What it takes to be awarded an ACCA Simpson Scholarship

Tinashe Matambo is the first ACCA SA student ever to be awarded a prestigious ACCA Simpson Scholarship. Tinashe is a final year BTech Internal Auditing student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Pursuing the self-study route, he is also completing an ACCA Professional qualification. He has completed the Fundamentals level, and will be sitting for P1 (Governance, Risk and Ethics) in December 2013.Tinashe explains what it takes to be awarded an ACCA Simpson Scholarship.

The Simpson Scholarship exists to reward ACCA students, who have proven themselves to be of sufficient merit and distinction in the ACCA examinations. Competition is stiff and candidates have to meet the following requirements; an average of 80% or more in the Knowledge module (Papers F1–F3) of the Fundamentals level – at first attempt, or if granted exemptions from the Knowledge module (Papers F1–F3) of the Fundamentals level, then one must have achieved 66% or more in at least two ACCA Qualification papers in the Fundamentals Skills module, at first attempt.

Having met the eligibility criteria for the scholarship, the next step is to write an essay entitled: ‘How the award of a Scholarship will help me to realise my full potential,’ and submit the application to ACCA.

Obtaining a scholarship is easier said than done; one has to possess soft skills and academic excellence. Academic excellence is meaningless if one does not have an ethos to plough back into the community. I worked for a charity organisation (BroadReach Healthcare) as an Internal Auditor; it was an exciting journey for me. I am no longer working for the charity and I dearly miss the staff. During my spare time I tutor second year financial accounting classes (Cape Peninsula University of Technology-Tutor).

Life is not about taking, sometimes one has to give back. This made writing my essay much easier because I was actively involved both at campus and within the community.

Soft skills are essential: 70%-80% of our time we spend talking and listening to people; the remainder of the time is spent working alone. This makes it indispensable to acquire people’s skills and writing skills.

I surround myself with trusted friends and professionals, who have succeeded in their careers. I was able ask them for guidance.

One needs to be self-motivated, passionate, keen to learn and eager to lead. These personal attributes will carry one very far because studying for exams is very stressful. However, stress keeps one motivated and one has to distinguish between bad stress and good stress. Bad stress makes one unproductive.

Practicing the exam questions as many times as possible and using the latest examination material is the recipe to ace the exams. Look out for examiner’s technical articles on the ACCA webpage and plan your studies. I have found studying at night suits me best.

My “motto” is never use the past when making your future decisions. You failed because of your state of mind at that particular moment, and that does not mean you are a failure for the rest of your life. Keep motivated and stay focused.

Tinashe Matambo
Recipient of a 2013 ACCA Simpson Scholarship

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