One of ACCA SA’s top students shares her recipe for success

Itai Bessie Musindo, one of ACCA SA’s top students, shares her recipe for success.

From the onset, I had two goals, a target mark of 70% and to pass at first attempt. Have I hit the mark? Yes. Using the “strategy” below and divine inspiration, twice I have surpassed the mark and thrice, have been within inches of achieving this.

Sweet success has placed its demand on my beauty sleep and intellect. I have welcomed the mental gym; the former, being but a necessary evil. With the end now in sight, motivation spurs me on.

A desire to get past the exams as quickly as possible, made me decide on four subjects one exam session. Within a month, the only thing that happened quickly was that the oomph was replaced by the reality of balancing my son, a full-time job and the study load. I was back to my usual diet of two per sitting. Lesson learnt – achieving the qualification is a marathon, not a sprint.

As far as possible, I pair a theoretical paper with one requiring calculations e.g. F4 & F7, then F8 & F9. The syllabus and study guide give me a good start and feel of what I am up for, and before jumping into the study text, I read through the summarized “express notes” (www.theexpgroup.com/expand), laying a basic foundation to build depth on.

Results release marks the beginning of exam preparation, with incremental study hours per week as the month’s progress. I have used different modes of study whilst preparing from reading, writing out summarized notes to online lectures (www.opentuition.com). I record notes on my phone (audit) and then play them back particularly after a loo-o-ng day at the office. With quantitative subjects such as financial reporting and performance management – practice, practice, practice.

A month before exam date, my study plan moves to revision gear, making use of past exam papers, scoring myself against suggested answers, simultaneously timing how long I take to obtain the answer, the target speed being 1.8 minutes per mark. Exam technique tools such as technical articles, examiners reports, examiners guidance are available at the tap of the finger (www.accaglobal.com) Webinars too have been a fantastic resource to perfect the modus operandi.

June 2013, I “graduated” to professional papers, suffice to say, the heat is on; I am upgrading the game plan from self-study, so while I hold my breath until August 8th, D-day, I have signed up with a gold status ACCA accredited tuition provider.

Itai Musindo
ACCA SA student

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