The agony and the ecstacy of exams

The agony and the ecstacy of exams

Traditional nerves accompanied would-be accountants picking up exam results in traditional manner at Victoria Station on Friday night.

Careers were on the line as students hunted first editions of Saturday’s Times. Inside lay the key to a successful future or a serious career rethink.

Most hurried from the brightly-lit kiosk to the comfort of the darkness to discover their fate. Some tore frantically at the pages until they found the massed alphabetical ranks of passes and referrals.

Few knew that they could have picked up their results hours beforehand after the English ICA released them early because of the postal strike.

Mark Jarratt from Deloitte & Touche phoned the institute, but insisted on confirming his good news in time-honoured fashion.

Colleague Toby Wilson followed soon after, but admitted: ‘I’m fairly confident I’ve failed.’

He sneaked off to scrutinise the pages. Seconds later he sprinted back.

‘I passed,’ he shouted, punching the air. ‘I can’t believe it, totally unexpected.’

Candidates who collected their results from the institute hotline started their celebrating earlier than the rest. Accountancy Age caught up with some in London’s nightclubs.

Jim Richardson, an Ernst & Young referral, was ecstatic. ‘I am overjoyed.

Failure meant no job.’

Their champagne cork popping joy – 2,364 candidates braved the exam, enjoying a pass rate of 60% – was matched by desolation for failures.

One hopeful frantically checked and re-checked the pass list before moving to the referrals. The desperate process was repeated, but the pained expression on his face said everything.

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