Skip to main content
Featured

One trophy is good, but two are ‘learn’ better: PQ Awards 2024

We are delighted to announce that we won two awards this year for the PQ Magazine Awards 2024.

Kaplan Brand Mark Logo Kaplan · 4 minute read


Reasons why students fail their exams

Computer game imagery

At some point, everyone fails - but it’s not the end! Our Tax guru, Neil Da Costa, analyses reasons for failure and how best to be less affected by it.

Farida, a student, was an intelligent lady with a track record of performing well in academic exams. She had perfect A-Levels, a First in her Economics degree, and sailed through her ACCA accountancy exams until meeting me at Advanced Tax. At this stage, however, she failed - with 49%.

This was a very painful experience for Farida and for months she agonised about getting her script remarked or contemplating scenarios that would’ve led to a better result.

A positive response

Fortunately, Farida reached out to me, and we came up with an action plan with specific tasks for her to cover each week. At this point she had overcome the pain of failure and was able to focus her attention on learning the extra material.

She repeatedly practised exam questions that we covered on our Kaplan revision course and on the Pre Exam Workshops (PEW). So she went into the exam feeling relatively calm. She read through the questions carefully and felt that she’d done her best. However, she didn’t feel she could tempt fate by assuming she would pass.

It was tormenting, having to wait for the results, but finally she sent me an ecstatic email informing me she had passed with 79%.

So, why do students fail their accountancy exams?

From my experience working as a tutor there are recurring reasons…

1. Not learning the technical material after the lectures

On our Kaplan tuition courses, we cover the key elements of the syllabus, but it is important to realise that attending the lectures and understanding the technical content is not enough. You then have to find the time to review the lecture material and practice the questions allocated for homework.

2. Lack of exam question practice

After the tuition courses, Kaplan run revision courses where we focus on working through actual previous exam questions. This shows our students how to analyse the examiner’s requirements and pick up the easier marks in the question.

It’s important to bear in mind that you only need to pass the exam and you don’t need to get everything perfectly correct. Students who don’t practice enough exam questions find they cannot cope with the pressure of the exam.

3. Assuming that all the subjects are the same

The professional accountancy qualification covers a broad range of subjects from company law, tax, audit and assurance to financial reporting and performance management. While some subjects might appeal to you, it is highly probable that due to the broad spectrum of subjects covered, some areas may be more challenging.

I find many students enjoy the more computational logical subjects, like financial reporting and tax, but struggle with the case study (or dry subjects like audit). This means they have to put in more effort than expected into passing certain subjects and they often underestimate the time and effort required.

4. Managing study alongside work responsibilities

Many of our Kaplan students already have high level positions in their respective organisations and struggle with managing their work responsibilities and finding time to study.

This is far more prevalent at the final Strategic Professional exams where many students have managerial responsibility yet have to find time for their study preparation despite their demanding career commitments.

A simple strategy to get through the pain of failure

According to ex-Navy Seal, David Goggins, in his incredible book, ‘Can’t Hurt Me’, you need to develop a calloused mind. This strength of will only comes from confronting our weaknesses instead of trying to run away from them.

By accepting your failures honestly, you stop viewing failure as a painful experience, but instead as part of the learning journey. In times of extreme stress such as an exam environment, people do not rise to the level of their expectations, instead they fall to the level of their training.

This is why, at Kaplan, we believe in rigorous exam question practice. By conditioning our students to attempt exam questions under timed conditions, they are able to perform successfully in the exam.

Extensive exam practice and tutor support

Choose your qualification
An image of Neil Da Costa

Written by Neil Da Costa

Neil specialises in taxation and has a strong audit and financial reporting background. He has a talent for explaining technical concepts without jargon and tutors Kaplan learners across ACCA, CIMA, ACA and CTA qualifications.

View all from Neil Da Costa


Related articles

From beauty to balance sheets: Emily's career change

From beauty to balance sheets: Emily's career change

The twelfth episode of Career Goals is here and features unique career changer, Kaplan apprentice, and social media ambassador, Emily Gough.

Kaplan · 7 minute read

Online learning: ALN, AI, and blended learning

Online learning: ALN, AI, and blended learning

This episode of our Learn Better podcast features guest, Dr. Cristi Ford - the Vice President of Academic Affairs at D2L.

Kaplan · 6 minute read

How to tell a good story with financial modelling

How to tell a good story with financial modelling

Financial modelling allows you to tell a story and transform simple digits into insights and predictions. Here’s everything you need to know.

Kaplan · 5 minute read

View all articles

Reasons why students fail their exams

Computer game imagery

At some point, everyone fails - but it’s not the end! Our Tax guru, Neil Da Costa, analyses reasons for failure and how best to be less affected by it.

Farida, a student, was an intelligent lady with a track record of performing well in academic exams. She had perfect A-Levels, a First in her Economics degree, and sailed through her ACCA accountancy exams until meeting me at Advanced Tax. At this stage, however, she failed - with 49%.

This was a very painful experience for Farida and for months she agonised about getting her script remarked or contemplating scenarios that would’ve led to a better result.

A positive response

Fortunately, Farida reached out to me, and we came up with an action plan with specific tasks for her to cover each week. At this point she had overcome the pain of failure and was able to focus her attention on learning the extra material.

She repeatedly practised exam questions that we covered on our Kaplan revision course and on the Pre Exam Workshops (PEW). So she went into the exam feeling relatively calm. She read through the questions carefully and felt that she’d done her best. However, she didn’t feel she could tempt fate by assuming she would pass.

It was tormenting, having to wait for the results, but finally she sent me an ecstatic email informing me she had passed with 79%.

So, why do students fail their accountancy exams?

From my experience working as a tutor there are recurring reasons…

1. Not learning the technical material after the lectures

On our Kaplan tuition courses, we cover the key elements of the syllabus, but it is important to realise that attending the lectures and understanding the technical content is not enough. You then have to find the time to review the lecture material and practice the questions allocated for homework.

2. Lack of exam question practice

After the tuition courses, Kaplan run revision courses where we focus on working through actual previous exam questions. This shows our students how to analyse the examiner’s requirements and pick up the easier marks in the question.

It’s important to bear in mind that you only need to pass the exam and you don’t need to get everything perfectly correct. Students who don’t practice enough exam questions find they cannot cope with the pressure of the exam.

3. Assuming that all the subjects are the same

The professional accountancy qualification covers a broad range of subjects from company law, tax, audit and assurance to financial reporting and performance management. While some subjects might appeal to you, it is highly probable that due to the broad spectrum of subjects covered, some areas may be more challenging.

I find many students enjoy the more computational logical subjects, like financial reporting and tax, but struggle with the case study (or dry subjects like audit). This means they have to put in more effort than expected into passing certain subjects and they often underestimate the time and effort required.

4. Managing study alongside work responsibilities

Many of our Kaplan students already have high level positions in their respective organisations and struggle with managing their work responsibilities and finding time to study.

This is far more prevalent at the final Strategic Professional exams where many students have managerial responsibility yet have to find time for their study preparation despite their demanding career commitments.

A simple strategy to get through the pain of failure

According to ex-Navy Seal, David Goggins, in his incredible book, ‘Can’t Hurt Me’, you need to develop a calloused mind. This strength of will only comes from confronting our weaknesses instead of trying to run away from them.

By accepting your failures honestly, you stop viewing failure as a painful experience, but instead as part of the learning journey. In times of extreme stress such as an exam environment, people do not rise to the level of their expectations, instead they fall to the level of their training.

This is why, at Kaplan, we believe in rigorous exam question practice. By conditioning our students to attempt exam questions under timed conditions, they are able to perform successfully in the exam.

Extensive exam practice and tutor support

Choose your qualification
An image of Neil Da Costa

Written by Neil Da Costa

Neil specialises in taxation and has a strong audit and financial reporting background. He has a talent for explaining technical concepts without jargon and tutors Kaplan learners across ACCA, CIMA, ACA and CTA qualifications.

View all from Neil Da Costa


Related articles

From beauty to balance sheets: Emily's career change

From beauty to balance sheets: Emily's career change

The twelfth episode of Career Goals is here and features unique career changer, Kaplan apprentice, and social media ambassador, Emily Gough.

Kaplan · 7 minute read

Online learning: ALN, AI, and blended learning

Online learning: ALN, AI, and blended learning

This episode of our Learn Better podcast features guest, Dr. Cristi Ford - the Vice President of Academic Affairs at D2L.

Kaplan · 6 minute read

How to tell a good story with financial modelling

How to tell a good story with financial modelling

Financial modelling allows you to tell a story and transform simple digits into insights and predictions. Here’s everything you need to know.

Kaplan · 5 minute read

View all articles

Reasons why students fail their exams

Computer game imagery

At some point, everyone fails - but it’s not the end! Our Tax guru, Neil Da Costa, analyses reasons for failure and how best to be less affected by it.

Farida, a student, was an intelligent lady with a track record of performing well in academic exams. She had perfect A-Levels, a First in her Economics degree, and sailed through her ACCA accountancy exams until meeting me at Advanced Tax. At this stage, however, she failed - with 49%.

This was a very painful experience for Farida and for months she agonised about getting her script remarked or contemplating scenarios that would’ve led to a better result.

A positive response

Fortunately, Farida reached out to me, and we came up with an action plan with specific tasks for her to cover each week. At this point she had overcome the pain of failure and was able to focus her attention on learning the extra material.

She repeatedly practised exam questions that we covered on our Kaplan revision course and on the Pre Exam Workshops (PEW). So she went into the exam feeling relatively calm. She read through the questions carefully and felt that she’d done her best. However, she didn’t feel she could tempt fate by assuming she would pass.

It was tormenting, having to wait for the results, but finally she sent me an ecstatic email informing me she had passed with 79%.

So, why do students fail their accountancy exams?

From my experience working as a tutor there are recurring reasons…

1. Not learning the technical material after the lectures

On our Kaplan tuition courses, we cover the key elements of the syllabus, but it is important to realise that attending the lectures and understanding the technical content is not enough. You then have to find the time to review the lecture material and practice the questions allocated for homework.

2. Lack of exam question practice

After the tuition courses, Kaplan run revision courses where we focus on working through actual previous exam questions. This shows our students how to analyse the examiner’s requirements and pick up the easier marks in the question.

It’s important to bear in mind that you only need to pass the exam and you don’t need to get everything perfectly correct. Students who don’t practice enough exam questions find they cannot cope with the pressure of the exam.

3. Assuming that all the subjects are the same

The professional accountancy qualification covers a broad range of subjects from company law, tax, audit and assurance to financial reporting and performance management. While some subjects might appeal to you, it is highly probable that due to the broad spectrum of subjects covered, some areas may be more challenging.

I find many students enjoy the more computational logical subjects, like financial reporting and tax, but struggle with the case study (or dry subjects like audit). This means they have to put in more effort than expected into passing certain subjects and they often underestimate the time and effort required.

4. Managing study alongside work responsibilities

Many of our Kaplan students already have high level positions in their respective organisations and struggle with managing their work responsibilities and finding time to study.

This is far more prevalent at the final Strategic Professional exams where many students have managerial responsibility yet have to find time for their study preparation despite their demanding career commitments.

A simple strategy to get through the pain of failure

According to ex-Navy Seal, David Goggins, in his incredible book, ‘Can’t Hurt Me’, you need to develop a calloused mind. This strength of will only comes from confronting our weaknesses instead of trying to run away from them.

By accepting your failures honestly, you stop viewing failure as a painful experience, but instead as part of the learning journey. In times of extreme stress such as an exam environment, people do not rise to the level of their expectations, instead they fall to the level of their training.

This is why, at Kaplan, we believe in rigorous exam question practice. By conditioning our students to attempt exam questions under timed conditions, they are able to perform successfully in the exam.

Extensive exam practice and tutor support

Choose your qualification
An image of Neil Da Costa

Written by Neil Da Costa

Neil specialises in taxation and has a strong audit and financial reporting background. He has a talent for explaining technical concepts without jargon and tutors Kaplan learners across ACCA, CIMA, ACA and CTA qualifications.

View all from Neil Da Costa


Related articles

From beauty to balance sheets: Emily's career change

From beauty to balance sheets: Emily's career change

The twelfth episode of Career Goals is here and features unique career changer, Kaplan apprentice, and social media ambassador, Emily Gough.

Kaplan · 7 minute read

Online learning: ALN, AI, and blended learning

Online learning: ALN, AI, and blended learning

This episode of our Learn Better podcast features guest, Dr. Cristi Ford - the Vice President of Academic Affairs at D2L.

Kaplan · 6 minute read

How to tell a good story with financial modelling

How to tell a good story with financial modelling

Financial modelling allows you to tell a story and transform simple digits into insights and predictions. Here’s everything you need to know.

Kaplan · 5 minute read

View all articles

Transformations

View all

Reasons why students fail their exams

Computer game imagery

At some point, everyone fails - but it’s not the end! Our Tax guru, Neil Da Costa, analyses reasons for failure and how best to be less affected by it.

Farida, a student, was an intelligent lady with a track record of performing well in academic exams. She had perfect A-Levels, a First in her Economics degree, and sailed through her ACCA accountancy exams until meeting me at Advanced Tax. At this stage, however, she failed - with 49%.

This was a very painful experience for Farida and for months she agonised about getting her script remarked or contemplating scenarios that would’ve led to a better result.

A positive response

Fortunately, Farida reached out to me, and we came up with an action plan with specific tasks for her to cover each week. At this point she had overcome the pain of failure and was able to focus her attention on learning the extra material.

She repeatedly practised exam questions that we covered on our Kaplan revision course and on the Pre Exam Workshops (PEW). So she went into the exam feeling relatively calm. She read through the questions carefully and felt that she’d done her best. However, she didn’t feel she could tempt fate by assuming she would pass.

It was tormenting, having to wait for the results, but finally she sent me an ecstatic email informing me she had passed with 79%.

So, why do students fail their accountancy exams?

From my experience working as a tutor there are recurring reasons…

1. Not learning the technical material after the lectures

On our Kaplan tuition courses, we cover the key elements of the syllabus, but it is important to realise that attending the lectures and understanding the technical content is not enough. You then have to find the time to review the lecture material and practice the questions allocated for homework.

2. Lack of exam question practice

After the tuition courses, Kaplan run revision courses where we focus on working through actual previous exam questions. This shows our students how to analyse the examiner’s requirements and pick up the easier marks in the question.

It’s important to bear in mind that you only need to pass the exam and you don’t need to get everything perfectly correct. Students who don’t practice enough exam questions find they cannot cope with the pressure of the exam.

3. Assuming that all the subjects are the same

The professional accountancy qualification covers a broad range of subjects from company law, tax, audit and assurance to financial reporting and performance management. While some subjects might appeal to you, it is highly probable that due to the broad spectrum of subjects covered, some areas may be more challenging.

I find many students enjoy the more computational logical subjects, like financial reporting and tax, but struggle with the case study (or dry subjects like audit). This means they have to put in more effort than expected into passing certain subjects and they often underestimate the time and effort required.

4. Managing study alongside work responsibilities

Many of our Kaplan students already have high level positions in their respective organisations and struggle with managing their work responsibilities and finding time to study.

This is far more prevalent at the final Strategic Professional exams where many students have managerial responsibility yet have to find time for their study preparation despite their demanding career commitments.

A simple strategy to get through the pain of failure

According to ex-Navy Seal, David Goggins, in his incredible book, ‘Can’t Hurt Me’, you need to develop a calloused mind. This strength of will only comes from confronting our weaknesses instead of trying to run away from them.

By accepting your failures honestly, you stop viewing failure as a painful experience, but instead as part of the learning journey. In times of extreme stress such as an exam environment, people do not rise to the level of their expectations, instead they fall to the level of their training.

This is why, at Kaplan, we believe in rigorous exam question practice. By conditioning our students to attempt exam questions under timed conditions, they are able to perform successfully in the exam.

Extensive exam practice and tutor support

Choose your qualification
An image of Neil Da Costa

Written by Neil Da Costa

Neil specialises in taxation and has a strong audit and financial reporting background. He has a talent for explaining technical concepts without jargon and tutors Kaplan learners across ACCA, CIMA, ACA and CTA qualifications.

View all from Neil Da Costa


Related articles

From beauty to balance sheets: Emily's career change

From beauty to balance sheets: Emily's career change

The twelfth episode of Career Goals is here and features unique career changer, Kaplan apprentice, and social media ambassador, Emily Gough.

Kaplan · 7 minute read

Online learning: ALN, AI, and blended learning

Online learning: ALN, AI, and blended learning

This episode of our Learn Better podcast features guest, Dr. Cristi Ford - the Vice President of Academic Affairs at D2L.

Kaplan · 6 minute read

How to tell a good story with financial modelling

How to tell a good story with financial modelling

Financial modelling allows you to tell a story and transform simple digits into insights and predictions. Here’s everything you need to know.

Kaplan · 5 minute read

View all articles

Reasons why students fail their exams

Computer game imagery

At some point, everyone fails - but it’s not the end! Our Tax guru, Neil Da Costa, analyses reasons for failure and how best to be less affected by it.

Farida, a student, was an intelligent lady with a track record of performing well in academic exams. She had perfect A-Levels, a First in her Economics degree, and sailed through her ACCA accountancy exams until meeting me at Advanced Tax. At this stage, however, she failed - with 49%.

This was a very painful experience for Farida and for months she agonised about getting her script remarked or contemplating scenarios that would’ve led to a better result.

A positive response

Fortunately, Farida reached out to me, and we came up with an action plan with specific tasks for her to cover each week. At this point she had overcome the pain of failure and was able to focus her attention on learning the extra material.

She repeatedly practised exam questions that we covered on our Kaplan revision course and on the Pre Exam Workshops (PEW). So she went into the exam feeling relatively calm. She read through the questions carefully and felt that she’d done her best. However, she didn’t feel she could tempt fate by assuming she would pass.

It was tormenting, having to wait for the results, but finally she sent me an ecstatic email informing me she had passed with 79%.

So, why do students fail their accountancy exams?

From my experience working as a tutor there are recurring reasons…

1. Not learning the technical material after the lectures

On our Kaplan tuition courses, we cover the key elements of the syllabus, but it is important to realise that attending the lectures and understanding the technical content is not enough. You then have to find the time to review the lecture material and practice the questions allocated for homework.

2. Lack of exam question practice

After the tuition courses, Kaplan run revision courses where we focus on working through actual previous exam questions. This shows our students how to analyse the examiner’s requirements and pick up the easier marks in the question.

It’s important to bear in mind that you only need to pass the exam and you don’t need to get everything perfectly correct. Students who don’t practice enough exam questions find they cannot cope with the pressure of the exam.

3. Assuming that all the subjects are the same

The professional accountancy qualification covers a broad range of subjects from company law, tax, audit and assurance to financial reporting and performance management. While some subjects might appeal to you, it is highly probable that due to the broad spectrum of subjects covered, some areas may be more challenging.

I find many students enjoy the more computational logical subjects, like financial reporting and tax, but struggle with the case study (or dry subjects like audit). This means they have to put in more effort than expected into passing certain subjects and they often underestimate the time and effort required.

4. Managing study alongside work responsibilities

Many of our Kaplan students already have high level positions in their respective organisations and struggle with managing their work responsibilities and finding time to study.

This is far more prevalent at the final Strategic Professional exams where many students have managerial responsibility yet have to find time for their study preparation despite their demanding career commitments.

A simple strategy to get through the pain of failure

According to ex-Navy Seal, David Goggins, in his incredible book, ‘Can’t Hurt Me’, you need to develop a calloused mind. This strength of will only comes from confronting our weaknesses instead of trying to run away from them.

By accepting your failures honestly, you stop viewing failure as a painful experience, but instead as part of the learning journey. In times of extreme stress such as an exam environment, people do not rise to the level of their expectations, instead they fall to the level of their training.

This is why, at Kaplan, we believe in rigorous exam question practice. By conditioning our students to attempt exam questions under timed conditions, they are able to perform successfully in the exam.

Extensive exam practice and tutor support

Choose your qualification
An image of Neil Da Costa

Written by Neil Da Costa

Neil specialises in taxation and has a strong audit and financial reporting background. He has a talent for explaining technical concepts without jargon and tutors Kaplan learners across ACCA, CIMA, ACA and CTA qualifications.

View all from Neil Da Costa


Related articles

From beauty to balance sheets: Emily's career change

From beauty to balance sheets: Emily's career change

The twelfth episode of Career Goals is here and features unique career changer, Kaplan apprentice, and social media ambassador, Emily Gough.

Kaplan · 7 minute read

Online learning: ALN, AI, and blended learning

Online learning: ALN, AI, and blended learning

This episode of our Learn Better podcast features guest, Dr. Cristi Ford - the Vice President of Academic Affairs at D2L.

Kaplan · 6 minute read

How to tell a good story with financial modelling

How to tell a good story with financial modelling

Financial modelling allows you to tell a story and transform simple digits into insights and predictions. Here’s everything you need to know.

Kaplan · 5 minute read

View all articles