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Nataly

I've just spent all day crying...

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Seriously - I have.

In 18 days I'm going to fail this accountancy exam for the 4th time now. That's not being pessimistic - it's just a fact. I'm averaging too low on the mocks to pass.. I can't imagine that after 2 years the next 2 and a half weeks will turn out to be just what I need for things to sink in.. No amount of dumb luck will help me - the format is such that if you don't understand, you don't pass. I've tried and tried and tried and I'm just at the stage where I feel so fucking dumb I think I don't even deserve to be working in Finance.

I'm so depressed. :(
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse."
- Chris Hadfield
« Sors le martinet et flagelle toi indigne contrôleuse de gestion. »
- my boss

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Awww.. Thanks guys. [:/]

I'm so frustrated.. I've taken classes and done online training.. I've had a mentor (2, actually).. I've done TONS of mock exams (37 to date, plus lots of individual practice questions).. This is how I know I cannot possibly pass.

It's not an attitude thing, and it's not that I've given up.. But for all my work I am consistently scoring between 35% and 45% - you need 50% to pass. :(

Perhaps what I needed most of all this time 'round is a break from studying.. If nothing else, they are changing the syllabus so that might work in my favour when I re-take it AGAIN in 6 months [:/]

"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse."
- Chris Hadfield
« Sors le martinet et flagelle toi indigne contrôleuse de gestion. »
- my boss

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Seriously, taking a break might really be the best thing. Just ignore the whole thing for a bit. Go do someting fun. Being self-critical and worrying can really work against you, making it much more difficult when it comes to taking tests.

"Once we got to the point where twenty/something's needed a place on the corner that changed the oil in their cars we were doomed . . ."
-NickDG

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Well crying may not have served you well, I understand that it is a hard thing to fail a test and be removed from a program.. been there done that! I looked at the positive side and called it a redirection instead of a failure, it was a chance for me to try something else!
best of luck to you and may you not be redirected into something else.
Joe
www.greenboxphotography.com

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Take the test, try your best, it will be what it will be. All your friends here wish we could help, but there's not a damn thing we can do. So you can try again in 6 months and you say the format is changing? Maybe you just need a break from it all and then try it again in the new format. Good luck to you and get some sleep.:)

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Sorry, this is going to be a little long-winded. Please do not take the results of a "standardized test" as a reflection of your knowledge. My own personal experience with fill-in-the-blanks tests was pointed out to me by an undergrad professor. All thru college I had been getting mostly B's, the occasional A and an intermittent sprinkling of C's.

In my last year, after taking a test and getting the usual B; the professor asks me to stay after class for a minute to talk about my grades. He said, "I know your goal is to go on to grad school and I'm curious as to how you can argue in class at the graduate level; but, only get B's on your tests." I explained to him that when I do the pre-assigned study work that I not only read the book, but the bibliography at the end and then while I'm at the library actually go get the sources cited and read what the authors actually wrote instead of just the text's synopsis. I also explained that I had never done well on multiple guess tests and I read too much into the answers and add situational factors, rather than just taking it at face value. I went on to share with him that I truly disliked multiple guess tests as a measure of what i know and thought that standardized tests were for the convenience of the teacher, not the measure of the student.

He asked if I'd prefer essay exams. I told him I would. Next exam, he hands out a test to everyone and then walks back and hands me mine. One of the students asked how come I get my own test and the Professor explained that I had opted for an essay exam. My fellow students were appalled - "You LIKE essay exams?!?!?!" Yup. End story: I got an "A" and he shared it with the other professors who in turn gave me essay exams. This did well in preparing me for grad school since most of the exams I took were essay and I had to do a thesis.

I later learned that there are just some people who lock up on standardized tests. My niece could not pass the MCAT. She would literally throw up. Now, she can take all the regular tests in class, but there was something about the MCAT that just made her wet her panties. The school did some kind of magic to get her a verbal exam. She graduates in May with honors.

So, here I am going for my pilot's instrument rating exam and that is one motherfucker of a test. I flunked 3 pre-tests. Knew the material backwards and forwards. So, I went to a person who specializes in teaching people how to take guess tests. It was interesting to learn that I was doing this to myself. I spent a couple of weeks learning how to take a multiple guess test (this person had no pilot knowledge; just great knowledge on taking an exam). I got a 97 on the instrument exam.

Final note: when I became an adjunct, the first day of class I offered my students the choice of multiple choice or essay. Interestingly enough, it was about 60% MG and 40% essay. Was it more work on me grading papers... yes. But, I also had one of the highest pass ratios of any of the professors. One of the other professors in the department raised an objection as to the ease of my tests. The Department Committee did a test analysis. Mine were harder.

Little too much "I" "me," in here, but it's about my previous experience. Here's what I want to share... don't take this as a reflection on your knowledge or self. It may be that you do not need a course knowledge tutor; but a test tutor.

It sounds like you are doing the same thing time and time again with the same results. Now, stop your crying and do something different. ;)

Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

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Quote

He asked if I'd prefer essay exams. I told him I would. Next exam, he hands out a test to everyone and then walks back and hands me mine. One of the students asked how come I get my own test and the Professor explained that I had opted for an essay exam. My fellow students were appalled - "You LIKE essay exams?!?!?!" Yup.



I also find essay tests to be MUCH easier than multiple choice. My experience has been that very few professors can write good multiple choice questions. Most times, there is too much room for interpretation in the questions and/or the possible answers.

To Nataly:

Is it the material or the test format that is causing you problems? You mentioned that the format is such that if you don't understand the material you won't pass, but that does not imply that understanding the material will result in a passing grade.
Math tutoring available. Only $6! per hour! First lesson: Factorials!

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When I was in college, I was good friends with a grad student who was working on his EE PhD by running a research project in Electromagnetics. He also taught undergrad classes.

He believed (confirming your experience) that different types of people did better with different types of exams, and the ubiquitous multiple-choice exam was used only because it made grading easy for the faculty. And he thought this was unfair to students who were not good at taking multiple-choice exams.

So his solution was to use a different format for each exam in a one-semester class. As well as using multiple-choice and essay exams, he came up some other types, including one I thought was really ingenious:

Each student would get a pencil and a blank sheet of paper, and listen as he gave a one-hour lecture. The students were to write down every mistake he (deliberately) made during the lecture. The more mistakes a student caught, the higher his score.
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

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What doesn't help you - makes you stronger:

- they don't care 'cause you don't deserve it (?)
- you didn't get the essence of exam format
- you're not good enough
- nobody likes you there
- and don't smile

now, if you feel it - get this feeling and use it
What goes around, comes later.

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Thanks to everyone for the tips and encouragement and PM's.. I feel better today.

Here's more about my situation and why I'm so upset about it..

Initially, I only decided to become a Chartered Accountant so that I could increase my earning potential.. The idea was that since I had a major career change about 8 years into the game, doing this qualification would increase my earnings and help give me credibility compared to my peers.

So I did the first 11 exams in 13 months. To put that into perspective, most people take 2 to 3 years to get to that stage. I then took the next set of 3 finals, and one of them has turned out to be really challenging..

In fairness, whilst I have been failing this exam, at the same time I've changed companies, been promoted 3 times, bought a house, then separated from my partner, moved house twice since and loads more besides.. It's been pretty tough times.. So I suppose I shouldn't be so hard on myself..

But DAMN.. I'm sick of this material.. Every time I look at it, I want to cry.

Anyway.. I've just done a revision course this weekend and I do feel a little better.

Thanks again everyone.. It's encouraging to get some support.

[email protected]
"There is no problem so bad you can't make it worse."
- Chris Hadfield
« Sors le martinet et flagelle toi indigne contrôleuse de gestion. »
- my boss

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Hang in there...

I know it's important - but they are only exams and can be re-sat.

BTW - I'm impressed i thought that i was the only one who tried to do the 'hundred most dramatic life events in a year' - except i seem to try them roughly every five years !!! :D:D

Have a glass / bottle of decent wine / tub of icecream / nice meal - watch a good movie, get a good night's sleep and then hit it again ...

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Have a glass / bottle of decent wine / tub of icecream / nice meal - watch a good movie, get a good night's sleep and then hit it again ...

Or... Take a few years off, sell most of the crap you probably dont need anyway, pull the kids out of school and move to another country! You may find that doing something just so you can make more money isnt worth it... or you may find that it is... You clearly are a very passionate person, so be Radically passionate and do something radical... or not! But, whatever you do, try not to worry so much about it, easier said than done of course... I think it goes without saying, we want the best for each other..

There was this girl I was living with, and we were both going to acting classes. She quit her job of 80k at 35 yrs old to pursue acting full time, said she couldnt stand her job anymore... gasp... she was an accountant. Sorry, this is all I have.

See, taking time to read how ridiculous OTHER people sound really does cheer you up a bit aye? ;) BTW... your definitely not alone in your thought.

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Have you considered just skipping the test for once ? I know at first impression that sounds like a "quitter's" approach, and to be honest there is some risk of it turning out that way without some discipline a few months down the road. But maybe you just need to distance yourself for one cycle. Either skip this test (unless you've got money down for taking it). Or, give this test your best shot with a decision to let it go the next time and wait a year before taking it again. Maybe you'll just pass and you won't need to skip anything.

I know skipping or waiting a whole year can put a lot of your career and life on hold, but you may need the year to decide for one thing if this is what your really want. Maybe you'd rather work in a paint store, or get a grant from National Geographic to study bats in belfries. Times are tough now and a job is a job, but is accounting REALLY something you want to do for the rest of your life ? Maybe it is, but maybe you haven't really asked yourself if there isn't something else you'd rather be doing.

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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How do you think I feel about failing a stupid driving test like some stupid 18 years old?

I'm over 30!

But seriously: crying won't help. Pull out the super woman that's inside of you and give it all you've got.

;)

Relax, you can die if you mess up, but it will probably not be by bullet.

I'm a BIG, TOUGH BIGWAY FORMATION SKYDIVER! What are you?

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If a chartered accountant exam is anything like the US Certified Public Accountant exam, it is nothing to sneeze at. I know, I took it and would rather loose a limb than take that test again... There was lots of people loosing it and freaking out when i was studying for and taking it.

The reason the test is evil is because public accounting is a service based business that operates under extreme stress and very tight time-lines in the real world. I guess the thought process is that it is better to have someone "loose it" before they become an accountant rather than after.

It may only be mainly multiple choice, but it is the most evil test known to man, the wrong answers are intentionally designed to deceive the test taker into selecting the wrong ones as the test designers use the most common wrong answers and the analytical procedures used to get those wrong answers in creating the questions and answers. Unlike "normal" multiple choice tests where the correct answer is not easy to miss since all the other choices are outlandish - just look at the USPA (or I suppose BPA) multiple choice quizzes in the SIM

Still it is just a game and to win the game you have to understand the game. Here in lies the secret.......... the only goal is to get the correct answer. Seems simple, but it is the trap that has caught many an aspiring accountant. It is not school and there are no "partial credit" points for close. All you are doing is showing what you know at the point you are taking the test, nothing more. You have to understand the correct answer and moreover why the incorrect answers are incorrect. nothing else matters. Once you do that, it will be a breeze to get the correct answer. The fastest way to do that is to do multiple "practice tests" like you are doing, where you can see the answers afterwords and an explanation of why the wrong answers are wrong. An explanation that is provided by professors and geniuses who study the questions when they are not under a time limit like you are during the test

In the US we use Becker Review, the information in the front of the Becker books are invaluable in understanding this game. I do know some people who do not use this approach that pass eventually, but not without a lot of $$$ and time. It really is a mind game and traps a lot of people... when i was in Grad school, i was a teaching associate. I taught financial accounting and that had to be the single best experience for me to understand the game and how it is played.

It does not mean it is right the game is like this, or that it is just for the game to be like this, it just means it is. Good luck. Remember young Jedi, it can be done, so why not by you?

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