How to make up for a 2:2?


Long story short, I was working full-time my last year of university and my father was very ill, both of which distracted me from my studies and I ended up with a high 2:2 when I graduated in 2008. Since then, I have been successful in the field I chose to go into (marketing - my degree is in communications), being promoted twice, but I’m not entirely happy with my career, and after a few months of research I’ve decided I’d like to move into accounting.

Obviously my degree has closed a lot of doors for me, and the fact that I’m American and don’t have any A-levels or GSCEs isn’t helping. I’m trying to figure out how to demonstrate to firms that I’m more competent than my “2:2, no A-levels or GSCEs” looks and get an ACA training contract.

I’ve been considering doing the ICAEW certificate in finance, accounting and business independently, which is just all six of the knowledge exams for ACA. I thought if I’ve passed one-third of the exams by myself it would show firms that I’m a good bet. However, I wouldn’t want to do this if it won’t help me get a training contract. Has anyone heard of anyone doing this? Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can prove my abilities?


I’m also not sure whether it’s worth mentioning that I was a single point off a 2:1 (299 rather than 300, for a 59.8 rather than 60), which is obviously very frustrating but also might be of interest to firms - or maybe I’m just being hopeful.


Hey, I was in a similar position. If you can provide evidence of your extenuating circumstances, they will consider your application!


It’s usually mentioned in the initial applications that you can mention mitigating circumstances and that they will review your reasons on a case by case basis so perhaps try that? You could also ring the recruitment department and ask about the possibility of applying after having passed the knowledge section of the ACA?


I second what the graduate said about ringing recruitment departments of the firms you want to apply to. You have nothing to lose by doing this but if you don’t it could result in you wasting a lot of time completing the knowledge modules by yourself. On another note, you have some decent extenuating circumstances and if you try to explain the situation to the firm then you definitely stand a chance with getting to the next stage (even possibly with big 4). Just do your best to find out.
Good luck!