyed F5 and found it easy, the easiest of all exams indeed. I spent most of my time studying F6 and scored 86%, I really spent hours on it. With P2 and P5 it is the one I spent the most time to study. I neglected F9 and I got surprised by very theoretical questions, I managed to pass with a poor score for a CFA charterholder.
In December I took F7, F8 and P4. I enjoyed F7 and scored in the mid eighties. F8 was a nightmare, I have never done any audit but managed to pass in the high fifties. I was not sure what the examiner wanted, describing processes (e.g. paying cash in a shop) sounds awkward to me. Regarding P4 I panicked on a swap of currencies, 25% of the exam and believed I completely failed it, aiming for 35-40% in addition my priority was to complete the Fundamental serie. I got surprised to get 60%, my highest score in Professional exams. It is the only exam I really panicked, sweated, starring at the clock! Overall I scored 73% in Fundamental exams with three exams above 80%. Then things became much more difficult.
In March I took P1-P2-P3. I was disappointed by my scores in P1 and P3 in the high fifities as the exam contained no surprise and I enjoyed the questions (yeap, I am a bit geeky). Regarding P2, when I sat at the exam I understood I registered for the UK version! I knew nothing about F101 rules etc. It was a bad surprise but I manage to pass. Lastly in June I took P5. I spent many hours of study on it, as it was the last exam. I did not want to fail it. I also wanted to have first pass for all my exams. The day of the exam, I sat at my table and I pinched a nerve. I ran to the exit to get fresh air but I fainted! A fuse of the body when the pain becomes too intense. The paramedic wanted me to go to the hospital, I managed to crawl back to my seat with 2h30 left only out of 3h15. My back was extremely painful and blocked and I could not get aspirin from the paramedic. I could not concentrate on the questions and entered automatic mode, just reading the questions and hardly reading the two pages of case studies. The exam was very unusual, I was lucky as F5 and P3 were still fresh. I managed to pass! This exam is doomed, I don’t recommend P5, I felt the book (Kaplan) was easy and did not learn much. However the marking seems to be harsh and I would take P6 instead if I had failed it.
Big drop in scores from F (73% average) to P (57%)
Take two exams at a time maximum if you work
If you panic, breath and think survival and aim for easy points, one here, two there, it adds up! Don’t stress too much, if you fail, you can take it again next quarter.
If you think it is a fail during the exam, aim for the highest score as it will be a benchmark later when you take it again and will motivate you.
Read questions first, and twice. Understand what is asked. Focus on the question.
Don’t try to be original, focus on past exams.
Thank you opentuition, when I get a job I will make a donation,thanks a lot to tutors, Thanks for other students for their opinions and experiences.
Don’t waste money on classes, buy Kaplan books, redo past exams of the last three years.
Thanks invigilators at ExCel for their help in June! My back is fine now. I am using my free time for sport now (and to improve my German, due to Brexit and relocation).
I rushed through the exams, being under-employed. Go at your own speed. Don’t get sick of it!
Bonne chance!July 21, 2017 at 5:44 am #397865sunny20
I am really impressed by your ACCA journey. You passed 11 papers within 1 year. It’s incredible! You are very intelligent. Can you tell me what is your study method, How did you prepare exam if you don’t mind.July 21, 2017 at 12:32 pm #397928victornewman
I don’t have any secret sauce. I used Kaplan books and did all past exams of the past three years available on the ACCA website. My scores in the P exams are average (53%-60%). I had a strict discipline regarding time during the exam and I have always completed 100% of the exams, always keeping 15 minutes at the end to come back on some questions. I also paired and scheduled the exams nicely (numerical with wordy ones). Having gone through the classes preparatoires in France and the CFA, I am used to this kind of exams and time pressure. I initially aimed to do it in six months! (three sessions) however P1 and P5 occur the same day and I would probably have failed P5. Some people may prefer classes, however I get bored and daydream usually. Opentuition forum is excellent to motivate each other and tutors answer all your question in a timely manner, even one week before the exam!July 21, 2017 at 2:28 pm #397945melonny05
it tools me years to pass f1-f9. I must say, congratulations to you my friend. wow! you are absolutely amazing and intelligent as well. I wish this could happen to me as well. in fact I read almost every time but yet I repeat exams. I have the time but I can’t figure out why I fail or don’t score high sometimes. 11 exams in a year, you must be doing something different maybe the way you study, level of understanding the books.July 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm #397946melonny05
i plan to write p1 and 3 in December. Suggestions might be needed on how you do what you do. if your advise can make me pass 5 exams in 9 months, you are my god!
you can email me firstname.lastname@example.orgJuly 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm #397962sunny20
Thank you so much for sharing your study method. I don’t think many people would complete ACCA like you within very short period. You are brilliant!
Wish you have a very bright future.July 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm #398084victornewman
Thanks 🙂 the harder is now to get a jobJuly 22, 2017 at 4:52 pm #3981106shahir
i have p3 p2 p5 left, i failed p3 twice and scored 48m in the recent exam, and im working in an audit firm as well, im gonna do p3 p2 this September ,can u give me some tips pls thank you 🙂July 22, 2017 at 6:14 pm #398129abdullah
but what were your qualifications before you started acca ?July 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm #398151brendacal
you story really inspire me congrats i hope to finished one day now doing f2………..July 22, 2017 at 11:48 pm #398160td4mee
I’m a bit surprised, figured f9 and p4 would have been a walk in the park since you are a CFA holder.July 23, 2017 at 5:32 am #398173sunny20
Don’t worry, it takes sometime. I’m sure you will.
Best wishesJuly 23, 2017 at 11:31 am #398218victornewman
I finished the CFA eight years ago and was overconfident, neglecting F9. Regarding P4, I panicked on a swap of currencies. I have always had a problem with FX. However I found P4 the most interesting exam.July 23, 2017 at 5:11 pm #398248paula28
Your story is amazing. 11 exams in such sort period of time! wow I admire you! I have 8 left and finding hard to keep motivated even though I have a lot of time to study now. Any luck with finding a job?
PaulaJuly 24, 2017 at 1:40 pm #398402iloveaccountancy
thank you so much for sharing your experience. glad to hear that you are ok.
how did you organise your studies? For example, when studying for five exams at once! Did you study a different Kaplan text each day? Or did you intensively learn one then go onto the next? did you divide each Kaplan book into equal segments then work out how days you could complete each one? Did you just read through or take notes? How did you revise?
I’m used to studying for just one exam at a time, and really bad about apportioning time so that i complete it in the time frame i intended!
Any advice would be appreciated.July 24, 2017 at 6:42 pm #398488keven
you are real makoya, you are really powerful. I started in 2014 december and i am left with three papers, scheduled for September series.July 25, 2017 at 9:14 am #398547victornewman
I usually took 3 to 4 exams (maximum) per session. I would read the Kaplan book twice, first time without stopping on difficult topics to get an overview of the programme. Then second time doing some of the exercises of the book. This would take 3 days per book. Then I would take the most recent past exam and really focus on it, and do it maybe 3-4 times. I would nearly learn this exam. Then I came back to the book to things I did not master. Then I looked at older exams.I had a notebook to write definitions or usual traps. Overall I spent one full week per exam (I was not working, though I had one job interview with a case study for which I spent a whole week just before the December session), and the last week I would focus on the most difficult exam (e.g. F6 or P2). Sometimes when I was sick with a topic, I would just switch to another one.
How do you feel regarding the job market in the UK? I have sent hundreds of CVs and got only one interview this year.July 25, 2017 at 9:51 am #398555victornewman
Lastly I would read the book a last time backward, starting with the last chapter. As we tend to rush towards the end of the book and skipping topics. I also looked at the glossary at the end to check I understand all of it.(e.g Burn and Scapens was there for example in P5)July 25, 2017 at 9:54 am #398556iloveaccountancy
Hi Victor thank you for your response. I found it really helpful and am going to try and going to implement what I have learned from you.
I personally feel that the job market for trainee accountants is very oversubscribed in and around London. If you look on the Reed site for example, they show they number of applications and even that has a maximum limit on screen (the true total might be higher than what is shown on the screen). Like 200+ applications for one job.
From what I understand (from speaking to an agency representative) first time passes on ACCA are considered important and also the more exams the you pass the more employable you become. I think once a person passes all the fundamental papers they are considered as ‘part qualified’ for application purposes, and have been told it is then easier to secure employment.
I recommend you emphasis your high marks (where you got above 80%), as well as the time period you completed all the exams (as evidence of your intelligence) high lighting all the first time passes. Another thing is to stand out in some way but some related skill, e.g. some experience in software like Sage or SAP
Another thing for me if that my degree grade is low, someone with a first class degree probably would find it much easier to secure employment.
I have only been offered ‘intern’ work (which is basically exploitation and should be banned imo).July 25, 2017 at 9:55 am #398557iloveaccountancy
Yes from experience I too find reading a book backwards really helpful!July 25, 2017 at 10:55 am #398573victornewman
I think London is quite dead with the Brexit. this in every sector (4 flats in my block are on the market, out of …5). I try to relocate to Luxembourg and I study German now, aiming for B2. Poles are going home as well.July 25, 2017 at 2:48 pm #398588Stephen
It was really impress with your result. I fail acca many round and stop for 9 month. Now start to continue to do exam. Thank for sharing your experience.July 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm #399023vikulchik07
Really great results!!! Congratulations!
And what about the material here? Can it be used instead of Kaplan’s book for preparation?July 27, 2017 at 5:33 pm #399049sarahh
Thank you for this, very inspiring. I have just begun my ACCA journey and hope to complete the exams in three years, but possibly less. I have looked at the Kaplan books and they seem more user friendly than the BPP books, but they do contain a few errors. All the best for the future.July 27, 2017 at 7:34 pm #399063vikulchik07
Thanks for your reply!
Is it possible to download them somewhere? I mean Kaplan.July 27, 2017 at 9:26 pm #399071iloveaccountancy
not the text book, but from Kaplan website:July 27, 2017 at 10:04 pm #399076palmy
I think London is quite dead with the Brexit. this in every sector (4 flats in my block are on the market, out of …5). I try to relocate to Luxembourg and I study German now, aiming for B2. Poles are going home as well.
If you really want to learn something useful for Luxembourg, I would suggest French rather than German.July 27, 2017 at 10:13 pm #399077vikulchik07
Thank you!July 28, 2017 at 8:21 am #399112MikeLittleKeymaster
vikulchik07 – I hope that you’re not about to download any material protected by Kaplan’s (or BPP’s) copyright
You are aware, I assume, that that would constitute a criminal offence … and you can’t claim that you didn’t know because it’s actually written on their material AND I’ve just told you that it would be a criminal offence
So there goes that potential defence!July 28, 2017 at 9:03 am #399134victornewman
I am French, “why do you think I have this outrageouuuus accent?”
Regarding books, you can buy them used on ebay or gumtree. Alternatively you can find 20% voucher for Kaplan books on Google (legally).
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