Every week in the run-up to the ACCA exams in December, Caron Betts will be guiding us through exam preparation from a tutor’s point of view.
This week students received their results from their September exam sitting. Congratulations to everyone who passed.
For those that passed, it’s a great boost to their confidence. Hurrah! One more exam under the belt and one step closer to qualifying.
For those that failed, it’s decision time. Should I carry on with my current course? Should I resit the one I’ve failed? Can I do both?
For those that were borderline, it’s a reminder that these exams are tough. Doing the bare minimum of study, question spotting and taking a punt in the exam room is unlikely to result in a pass.
With the December exams only seven weeks away, and the exam entry deadline of 30th October looming, students need to make decisions about whether to sit in December, or whether to postpone until the March sitting.
It’s not a case of “one size fits all”. Some students have great study packages where they get time off for revision, whilst others are working two jobs and have a young family. Studying for the ACCA exams is a numbers game (pardon the pun). That old adage of “the harder I work, the luckier I get” is true: The more times a student can study a topic, the more times they can practice a question and the more times they complete full mock exams, the greater the chances of success in the real exam.
The ACCA is not about setting tricky exams to trip students up. It wants to set exams which ensure the standard of those qualifying remains high. That means a well-prepared student should succeed. An underprepared student will often find themselves facing a resit.
I tell my students “the ACCA qualification is not a race”. It’s not about how quickly you get through the exams, but making sure that you gain skills along the way to make you into a great accountant. Of course, there will be subjects that they may never use again – it’s years since I worked in audit – but the breadth of the ACCA qualification gives them an underlying skill set that they can call upon throughout in their careers.
The conversations I’ve had this week with my students have been exploring ways they can find more time to study, more effective ways of studying and – in some cases – whether it would be appropriate to defer until the March sitting. After all, studying once well, means less chance of a resit.