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This post is at the request of a reader who sent in an email to me .   After having failed 2 papers consecutively, he wants to know if he should change his study methods.

This was my reply:

I’ve had this discussion several times with friends & other ACCA students.  I’m always skeptical of a singular ‘best method’ of studying for ACCA exams. Each person will have a way best suited to lifestyle and work (either tuition center or self-study).

In choosing a method, please consider the following:

  • Cost (can I afford a tuition center?)
  • Time (do I have time to commit to a tuition center to get my money’s worth)
  • Natural study pattern (do I study well in a group)

I find that for most people, they choose tuition centers, because they are afraid they would study wrong if they do it on their own, but if you have been using tuition centers and have no positive results, or you have registered for ACCA lessons and due to work cannot attend;  for God’s sake, please consider self-study!!

Passing ACCA exams isn’t about using tuition centers, it is about the effort you put into preparation.

I passed all of my ACCA exams by self-study. Initially, I chose self-study because I could not afford to go to a tuition center, and by the time I could afford it (which was when I was to take my F6), I discovered that for me, it was a waste of my money because:

  • Most of the classes did not suit my work life (I had 2 jobs – I could not leave work for classes)
  • The weekend classes were too much – 10am to 3pm+covering 10 topics in a day+1 hour break= odikwa quite strenuous!
  • Too many people – not everyone learns at the same rate, it seemed to me like only a few people were following, the rest of us were just writing.

Again, I say most people shy away from self-study, because of the fear of ‘studying wrong’. However, with the proper materials, and support, self-study can be fulfilling, because you study around your work/other commitments.

Here is what worked for me:

  • Find ‘block’ study time – this should be like uninterrupted 2 hours at least 3 times a week. For me, it was early morning before work (4am to 6.30am).
  • Gather all materials, and prepare a study plan – please read this post
  • Have a notebook you can jot down points for reviewing definitions etc (I went over my book while waiting for buses, trains, during my break, etc)
  • Have a study partner or someone further along than you, who can explain tricky topics to you.  Also constantly check ACCA website for articles and updates relating to the paper you are planning on taking.

Self-study is very effective and practical if done right.  I have attached a study plan based on your 2nd email.  Alternatively, you could combine both, to get the best of both methods. Good luck!


Please leave a comment, or email if you have any questions, or articles you would like to see discussed.


14 thoughts on “TUITION CENTRE vs SELF-STUDY

  1. I work in the financial sector but I have a science Am considering doing ACCA, do you think it’s worth it?

    1. A chartered accounting qualification from a recognised body will mean you have the skills required for a finance professional, and also recognition of having said skills.
      As you are already employed in the finance sector, you will agree that skills come not only from taking exams, but from hands-on practice as well.
      Taking ACCA exams is a good idea if you want formal recognition for your skills.
      ACCA is generally a good qualification (so I’ll say yes to your question), but you need to also consider your longer-term goals for your career. Will being an ACCA help you progress in your line of work? do you need any other specialised qualification to progress in your career.
      Having said that, I am of the opinion that ACCA generally, is worth it. You have access to several career options, all across the world

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