Question re: ACA

#1

To all those currently working at the Big 4 (particularly PwC) on average, how many days per week do you spend in the classroom?

I understand most of my free time will be spent studying but just would like a general feel of what my office hours throughout the week will comprise of in my first two years.

Many thanks!

#2

Study is self contained in blocks of 3 or 6 weeks so you do not have any work to interrupt the “full on” study. College is 9 til 4 ish I think then you have lots of work to do at home and in the evenings. I should add that for the first two 3 week blocks a lot of the study is self study…just you and your books at home. In your first year you have two 3 week blocks to cover the 6 knowlege exams then two 6 week blocks to cover the application exams. The gaps between the study blocks vary depending whether you are April or September intake. This is PwC London.
You will have pre couse reading to do before each course.
In the non study time you are assigned to clients. Drawing on current first years’ (assurance) experence in London office they have had days in Embankment with not a lot of work in the slack period then come the busy season they may be at clients til 8 or 9 in the evenings . First years will have to do some stock takes at the weekend.
So, under the current system work and study seem to be quite distinct. But that may change for your intake, who knows.
Deloittes in Reading split the 6 week block into 3 study, three client then back to three study and take exams.
The first years I know seem to have a normal life when it’s not study time but have no life apart from study when they are on the crammer courses, as that is what they are really.
But the very smart ones can still fit in a social life.
This is from knowledge of PwC from discussions with trainees.
Hope you get some personal experience responses.
Sorry but this is only the first year. The students I know are not yet in second year and the others I know are now qualified so took the exams under the pre 2007 system which had 5 fewer exams.
PS check to see if you may be exempt some first year exams depending on what subjects you read at uni etc.

#3

Generally the total amount of time you get for study is quite similar as Kaplan/BPP have set course lengths.

So mainly when you will go and how it is split up is the issue - this depends on firm, location (as which centres are there and what their timetable is) and start date

#4

Hey so in first year when you do 6 exams do you do 3 in winter and then 3 in summer? Also do you get say a week of classes on a subject and then an extra week of to prepare for the exam basically 1 exam = 2 weeks prep or am I totally off on this?

#5

Ha Ha you wish!
Example. Pwc April 6 2009 intake. They sat 9 exams by Sept 7th.

#6

Knowledge exams. Three weeks study then take three exams at the end of the 3

#7

weeks. Sorry missed that bit out.
To be fair the system sounds harsh but the focus and work is full on so your mind is really all geared up and ready.
You’ll be fine. Pass rates are high at all the big 4.