I got my mid-term exam back for Accounting & Financial Management. Despite poor time management in the last third of the exam, I managed to get a Distinction (78%) which is a good result for my first formal study in nearly two decades.
Advice to returning students. Your exam technique will be rusty. Two tips.
Tip #1: Start with the easy/fastest questions if 1/3 of the marks come from an easy section, start there and aim to finish in less than 1/3 of the exam time. That will leave more time for the harder sections.
Top#2: Divide the questions up by the marks they are worth and then divide each part of the question appropriately. I probably lost 7 marks and a High Distinction through spending 20 minutes of my last 30 minutes on only part of one question. Move along and come back later.
My study group finished most of the major assignment today. We’re all very wary of the plagiarism rules, so we have been independently working out the accounting parts of the questions, then double checking calculations and pointing to sample layouts in the course materials. All that is left is to write the descriptive answers on our own.
I did expect the course to be easier, and to have a lot more group discussion & debate. But I’m learning so much. The main reinforcement is that I am not crazy asking my accounting and finance department to provide more analytical data and guidance. I keep hearing that corporate accountants will want or produce things that I don’t think my guys do 😀
I sometimes joke that this course will get me fired.
I’ve just finished my fourth week of my first subject, Accounting & Financial Management. I did Accounting 101 in my undergrad degree so I have an advantage that I have heard of this stuff (when Moses wore short pants).
AGSM lectures are pretty fast, you’re expected to have done the work before the lecture. Jack Flanagan, our lecturer, assures us the hardest part of the course is weeks 3 and 4. That’s when most students freak out as they’re learning all the accounting jargon.
I started well, with all the reading and optional exercised completed in time for lectures. That was the first two weeks.
Then work got in the way! For week 3 I’d done the reading and the sample execises but hadn’t worked through the class exercise for discussion. Even so instead of listening to the discussion I was busy following the logic of the exercise.
Week 4 was worse. Work was insane as we got our annual report out to the market and I’m launching 2 new stores in Melbourne. I’d managed to only skim the materials, no exercises, no reading, no nothing. I almost didn’t go to the lecture, but thankfully changed my mind and went.
I’m not the only person in class who is behind. We’ve started a study group and it’s a great opportunity to revise, but it actually creates more work to prepared for it. But it does make me accountable to others. So at last night’s meeting we went through the major exercise again and we all think we understand it now.
So even the best intentions of staying ahead can be abandoned when life gets in the way. I’m finishing my catch-up tonight so I should be ok.
Photo credit: Number Crunch 3 by Benjamin Earwicker Garrison Photography