Monday, September 21, 2009

10 Habits That Will Make You Fail in Accounting (Part I)

For the past year, I have been teaching basic accounting and business subjects to college students. I’ve been getting a reputation for being strict and giving out difficult exams (I figured I might as well have my “revenge” for all those difficult exams in college, LOL, j/k). Don’t get me wrong. One of my class already graduated (despite those difficult exams) and I was sure glad they did. But not all were fortunate to graduate. Unfortunately, I have to flunk one or two of my graduating students (further cementing my “reputation”). Can’t be helped as their results were really so down there, I can’t pull them up no matter what I do (and the school admin will like kill me if I do).

Some of my students openly wondered why I failed some of my other students. Which had me thinking, okay, why did they really fail? I mean, am I such an ogre that I am not content until I fail one or two of them =). Simple answer, NO. Another simple answer, because they did some things they shouldn’t have done and they didn’t do some things they should have done. So, for this blog, I’m not going to write about the things they should have done. There are already a lot of advices out there for this one. I’m going to write about things they shouldn’t have done and hope, really hope that the students who read this will pick up some lessons from this blog. So, read on.

1. Not Attending Class. This one can really get my goat. I mean, the subject is not really that easy (especially if this is the first time you’re taking accounting, it’s almost like a foreign language to you) and if you don’t attend it, what will you really learn? Nothing beats attending class religiously to hear and see everything firsthand.

2. Not Doing Assignments. Now this they do all the time. As if they can pass if they don’t do their assignments. Personally, I think the only way to get good results from an accounting subject is to do the exercises and assignments thrown at you by your professor or teacher. Sure you may not get the lesson in the first place, but continuous practicing by answering these problems can go a long way towards understanding accounting.

3. Not Taking Notes. Now what are you? A person with a photographic memory? Do you memorize what your teacher writes on the board or what your teacher says? Listening is a good skill by itself, but for a student in accounting, not taking down notes is tantamount to a grade suicide in the subject.

4. Relying on Other Students. Okay, you don’t take down notes, you don’t do your assignments and you don’t attend class. So what do you do? Rely on your classmates for those notes and assignments, especially when you are absent. The occasional copying of notes and even assignments is okay (especially if you have a good excuse) but doing it all the time? Not good.

5. Not Managing Time Well. I know, I know. Students have a lot of things to do. They have assignments in all of their subjects, plus their thesis, plus their case studies, plus their exams, plus everything else. Time management skills are very important to manage all these. Unfortunately, these skills are lacking in a lot of students (not only mine) and their grades or results suffer because of this.

(to be continued...)


  1. "Not Taking Notes. Now what are you? A person with a photographic memory? "

    Actually, yes, I am. ;)

    But seriously, given how hyper-competitive it gets in the market for CA student jobs, if someone's not trying, I wonder why they're even bothering to enroll in the first place?

    I find it interesting that people even know someone failed - at so many universities the fate of your anonymous classmates is such a mystery I'm surprised people would know what happens to anyone outside their immediate circle of friends. Is your place a bit more tight-knit?

  2. Well congrats if you have one. Wish I have a photographic memory too, will save me all the trouble of memorizing stuff :).

    Actually, I'm teaching in a smaller school right now but some of the habits I noted above, I also noted during the time when I was in college (long time ago). I won't exactly call it tight knit but I'm the type of person who kind of knows some of these stuff even though the info did not come from my circle of friends :)

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