Hi, my name is Ewuraba Tandoh, I completed my ACCA exams at 19 years old and currently stand as an ACCA Affiliate. An achievement I didn’t think could ever be possible, read more of my story below:
I heard about ACCA in my last year at secondary school in 2015. My Dad told me about it and how he intended for me to start it in my 2nd year in university. At the time, I wanted to go to Ashesi university instead of university of Ghana. In view of cost implications, my Dad told me I couldn’t have the 2, I couldn’t go there and do the ACCA. At that stage, I didn’t know much about ACCA, only that it would help me later on in life. We agreed then that I would start ACCA earlier, in my first year than the intended 2nd year in the university.
While awaiting my WASSCE results to enter the university, I attended classes at PSA Professional Institute to write my first paper F1 in October 2015. Finally, the admissions came and I went to school. I started class for my next 2 papers F2 and F3 at Benchmark School and that’s where I met 2 peers who greatly influenced my journey; Ms. Vinanda Addo and Mr. Michael Larbi. Vinanda was taking my classes with me and Michael was the tutor for one of my classes.
Initially, the plan was to take my time and complete ACCA in my final year at university or after completing my degree. I was 17 at the time and Michael made me aware of how young I was and how it would be an achievement if I was able to finish before my 20th or latest by my 21st birthday. That discussion reshaped my focus and target which I wanted so badly to achieve.
I wrote and passed my 2 papers (i.e. F2 & F3) in December 2015. Now, the logical step was to write the next paper F4 but Vinanda and I decided to postpone it and move on to the paper based exams since we are likely to be given exemption in that paper. The first paper we wrote at Level II was F5 paper in March 2016. It was a difficult paper to tackle. It wasn’t an easy transition from our seemingly ‘easy’ F1-F3 papers but we tried our best and studied as hard as we could. At the time, I was not aware of the various studies material and resources (whose importance had been emphasized by another tutor Mr. Wise) available to us and was employing the use of only lecture notes, kits, texts and articles, I was not even using past papers to assess my level of preparedness prior to writing a paper.
I employed this same technique for F7 paper but God being so good I passed the F5 paper in the March sitting and the F7 in June 2016. It was now time for summer vacation but unfortunately for me, I couldn’t enjoy my vacation or even work because I chose to attend classes to write F8 and F9 in September 2016. I attended the classes at PSA Professional Institute. Unfortunately, I failed the F9 paper that September. I vividly remember checking my mail and seeing the ‘fail’ remark. I initially thought failing a paper would break me, as it often happens to some of the people who write professional exams, but strangely enough I was calm. I spoke to Wise and Michael and they advised I study and take it again the next sitting. Wise even offered to coach me to ensure my pass this time around which he did.
I had wanted to tackle P1 and F6 in the December sitting but now I had to revise my plan and rewrite F9 with F6 instead. Now, I knew failure was not a distant concept but could be a reality. I was so scared of failing again, I started researching for learning materials online. I found lecture videos, passcards, lecture notes and revision summaries. Now, I was writing F9 with F6, a paper which we hadn’t finished the entire syllabus due to lack of time. Vinanda and I, along with 2 female friends Akosua and Theodora formed a study group to do intensive studies. ACCA December sitting is usually around the same time University of Ghana students write their December exams and so I was stressed out more than I can remember ever being. I had Business school exams before and after my ACCA papers and I was wondering how I was going to get through all of that. Luckily, God saw me through that month and I passed my 2 papers (i.e. F6 & F9) in December 2016.
I started my Professional level papers in 2017. I was still postponing the F4 paper. I decided to write P1 & P3 in March 2017. This time around, I was attending classes at Duke Williams School. At this point, I had finally understood the importance of employing all the resources available and was fully utilizing them. Luckily, I passed the P1 & P3 and was now moving on to P2 paper, which I also passed in June 2017. This stage was where I met Alex, the 2017 overall best affiliate. I had joined a global WhatsApp group for people taking the P2 paper that June and he had offered his help to me. Indeed, he gave me tremendous help in that paper and the subsequent papers. The next papers I decided to tackle were P4 and P7 which I also passed in September 2017. They were very demanding and difficult combination but by the grace of God I managed to get through. I wrote my final paper F4 and was also successful.
I am first and foremost grateful to God for seeing me through the course successfully in December 2017 at the age of 19 years. My profound gratitude goes to my parents for their support and encouragement every step of the way. I am equally indebted to all the various professional institutes for their tuition and guidance, namely, PSA Professional Institute, Benchmark School and Duke Williams School. I am also grateful to the following individuals for their assistances by way of advice, guidance and tutoring; Michael, Wise and Alex.
God richly bless all of you for your support, advise, guidance and mentoring.