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All the sacrifice is worth it in the end

PQ has a guest editor this month – Craig Coda. Here he offers some top tips on how to study effectively

January 2018

I have no A-Levels to my name, nor do I have a degree, but I am a recently qualified ACCA student, having completed the qualification in two years, mostly by self-study.
Clearly I was a late bloomer when it came to education and I have never really considered myself academic, but I am proud to be living proof that the ACCA qualification is achievable, because if I can do it so can you.
It really just comes down to three things: having the drive to see the qualification through; understanding how you learn; and – as much as I hate to remind you – making the sacrifices to allow you to focus on your studies. If you are not prize-winner material and you are not willing to make the sacrifices, I am sorry, but your chances of success are slim.
It is a sad truth that very few of us can pick up a subject, sometimes four, three or even two weeks prior to an exam and then win a prize for having the top marks on that paper.
I had to complete the Foundations in Accountancy prior to the ACCA papers, and I took most of my papers via self-study. While being fortunate enough to have succeeded first time around more times than I had envisaged, I still had to deal with my fair share of ‘undeserved’ results despite my very best efforts.
So you should realise that despite your best efforts you will likely meet an unsuccessful attempt somewhere along the line and, more likely than not, more than once. But when you do, remember this – only 30% to 50 % of students pass each exam sitting, despite there being 14 exams! So, statistically, you should be unsuccessful in your exam attempts at least 14 times, taking each exam twice. So it is far from just you, it is at least half the people in that exam hall that you sat in for three-and-a-quarter gruelling hours of your life who received that very same email or text.
I really am no genius, but I truly believe that the changes in my approach to studying later in life made a huge difference to my chances of success, which I hope they do yours.
• Craig Coda, PQ Guest Editor

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