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Meet the experts: Andrew Mower - ACCA/CIMA/ACA Tutor

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Can you tell us a little bit about what you do at Kaplan and what sort of responsibilities you have?

I'm an ACCA, CIMA and ACA tutor in London. My main role is teaching, specialising in financial management papers, along with some strategy, CIMA Operational Case Study and management accounting. I also help national product to design courses that work best for our students, with a London focus.

What was your background before joining Kaplan?

I did a Chemistry degree at Imperial College London. I applied for a range of jobs as graduation drew closer, and ended up moving to Leeds to join the PwC graduate programme. There I had a great time studying with Kaplan, and qualified as an ACA. My role at PwC was in Forensic Services, which involved working on cases involving fraud, anti-money laundering and commercial disputes.

How have you used your previous experience when teaching to help students?

Several strategy papers, such as CIMA E1, involve topics involving fraud - that allows me to bring real-life examples into class. I also know what it is like to be a student at Kaplan, so I design my courses with the student in mind - what makes it interesting for them, and how can I help them to pass their exam first time.

Did you know?

We wanted to give you an insight into some of the work that goes on behind the scenes, so you can see how everything comes together to make sure that our courses give you the exam confidence you need.

How do Kaplan help students feel as confident as possible for their exams?

Kaplan offers a wide range of study resources - from interactive mock exams and question banks to online videos and the Kaplan Practice App.

Our tutor team are also incredibly supportive and we will do our utmost to ensure that our students are feeling confident ahead of the exam.

You've taught several Prizewinners during your time at Kaplan, including two in the most recent exam sitting. What do you think makes a good Prizewinner?

Students who go on to win prizes are always extremely dedicated to their studies, and are keen to learn in class - they get involved in answering questions and group discussions. The Prizewinners I taught for CIMA Operational Case Study had one thing in common; they wrote a lot! The case studies are all about getting lots of concise points down, which they did incredibly well.

For other subjects, I'd always recommend practising as many questions as possible ahead of the exam. Students feel like they know a topic but when they are asked to write about, they struggle to get their thoughts down - so question practice is absolutely key.

How does the work you do impact our students and improve their overall experience of studying with Kaplan?

I prepare all my courses with the student in mind, and like to include things like quizzes in order to keep it fun and participative. This helps the students to remember certain topics and keeps the day interesting.

We are also constantly looking at developing our courses to offer the greatest flexibility for our students. Over the past 6 months I've been recording videos for Kaplan's new CIMA OnDemand product, which allows students to watch videos whenever suits them and progress through their exams at their own pace. This new product, combined with our distance learning, Live Online and classroom courses allows students to study in the best way to suit their individual circumstances.

What has been the biggest development or improvement that you’ve seen since joining Kaplan?

The use of technology. We now have laptops in classrooms for students to use, especially for the CIMA exams which are all computer-based. In London we have '21st Century Classrooms' which have round desks and moveable chairs, with screens all around the room. We have also developed the Kaplan Practice App and are looking to launch an exciting new learning system in 2017.