Ever wondered what goes on in the mind of prizewinner?
We speak to Trisha Lee, who is placed 9th in Singapore and 82nd worldwide from the June 2016 exams, who would like to share her exam tips with you!
I graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a Diploma in Accountancy, which exempted me from 5 subjects in the ACCA qualification.
I was always sure I wanted a career in Accounting, especially after working in the finance department of CapitaLand Residential during my internship and enjoying the type of work I did.
However, after I graduated from poly, I was unsure of where I should pursue Accounting. I decided to work for 6 months in the Finance department of Wong Partnership LLP while I made a decision, and during that time I also tried out classes for the ACCA qualification after work, to determine if this qualification was suitable for me. I found myself genuinely interested in the syllabus I was studying, and my teachers were really dedicated. Therefore, I started studying ACCA full time the moment I ended my contract with Wong Partnership, and it has been the most fulfilling journey for me.
My favourite lecturer is Andy Tan from Kaplan, who taught me Business Analysis (P3) as well as Advanced Performance Management (P5). His lessons were very engaging and he really wanted his students to succeed.
I try my best to study the syllabus for all my subjects on the same day it was being taught in class. After class, I will spend a couple of hours reading the notes I took down in class, as well as the textbooks, while the information is still fresh in my head from the lesson. Understanding and memorizing the syllabus as you go is much better than cramming everything into your brain in the last month. It also makes things a lot easier as you won’t have notes piling up for you to read, nor will you feel completely lost during the upcoming lessons because you haven’t understood what was being taught last week.
Nearing the exams, I will spend most of my time doing as many past year papers as I can, identifying parts of the syllabus I am still unclear of and reading them again. I also find that reading all the relevant technical articles on the ACCA website helps.
My top tip is to envision yourself where you want to be. Whenever you feel unmotivated to study or when you feel like giving up, just stop and picture yourself on the day you receive your results. Picture yourself opening up your message/email, and seeing the word “PASS” on all the subjects. Imagine how happy, relieved, proud and accomplished you will feel. Then tell yourself that you will get there. Your mind must arrive at your destination before your life does. Envisioning myself succeeding motivated me the most while studying for the exams. It actually made me excited to study.
I find practicing past year papers extremely useful, especially if you start to time yourself. It’s the closest you can get to the actual paper you’re going to take itself. Time allocation is extremely important in ACCA exams, as you already know. If you are already used to completing an entire paper in 3hrs and 15 minutes, You won’t struggle as much with time allocation on the day itself.
Another tip is to always, always aim higher than just a pass, even if that is your ultimate goal. While you are studying for the paper, aim high, so you that have a higher chance of passing. Study like you are going to get 80 marks, for example. The higher you aim, the harder you push yourself to attain it, and before you know it, you pass.
Bear in mind that every mark can turn a fail into a pass. So every extra sentence you read in your notes or textbook, every extra past year question you practice, could turn that fail into a pass. Every extra thing you do can turn into something that important. That mindset pushed me further. Good luck everyone!