I am Mr. Temitayo Stephen, your regular host on this exam planet. This special report is on why we fail our professional exams and what we should do about it. In this series of free e-mail reports, I will teach you the secrets of passing your ACCA exams without stress. With the free e-mail reports, I am going to use a self discovered system people have been using to stand tall among other professionals which will give you a huge advantage over others, enable you build a flexible career and get better opportunities. So, in the first e-mail report, we discussed the 5 common reasons students fail in an exam. In this report, we would be going extra mile in learning more on why students fail their exams.

According to Napoleon Hill, whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.  Belief is a mental representation, treated in various academic disciplines, especially philosophy and psychology, of a sentient being’s attitude toward the likelihood or truth of something. It is an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. Our belief system can be classified into conventional and personal beliefs. These can be either positive or negative.

Conventional beliefs – are beliefs people have about their environment. It could be true or false

Personal beliefs – are beliefs formed by us from childhood. In most cases personal beliefs are influenced by conventional beliefs because it is in the outside world.

‘Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are issues of life’, so says the Holy books. So, guard whatever goes into our mind.  Positive beliefs are in most cases forced on our minds. For instance, if your fellow ACCA student tells you that ACCA P4 is a difficult course and you should stay away from it. It is his/her belief and if you don’t discard that opinion immediately, it will go into your mind and at the end of the day you will accept the course as a difficult one. Furthermore, you should also mind what you say to yourself. According to research carried out by American psychologists 80% of our thoughts are negative. Please kindly ask yourself ‘what are the affirmative thoughts (beliefs) I have been conceiving and what are the negative ones?’

Socrates believes that ‘everything is in a state of flux’. This means that things are always changing. Jobs roles are changing day by day. Some changes may be as a result of availability of new technology, new system or cost reduction. So it means that you should be prepared for anything because things are moving fast, just like Scurry and Scurvy in who moved my cheese. Therefore, to be sincere with you, you don’t wish things to be easier because they will always change. Change here might be more difficult but rewarding, so the best thing you can do to yourself is to become better and better every day in every way by allowing change.

Therefore, you should search for things that will help you achieve your goals faster and quicker especially when preparing for a professional examination. Like I have said previously, you should always be responsive to your environment.

Furthermore, the quest for a healthy work/life balance has always created new motivations for those seeking alternatives to classroom training. Distance learning is effective ‘home study’ – you buy printed course materials, often with the back-up of access to tutors and study at your own pace. This is advisable for those who live far from classroom locations and rarely have time to attend classes.

E-learning is a more sophisticated version of distance learning, with downloadable materials often accompanied by online tests (with immediate marking) and easy access to tutors by e-mails. This by logical reasoning is a highly effective way to study, and the more innovative delivery of the course the better your interest. Many e-learning courses also have online discussion forums, where you can chat and share tips or concerns with fellow students. Distance learning and e-learning are less expensive than most conventional classroom courses. The ‘downside’ is that you don’t have a tutor standing in front of you, to whom you can address questions there and then – but this is often outweighed by flexibility advantage.

Let’s hear this testimony: Mr. Richard who works in an auditing firm in Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria has a degree in accounting. Unfortunately, he has been in the audit firm for five good years without any promotion because he has no professional qualifications. However, few individuals who have joined the organization lately have been promoted twice within a year because they have ACCA qualifications.

Richard became very frustrated because in his department, apart from his boss, he is the most experienced among them but they earn far above him. So, he decided to write ACCA exam because he knew that with the certificate, the company has no option than to promote him

Furthermore, Richard could not quit his job because he has no one to fall back on. Which means that he would be starting all over again because he has no professional qualification. Likewise, he could not quit his job to write ACCA exams because it is from his salary that he would make the payment for exam fees and tuition.

As I write this now, Richard has registered for ACCA exams and tuition but he couldn’t attend the physical class because his job does not give the opportunity for such advancement. However, a friend suggested an E-Class Video lectures but he refused because he didn’t see the possibilities, and usefulness of Distant learning Lectures.

Unfortunately, he could neither attend the physical classes nor write the exams. The money, energy, emotions invested were wasted. Of course, he failed the diet but because of his determination he didn’t give up.

He registered for the last December Diet exams but this time around he had realized his mistakes. So, he decided to go for a flexible option which was the distant learning lecture. He even requested for an offline distant learning lecture which encompasses all he needed to pass like; updated questions and answers, examine tips, examiner’s report on each paper, etc.

Currently, Richard is writing his last two papers at professional level this coming diet and he is so excited because he cannot wait to become an ACCA certified.

Now let us see  3 Facts why distance learning is failure proof

Easy Access to Use and Learn at your own pace: With video lectures, your students can learn anywhere from their mobile devices: laptops, tablets or smartphones. This makes it flexible for you to be in a class especially those numbers of hours you spend in gisting can be converted to study.  Every teacher knows that each student has his own pace of learning. With video lectures, all students can learn at their individual pace, which will maximize the results of e-Learning. This will help the students have an in-depth understanding because they can always playback to jot notes unlike physical classes when most student are very shy to raise their hands to get clarification when the need is necessary.

Syllabus based and simplified: All E-Class Video Lectures are prepared based on the syllabus. It is ensured that no topic is left out. Furthermore, it is prepared in a simplified format. This means that, it has been broken down to bits (topics and sub-topics) for easy assimilation.

3 Folds Questions and Answers Class: E-Class Video Lectures offer you an amazing three fold questions and Class. First fold is the questions and answers in E-Learning Material which contain all past questions and researched questions exhaustively dealt with by providing solution to the questions. Second fold is the Questions and Answers Discussion Forum per course. This is where tutors and students meet to solve more questions in an e-mail format. Additionally in this forum, tutors prepare 7 questions based on topics every week for students to attempt. The tutor provides the solution of the previous week and the question for the new week. However, students can also post questions and solutions where further clarification is needed. Third fold is the 6 hours online questions and answers live class per course which is organized a month to the exam. In this class, tutor and student meet once again for questions and answers. In the online live class tutor will solve questions and provide guide for students. Students can also ask questions where clarification is needed either through live voice or live chat. This amazing thing about the online live class is that the replay is immediately available for students to go through once again as soon as the live class ends.

After acquiring all the required knowledge students still find it difficult to pass the exam. From the survey of 3789 conducted, we observed that there are some measures students fail to put in place when preparing for an exam.

Please leave your comment below for feedback and you can also share your experience with us.

See you soon….

Tayo  Stephen,

Hello Friend,

My name is Tayo Stephen. I am a certified and experienced chartered accountant. However, I am not into practice anymore because I want to help as many to achieve their goals and success which I have been doing in the last 8years. It all started 2005 when I was working in a firm and who my cousin who  enrolled for ACCA. She failed the foundation level twice before I took it upon myself to put her through after work. It was not an easy task at all. To teach after work and the heavy traffic faced when coming home was really hectic. Although, I was not discouraged, so every evening exercise continued without us skipping any day. It was not convenient for me at all. Fortunately, all the effort paid off when she wrote the exam and passed with ease among her friends.

As a result of her success, I got ten extra students the next diet who also passed. Ever since then I have helped over 2000 individual to become chartered member of  ACCA and other professional exam bodies combined.

As we all know that  ACCA gives you a fulfilled life, Get an international recognition, Stand among other professional bodies which give you a huge advantage over them globally, Build a flexible career, Become a graduate of Oxford Brookes, Be among top earner in the world, Travel to any part of world either for business or leisure and also exposes you to wide range of opportunities.

However, the road to success is not an easily one because it involves perseverance, consistency, courage and endurance. From my experience over the years, I observed common mistake made by students writing ACCA exam which leads to their failure.

Over the years, most of the reasons why student fail their ACCA exams is due to the technique adopted. Most students have forgotten that a professional exam like ACCA is completely different from college/university exam.

Mr. Olusegun, The Chief Head of Accountant at Federal  Inland Revenue Service shared his experience when he was writing ACCA.

When Olusegun graduated, he got a job in an audit firm immediately after his youth service. He knew that if he wants to go higher in his career, he needs a professional certificate that is globally recognized because of his former boss who was promoted 3x within 8months he has  ACCA qualification.

However, the journey wasn’t smooth at all, being a trainee, his salary was low but he didn’t give up. He pushed himself and registered as a student member and also for the exam. But, he couldn’t afford the tutor fee because it was just too high.

Hence, he went online and search for alternatives. He came across many mind-blowing tutor fees for both online and offline whose prices are 2x his salary then. Fortunately for him,  he came across a material that is very flexible for him . Initially, he was very skeptical about it because he has never heard of such possibility in the country.

He proceeded to place his order and sat for the exam but he failed the three papers he bought. He called to seek for advice because he couldn’t withstand the trauma. During our conversation, he mentioned that he failed to practice series of questions and answers

Furthermore, he also made mention of the way he answered some non-computational questions and interpretation of the action word given in the questions.

I advised him to stay calm and explained 5 secret to avoid failure and pass ACCA exam. However, he satisfied one of the criteria but the other four were responsible for his failure. Although, he is now ACCA Certified

In this post, I will explain 5 keys to avoid failure in your ACCA exam.

 Get the right material: The level of development in your locality will determine the material that will suit your ACCA exam. So, it I strictly advise to use material that will be of an immense help to aid your success. You can’t  have a poor internet coverage in your locality and register for an online class. This will be like waste. Since you are working and you need the work to survive in your environment. so the best option is to go for an offline class. In offline class,  you may see and not see the lecturers but all you need to  pass has been done for you including questions and answers.

Exam Approach: Most comments by the examiner on why student fail is the improper exam approach which  is as a result of ineffective time management, insufficient practice of questions and answers and neglect of exam instruction. Most student are very afraid to take mock exams because they are afraid of failure. Fortunately, Mock exam under the actual exam time range and the instruction will help student learn their mistakes and improve their exam time management skill, exam method and enforces the need to always give proper attention to exam instruction.

Constant Question Practice: You cannot achieved success in ACCA exam  just by studying the material. What makes you outstanding in ACCA exam is the ability to apply and analyse knowledge acquired in the course to particular instances given in an exam. This can only be done and perfected by constant practice of question for both computational and non-computational questions. Furthermore, constant practice of question exposes you to different scenarios thereby, improves your analytical and application skill which will enable you achieve your success in ACCA

 Approach in non-computational questions: Most student don’t like non-computational questions because of lack of question practice, slow reading speed, inability to understand exam questions, absence of a structured approach to attempt questions, difficulty in expressing themselves, and failure to address the requirement verbs which is very important. In non-computational questions, it is very important to read  instruction carefully to understand  the action word (verb). The difference among verbs is a key to success in non-computational exam. The answer for a question that requires ‘explanation’ would be different to the one that requires ‘recommendation’. Whereas ‘explain’ involves justifying comments giving reasons and examples, ‘recommending’ involves giving advice on a course of action. Proficiency in attempting non-computational questions can be developed through constant question practice and analyzing model answers to exam questions and taking mock exams.

Give the relevant answers: Instead of giving any answer which leads to most student’s failure in their ACCA exam, relevant answers should be given based on the scenario. However, the action word should be considered when attempting any question like the answer for a question that requires ‘explanation’ would be different to the one that requires ‘recommendation’. For example, if a question requires assessment of adequacy of internal controls, this assessment should be provided rather than an explanation of internal controls and it must be based on the given scenario.

Another one is our Belief  which is a mental representation, treated in various academic disciplines, especially philosophy and psychology, of a sentient being’s attitude toward the likelihood or truth of something. It is an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.  According to Napoleon Hill  whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. By implication, it means our belief system play a major role in all facets of life. If you belief that ACCA is a difficult exam to pass, your mind will conceive it and you will always find it difficult to pass. I classified our beliefs into two major categories namely

  • Conventional beliefs
  • Personal beliefs

Please leave your comment below and tell me what you think…

See you soon…….

Tayo Stephen