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To ask if you are taking ACA exams? And to be very upset/stressed

(45 Posts)
HelpPleasePlease Thu 30-Nov-17 14:22:32

Long story short, I am taking three professional stage exams next week (my final three ie I have passed nine in total). If I bad fail (I am with a big 4 firm), I will lose my job.

However I was only given five weeks start to finish to learn the material (only four weeks in college, back to back) and pass the exams. Aibu to think this is nowhere near enough? It’s make me very very stressed and inefficient, and I presently feel like I know fuck all. Have not been doing well in the mocks and just feel very stressed and down. I am certainly going to lose my job. I just feel like sleeping all the time and feel sick and useless

hiyasminitsme Thu 30-Nov-17 14:24:53

However I was only given five weeks start to finish to learn the material

did they only tell you five weeks ago that the exams were next week? seems odd, exam schedules are usually out ages in advance

HelpPleasePlease Thu 30-Nov-17 14:30:29

No - we knew for a long time we’d be taking them. But in the sense that any college teaching started four weeks before the exams dates, does that make sense?

HelpPleasePlease Thu 30-Nov-17 14:30:52

I should have started earlier but was waiting for the results of prior exams

thecolonelbumminganugget Thu 30-Nov-17 14:34:14

That's just how it is I'm afraid, you've just got to your head down and plough through, it's the same for everyone. If you're passing the mocks you'll be fine. I never passed any mocks at any of the professional stages and sailed through all the exams first time. I've worked at 2 of the big 4 and sackings do happen but normally following multiple resits (or catastrophic failures normally by people who want to be sacked rather than resign and have to pay back their exam fees).

It doesn't feel like it but it will end, it's stressful, it's shit and it will make you feel ill but it will end.

LIZS Thu 30-Nov-17 14:35:57

I think it a common to only have tuition a few weeks before the exam date as you are expected to self study and learn on the job. Are you given leave to attend the revision course? Have you got first time passes for the other exams?

TaggieRR Thu 30-Nov-17 14:39:59

YANBU to be stressed. They're hard exams. However our Big 4 only sacked a couple of people who had bad fails in the first couple of exams. If yours have been first time passes so far I'm sure you will be fine. I always failed mocks!!

HelpPleasePlease Thu 30-Nov-17 14:41:21

I’ve passed the rest of my exams first time, yes. I just don’t want to be sacked sad Have not being doing well in the mocks or passing and scared I’m going to bad fail

Waterdropsdown Thu 30-Nov-17 14:48:58

Just study study study. It’s a while since I did mine but literally everyone was scared about being sacked and nervous the exams. You passed the other ones first time so I’m sure with working really hard you’ll be able to pass these too.

IceFall Thu 30-Nov-17 14:50:52

In the nicest possible way - stop pissing about on mumsnet and get your head down learning/revising and doing things to manage your stress e.g. exercise and fresh air and self care.

Yes the exams are hard.

Yes the exams are stressful.

BUT most people pass

Some people fail but not a bad fail and get to retake.
A very small number of people bad fail and get fired. Such is the deal you accept when you start your training contract.

If you do bad fail it isn't the end of the world, you can get another job generally pretty easily to finish your ACA off with a mid-tier firm.

Nettletheelf Thu 30-Nov-17 14:51:35

They are hard exams. Before mine (late 1990s) I did nothing but past papers and studied for 10 - 12 hours a day. Just tell yourself that you’re going to give it everything you’ve got. The more study you do, the more confident you will feel. Worrying isn’t going to achieve anything at this stage.

Please try to relax. Good luck.

TheHodgeHeg Thu 30-Nov-17 15:02:57

Everyone is in the same boat. That's just how some firms do the exams.

You knew they were coming so ahead of college you could have reviewed the modules below the ones you're sitting now if you'd been really worried.

I'm sure you'll be fine. Just get cracking on past paper practice.

LuckyAmy1986 Thu 30-Nov-17 15:55:10

Are you doing well at work?

HelpPleasePlease Thu 30-Nov-17 15:58:24

Yep I’ve had really good feedback and been on lots of projects work-wise. Been working very long hours whilst at work.

LuckyAmy1986 Thu 30-Nov-17 16:43:21

I wouldn’t worry then. My DH works for one of the big 4 and they haven’t sacked people just because they failed an exam. There was only one but he kept failing over and over and wasn’t very good in the office or trusted with many good projects. That’s even IF you fail which would be unlikely. If it makes you feel better DH failed every single mock but passed ever exam first time.

numptyhumpty Thu 30-Nov-17 16:59:17

What line of service are you in?

Auditors are far more expendable in my experience ( have worked at three of the big4 )

anothermalteserplease Thu 30-Nov-17 17:08:07

They are very stressful exams combined with the stress of an intense job. It’s what life as a professional in a big 4 firm can be though.
Just get your head down and revise. Maybe go out for a walk and do some yoga to relax and break up the day.

ThePurpleFairy Thu 30-Nov-17 17:10:12

I feel your pain hugs, I also work for a big 4 firm and have been through these exams too.

I got very ill with stress over the sacking thing but they seem to have scrapped it/become more lenient just as I did the 3 before the Advanced Stage - actually reading it I think at the same stage as you are since there are 15, but they let me get to about 2 days before results day before announcing it!

I tried to PM you because I have some BPT notes which may have been of use but alas there doesn’t seem to be that function as far as I can see!

Just crack on as much as you can, I found myself that I didn’t bother doing question practise (shock, horror, gasp), instead I perused the answers and tried to understand how they got to that point. For BPT with the model answers find one example of each scenario (consortiums etc) and bookmark is as you can use them as guides for whatever you have thrown at you. Try to also note where things go together and influence each other as you may get a question with the same interlinked topics. BPT was the bitch for me, not sure about you!

HelpPleasePlease Thu 30-Nov-17 17:14:01

Purple I would be so grateful if you could send through your BPT notes! Beyond grateful! I am in financial advisory so not audit - there are only four of us at my level in the whole department, but equally don’t want to test out the sacking thing!

WeShouldOpenABar Thu 30-Nov-17 17:18:34

The only time I've heard of mass sackings for failure so 2006 and it was a good excuse to clear house and cut the wage bill. Other than that only people who they needed an excuse to get rid of anyway have been let go.

OwdBets Thu 30-Nov-17 17:19:57

Have you posted about this before?

HelpPleasePlease Thu 30-Nov-17 17:21:04

Owdbets no I haven’t! smile

OwdBets Thu 30-Nov-17 17:23:48

I'm sure I saw a similar thread recently about a Big 4 employee taking exams. I'll see if I can find it for you

OwdBets Thu 30-Nov-17 17:32:28

Bugger. I can't link but it was a similar thread about someone who had passed 7 exams but was working very long hours and unable to study as much as they would like. The advice was to discuss your concerns before your exam rather than make excuses if you fail. Also if you are doing well at work then a firm is unlikely to sack you on one fail.
Best of luck though!

ThePurpleFairy Thu 30-Nov-17 17:33:12

Sent, hope they help! Maybe a bit out of date but should be largely the same. Bit late now but I recommend ACA Simplified Exam Room Notes and their Case Book is fantastic.

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