Last September, I applied for the Yayasan Peneraju ACCA PPAM B Sponsorship online. If you do not know what ACCA is, it stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants . To be certified as a professional accountant, there are a variety of certifications you can pursue. For example, in Malaysia, we have the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA). Meanwhile, in the UK, they have ACCA and is recognised worldwide. I can’t brief you on this any further so you’re going to have to look for more information about it online.
Anyway, I applied for the sponsorship online and it was very very easy. They announced that the online application was open on their Facebook page so I just clicked on the link and it led me to a Google Form page where all you have to do is fill up your name, your educational institution, educational levels, grades and whatnot. It took me less than 5 minutes to do all of that. So, if you want to apply, make sure you follow them closely on Facebook.
Yayasan Peneraju has various sponsorship programmes for ACCA so you really have to go to their site and choose which sponsorship programme you would like to apply for. For me, I chose PPAM B. It is a full-time study programme for those who have completed their Diplomas or their CATs.
After a couple of weeks, they e-mailed me to inform me that I have been shortlisted and I would need to go to Shah Alam in early November to attend their assessment and interview process. I was actually surprised that they contacted me so quick because I’ve asked a senior of mine and he said that his interview was in December.
So, earlier this week, I went to Shah Alam and attended their assessment and interview process.
The assessment session was held at 8.30AM until around 12PM. We were all gathered in the computer lab because the tests are completely electronic. All we had to bring with us was a pen, pencil, eraser and earphones. There were two assessments; an English assessment and a technical assessment. Here are the details that you would need to know for the assessments :
1. English assessment
- Oxford British English online test
- tests your grammar, vocabulary and understanding
- grammar : multiple choice questions
- vocabulary : fill in the blank
- understanding : listening test, multiple choice questions based on audio
- passing mark : 50%
2. Technical assessment
- tests your basic accounting knowledge; financial accounting and management accounting
- 100% multiple choice question
- basic calculation; eg. calculate gross profit in RM or percentage, closing inventory, mark-up, cost etc
- basic theory questions; responsibility of manager, accounting concepts, accounting equation etc
- passing mark : 50%
For the interview, it was an two-on-one interview with five different panels. The purpose of the interview is for the interviewer to get to know you a bit better and test your speaking abilities or your soft skill. The interview is completely professional because they obviously want to choose a professional candidate to pursue a professional certification to become a professional accountant. So, you really need to look and sound professional. Some of the questions that they would ask are :
- A brief introduction about yourself
- Family background
- Why do you want to pursue ACCA?
- What do you know about ACCA?
- What would you do if you don’t get the sponsorship?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- What’s your favourite subject from Diploma/CAT?
The interview began at 1.30PM. Everyone was divided into 5 groups and we were all numbered. For my interview, I prepared myself a week in advance. I wouldn’t stop talking to the mirror in my room, just imagining myself sitting in front of the panel and answering all the questions that they would typically ask. However, because I was number 11 out of 12 people, I had to wait until 4.30PM for my turn to get interviewed. By that time, I was already so tired, worn out and I felt so lethargic from just waiting for time to pass by. Luckily, the interviewers had some trouble interviewing me because they were also really tired from listening to so many people talk within 3 hours. Just like any other interview, they asked questions and I had to answer. It’s very important that during the interview, you do most of the talking. Try to give as much information as you can, don’t wait for them to ask in detail. If they ask, “Why do you want to pursue ACCA?”, don’t just give one short answer. You should really try to explain in detail and give them maybe a back story.
My tips are 1) brush up on your English speaking skills, 2) practice in front of the mirror, prepare like a mental speech or something so you already know what you want to say, 3) be completely honest, 4) don’t put so much pressure on yourself to sell yourself to the interviewer. Some interviewers would like to see you sell yourself but then again, it’s all about being the most sincere and the most honest so that, you exude the sincerity and the passion that you would like them to see.
That’s all from me. If you have anymore questions about the assessment and interview, feel free to personally e-mail/tweet/insta-DM me for advice. Make sure you do a lot of research so that you know what you’re putting at stake by pursuing ACCA or pursuing the sponsorship programme. Make sure you know what the programme entails and what not. I’ve provided a couple of links in this post for you to check out but you should really try to do more research about the programme.
Update : I did not get the sponsorship, unfortunately. This goes to show that your grades and technical assessment score don’t matter. I was still accepted into INTEC College but I turned down the offer and decided to do my ACCA at Sunway College, Kuching instead.
Talk again soon,