How Iris prevailed & passed the ACCA AAA paper

Iris was a student who failed the ACCA AAA paper 3 times who prevailed & passed the paper.

This is the story of one of my students, who against the odds, secured a pass in ACCA’s Advanced Audit & Assurance (AAA).

Trying but faltering

Iris lives in Ipoh, about 200 kilometres away from Kuala Lumpur, where my class was. 

This young lady had tried several times, self-studying for AAA, but failed each time she sat for the paper. 

It was the final paper she had to pass to graduate. 

A friend told her about my classes and also pointed out that I had helped many like her, secure a pass for this paper. 

AAA has always had a very low global pass rate of 30+%. 

Even so, students can pass this paper if a tutor guides them on what to do and the student follows through and does what the tutor instructs.


Iris was so determined to pass. 

I could see her determination.  She took the train from Ipoh (after working the whole day at 4 pm) to join my class at 6.30 pm. 

The train ride is two hours one-way. 

The class would end at 9.30 pm and she would rush to catch the last train back to Ipoh. 

That would be another long, two-hour train ride home.

Step by Step Improvement

The AAA course duration is 16 weeks. Students are required to submit assignments for marking. 

Iris handed in her assignments. 

As I marked them, I could see that she needed a lot of help. Iris is Chinese-educated and her English was not strong. 

With each assignment, Iris began to improve. She listened to comments made. She absorbed the comments like a sponge. 

She was not afraid to ask questions when she did not understand something. We worked on both her AAA and her English. 

I showed her how to frame her sentences to earn marks. 

She struggled. But Iris was willing to work for it. 

It was not all smooth sailing. Some topics were more challenging than others. 

But she worked at it. Week after week...assignment after assignment. 

She listened to the lectures and she did whatever I told her to do. Week by week her work improved.

Trusting the work put in

As the exam day approached, Iris got nervous and kept saying she was unsure that she would pass. I kept encouraging her to focus. 

I told her that even if she did not trust herself, she should trust the examination techniques and the work that she put in. Trust the process.

After the exam, she had confided in a course-mate, that she did not think she would make it. She felt devastated.

The exam results are released some six weeks after the exam.

Result Day

Iris called me at 7.00 AM on results day. She was so excited. She had passed.

As she broke the news I had goosebumps and a tear in my eye.

The joy and relief! We were both thrilled that our efforts had paid off huge dividends. 

Her success was my success too. This was why I taught the subject. These wins gave me a sense of purpose and joy.

FINALLY, she would make the ACCA graduates list for the year.

Keys to Passing AAA

Iris just needed someone to guide her. To teach her the required knowledge.

To share memory aides like acronyms and mnemonics for key points in accounting and auditing standards. 

To help her understand what is it that the examiner is looking for. 

To show her how to go through the scenarios presented. 

To show her tips and tricks to ace exam questions. 

To show her how to begin the first line of the answer and how to end it.

Success is not a respecter of persons

I showed her the way, but it was Iris who put them into practice. 

She was brave and determined enough to succeed. 

There are so many other students with similar success stories. 

Only that their names and circumstances may be different. 

It is all worth the effort when I hear the student has passed AAA. 

And I am excited to work with the next batch of students.

Do you need my help? Please Whatsapp me. I am here for you.

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Iris at her graduation