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Tuesday Apr 27 2021

Hard work and grit helped me achieve my goals, says student who topped ACCA exam

Ali Shan, 19, hails from Karachi. — Facebook/ACCA.Pakistan

Ali Shan, 19, hailing from Karachi, outperformed peers around the world in the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Financial Reporting exam despite coronavirus hurdles affecting his studies.

Shan was among the three students who globally topped ACCA exams in April. The other two, Fakiha Maqsood and Kahaf Moid, secured the top positions in the Advanced Taxation paper and Audit and Assurance, respectively.

Speaking to, the 19-year-old spoke about his study schedule and said that he tries to strike a balance between studies and other activities.

"I always try not to overburden myself by studying for long hours. I set a schedule every day and try to stick to it," he said.

Shan said that his leisure time begins once he's done with his daily plan, and he indulges himself in other productive activities.

"For the ACCA papers, your understanding of concepts matters a lot. I always try to develop a deep understanding of what I study in class," the 19-year-old said.

Sharing his strategy for others to follow, he said: "My technique for the financial reporting exam was to practice a lot. I attempted lots of exam questions as well as mock exams."

Shah said that as the coronavirus pandemic broke out, his educational institution switched to online classes. 

"The shift from in-person to online studies was not swift; it was a challenge," he said. 

But Shan lauded his teachers for supporting him and motivating him to do his best despite the hurdles, which ultimately helped him achieve the top spot.

"Ali is the eldest son in a family of 5 and wants to do something big for himself, as well as for the people around him," the ACCA said in a Facebook post.

Ali’s father is a marketing professional, and his mother teaches at a school. He started the ACCA after completing his Intermediate certification in Commerce with an A-1 grade. 

When asked what message he has for the youth and those pursuing their studies, Shan urged them to work hard and never give up as, without education, a person cannot achieve their goals in the contemporary world.

"Surround yourself with people that help you stay motivated and keep going," he said.

The young achiever added: "Today it might be hard, tomorrow you might struggle even worse, but in the end, after every night, there's dawn. So, look forward to it."