How to Excel in a Professional Course like CPA- Using my story.

Everyone wants to know how they can excel in their careers and get ahead of others. A professional course is one of those that people undertake to upgrade their resume. If you want to excel in this, you then need to have the right attitude and the will to work hard. I managed to do my CPA qualification in the shortest time possible and I learnt a lot through the process. Passing comes with combination of several strategies and determination is key among all of them.

Just to share with you some of the strategies I employed to excel.

1. I made sure I chose an institution with qualified Tutors and these were based on recommendations.

2. Ounce I had gotten an institution, I registered in time and made sure I attend nearly all classes even for papers I knew I would just read and go do the exam. It is not good to assume that you know because CPA is far different from a Bachelor’s in Accounting given the practical aspect in CPA.

3. I made sure I utilised all my time in the lecture room and wouldn’t be ashamed to ask anything I didn’t understand while still class so as to maximise the value for money and time.

4. I made sure I have a syllabus with me for each paper I was doing and this was for me to track and tick off whatever I would cover in class as well as research on anything that the tutor would leave out. In addition to the notes from class, I used to research online for notes, request notes from friends studying from other institutions with the syllabus as the guiding tool so as not to go off topic.

5.For every topic covered, I always looked out for past papers to understand how a given topic is examined and I made sure I tried out several numbers individually as well as with my discussion group.

6. After classes, I would reflect on the concepts I had studied and related them with what we were doing at work or how other organisations were applying them. This would help me remember the concepts easily from a practical point of view and I would write several of these practical examples while answering in the exam.

7. I made sure I have a serious discussion group and we were consistently meeting through out the 3 months to the exam so as to avoid last minute pressure.

8. During preparations for exams, I used to avoid spotting topics and made sure I read as per the syllabus. I was able to do this because I started preparing for exams of a given paper on my first day in class and would be confident to sit for a paper by the last month to the exam.

9. Still as I prepared for the exams, I would make sure I understand how the paper am preparing for is examined in terms of how many questions am supposed to attempt, what time duration is allocated, Marks allocation, etc. This would help me get familiar with the examination format so as to plan my time even before I enter the examination room. Several students fail because they do less questions than the ones required or fail to manage time.

10. During the exam, I would utilise the allocated 15 minutes to read through and understand the questions, I critically chose questions where I could maximise marks and made sure I start with easier questions as well as giving many practical examples as possible for essay questions, among others.

CPA should be a course that every one PASSES because Uganda needs more Accountants.

Samuel Ibanda is CPA Tutor with Achievers Professional Trainers. Email-