Life of a NUS Business (Acc) Student: AY 15/16 Semester 2

Disclaimer: Before I start, I will not reply to any requests for notes. I have already stated my reasons in previous posts so please do understand, thanks. 

trusty weapons of choice for the sem

trusty weapons of choice for the sem

4 semesters down, 4 more to go! Technically it’s 3 more semesters of studying only because I’m going to exchange next semester. Yays to 1 semester of no minimal studying and discovering Europe! Okay I was emo-ing for a while but not everyone was sharing the same excitement that I felt but whatever, the countdown is starting to feel real as time passes by day by day. Time is really passing too fast; perhaps its because of the weekly internship grind as July is coming by already.

Did this post in bits and pieces as internship has really drained the energy out of me. I tried to get this post out earlier (as compared to Y1S2 which was done in July), and slightly more detailed so hopefully it’s more useful to those who want to find more about the modules they are due to study for. Following up the Y2S1’s post, I took the accounting basket this semester and were pre-assigned ACC3601, ACC3603 & ACC3605. I delayed taking MNO2007 as I wanted to map the module overseas so my overall module mapping is slightly different as I have cleared most of my ULRs already. Undoubtedly, this was the most challenging semester academically wise so I’m just glad everything is over and I survived. (P.S. no pictures again, being lazy this round hahas sorry)

ACC3601 Corporate Accounting and Reporting

Least stressful and most straightforward module out of the 3 accounting modules. For Semester 2, this module was taught by Prof Edmund Keung, while for Semester 1 it was taught by Prof Stephen Lynn. Both professors focus on different things in the modules. and have different teaching styles so do please take note! From what I hear, Prof Lynn focuses more on calculations and gives weekly pop quizzes, while Prof Keung focus more on FRS along with its applications and impact on the corporate world. Nonetheless, this module has a healthy balance of learning the major FRS that affects the accounting world, along with solving calculation-based questions based on different FRS.

Textbook isn’t very useful but still required for the WileyPLUS (which is an online platform for the prof to upload practice questions and online textbook is available). This is a module where you can actually self-learn because the content isn’t very difficult. Prof Keung does use very funny analogies (is true love an asset or liability? omg I can’t even…) and although there is class part, I don’t think he really takes note of who is actively talking in class. This sectional is my first lesson of the week so it’s really quite a good stress-free start to the week.

Course assessment consists of 25% Assignments (3 assignments in total), 15% Class Participation, 30% Mid-Term & 30% Finals. Assignments are case studies of real life situations and each group also get around the same, so the only real differentiating factor are the written exams. You are allowed to bring in a two-sided cheatsheet for both mid-term and finals, so the bell curve is expected to be steep and a few marks can make all the difference of you being the top 25% or being below average.

Protip: Take note of Prof Keung’s assignments and his style of questions. For my semester, he had a focus on accounting principles and certain questions which came out in the assignment came out in the mid-terms and finals as well. Read his questions carefully and answer to the questions; don’t let habits affect your answering of the question.

Final Grade: B+

ACC3603 Assurance and Attestation

Better know as Audit! Most content heavy module out of the 3 accounting modules. Our first lecture notes already had 140 slides, and the slides were all super wordy. This module requires no textbook and was taught by Prof Chu Mui Kim. She is a very knowledgeable professor who also teaches in SIM, so trust me students in her class are in good hands. Around 75% of accounting students will end up doing an audit internship, so as much as you may not like the module, please do try your best to take away something from it; you wouldn’t want to appear lost like a headless chicken not knowing how to do something during your internship.

Components of the module include: 10% Class Participation, 20% Group Project, 10% Case Presentation and 60% Finals, the only accounting module out of the 3 which have such a heavy weightage on Finals. Prof Chu does take note of who speaks up and who doesn’t, but since class part isn’t a large factor the difference it makes is quite negligible. If she remembers your name, it’s a positive sign so speaking up a few times (like once every lesson?) is more than enough. There are 6 case presentations (so 6 groups) so for some lessons you just need to sit there and hear people present. You won’t have time to do all the cases before each sectional so just read up a bit so that you won’t be lost during each presentation. Group project consists of a presentation (5%) and report (15%), both are quite manageable and again people get around the same marks. In the end, the finals are the make-it-or-break-it factor. Personally, I thought I didn’t really answered the questions well for finals but everyone feels the same way so again, PRAY TO THE BELL CURVE GODS~!

Protip: Come prepared for the finals because it is the one that decides your grade. Pre-type out certain model answers (for example: the audit procedures and area of assertions for each topic) so that it will be just copy & paste in the exam because you definitely won’t have enough time. And remember sharing is caring, so do exchange notes with your friends to make your notes preparation as efficient as possible. Also do use some time to understand the notes you prepared, don’t get too engrossed in preparing the perfect notes!

Final Grade: B+

ACC3605 Taxation

The entire world of Tax revolves around the law, such as the Singapore Income Tax Act and GST Act, unlike accounting which is centered around principles. This is essentially the crust of taxation so it requires a total different mindset from corporate accounting and audit. It’s similar to Business Law (BSP1004 for those who don’t recall) as you will be looking at cases, and there isn’t a model answer that you can follow. The mathematical part will just be all the calculation, while the concept part is deciding whether/how much/which period each component is tax-deductible or not. Out of the 3 accounting modules, I found this one the hardest as I couldn’t fully understand and grasp the concepts required for each chapter.

This module is taught by Ms Lim Cher Hui. Let’s just say that she’s another Violet, and those in NUS Business should know who Violet is… Her teaching style isn’t structured in any way and although she is knowledgeable, her way of teaching may not be for everyone (like me haha whoops). I heard those who took tax in Semester 1 which was taught by Mr Simon Poh had a much more enjoyable time relative to us.

Assessment has an equal balance of CA and examinations, consisting of 20% group work (tutorial presentation & report), 20% class participation, 30% mid-term & 30% finals. We were allowed to bring in a double-sided cheat sheet for mid-terms and finals, which didn’t make much sense because an A4 sized paper is not enough to squeeze a half-module worth of content. For Sem 1 it was open book which is much more suitable for the module. Then again, you won’t have enough time to finish her papers so you won’t have much time to refer to your cheat sheet. What I didn’t like about this module is the lack of practices so you don’t really know what and how to prepare for exams other than doing your cheat sheet.

Ms Lim’s of class part is that every time you “believed that you have contributed in the facilitating of learning for the whole class”, you can fill in this green form she placed in a class file and she will decide whether you have truly contributed and deserving of class participation marks. I never liked class participation where the grading is made very obvious (such as Violet in marketing) as it made the whole classroom environment feel very artificial. I took a back seat and barely said a word throughout this whole module; I doubt Ms Lim knew my name until the end of the module because I didn’t speak up at all.

Protip: If you really want to get an A/A+, get on the good side of Ms Lim by impressing her with critical observations and comments. She’s a very knowledgeable and respectable figure in the tax scene, so it’s impossible to fluff through her. I can’t comment much on practicing for written exams due to the lack of practices, but you should try to have everything within your fingertips and not rely entirely on your cheat sheet. Don’t follow blindly her notes and textbook, policies and laws are ever changing so the IRAS website is your most reliable source of information regarding anything tax-related.

Final Grade: B+

FIN3101 Corporate Finance

I didn’t really have much module options because I cleared most of my ULRs already, so I decided to take this module as part of my finance spec. Used up 400 points from the P account, which could have been much higher if I had chosen a more popular time slot. This module was taught by A/P Ruth Tan. YES ASSOCIATE PROF! The last time I was taught by an A/P was way back during Y1S1 for Biz Law (BSP1004). A/Ps are super knowledgeable and can really teach well, so it was a good stepping stone for the high level finance modules.

This module is a slight extension of FIN2004; very few new topics are introduced as more is taught based on topics that were already taught in FIN2004. Breakdown of assessment are as follows: 12% Class Participation & Pop Quizzes, 12% Tutorial Assignments (group basis, 3 in total), 26% Case Study & Critiques, 20% Mid-Terms and 30% Finals. Cheatsheets are allowed again in mid-terms and finals, mid-term is 1 side while finals is double-sided so you do not need to do a brand new cheat sheet, which is always a plus because it’s so freaking time consuming to do.

For the case study, you will be a given a real life scenario (from mergers to IPOs) and do up a few financial models to give your own opinion, such as whether a company overpaid for a takeover etc. For first timers, doing up such a model from scratch on an excel sheet can be tedious and time consuming; those who have done case before will be much ahead of you.

Protip: If you are going for exchange, you are better off mapping this module overseas UNLESS you are confident and proficient in finance. There are many Year 4s who take this module late for a free A, so bell curve will be steep. Revise regularly every topic as the pop quizzes can really catch the unprepared.

Final Grade: B

GE1101E/GEK1001 Geographical Journeys – Exploring World Environments

Was slightly afraid that I couldn’t manage 4 lvl 3000 modules so I tried my best to find a relatively relaxing Breadth at FASS (didn’t want to travel to Science as much as I wanted to do a math module). Got this for 1 point again (yays to overflowing G account), which was surprising because it was at least 100 points when I checked the bidding reports. I decided to take a Geography module because I did well in the subject back in JC and it was one of the rare subjects that I enjoyed studying for. 

Very straightforward breakdown: 20% Human Geography project, 20% Physical Geography Lab (2 reports, 10% each) and 60% Finals. Lectures are web-casted, and there are a total of 4 tutorials (2 physical & 2 human). No idea why but my group flunked the Human Geography… fucking B- omg what the hell. I really though we did up a decent report but we supposedly didn’t answer the crust of the question. Physical geography practicals I got B & B+ so it was mildly depressing.

Finals format was that there were 8 essay questions to choose from (4 physical & 4 human) and you had to do at least 1 from each category. I went in fully expecting myself to do 2 human 1 physical but it turned out the other way because the physical questions were all so straightforward. It has been a while since I last wrote my essays so it was fun to be rushing essays during finals. I swear there was an adrenaline rush when I start vomiting out the facts that were cramped in the head.

No pro-tip for this module. But overall, felt that I could have squeeze an A- or even a A if my projects have fared better, but given how I put in the least time for this module (since I could still S/U), I believed I got a fair grade for myself.

Final Grade: B+

FINAL THOUGHTS

CAP (for Y2S2): 3.9

Overall CAP (till Y2S2): 4.19

Imagine on a Monday morning, being barely awake and you just woke up from your phone alarm; you checked this random 1 message on your phone and bam, you see a bunch of letters immediately. Your mind isn’t ready to process the grades that you just saw; and the B+ grade that eluded me for my entire year appeared for 4 of my modules. Yet another 3.9 semester, which means that I am slipping away closer to the danger 4.0 zone. I really didn’t know how to react to receiving such grades, but as the day began it started to sink in but again, it just becomes a bunch of letters which you wouldn’t remember ever again. Statistically this is my best semester if I didn’t include all the S/Us that I used in the previous semesters, which didn’t make sense but what really does when it comes to grades haha.

I did expect the worst out of this semester, so I can’t be disappointed at myself for getting a B+ grade, but at the same time it’s just a meh moment because you didn’t really do very good either. Accounting students are really a smart group of people, so it’s fierce competition among your peers as you try and survive the bell curve. Getting B+ means that you are around in the middle of the pack, which is really nothing to be ashamed about. CAP dropped by 0.17 which of course sucks, but again it has been a steady decline once the protection of free S/U were gone. The next 2 years will just be a fight to maintain that CAP in the second class upper region. Although graduating with whatever grade wouldn’t really matter unless you join the government sector, it’s just a personal challenge to myself because I really do pride myself in doing well in school.

Someone irl did comment that I looked like someone who cares about his grades a lot, which I do agree. But at the same time, I do wish to achieve that balance between fun and studies. I think I have been doing an okay job so far, and the thing about it is that when I am focused on something, I really push myself for it. I just need to make sure that I push for the correct things in life. “If you don’t think you can do it, don’t bother even starting.”

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Life of a NUS Business (Acc) Student: AY 15/16 Semester 1

Guess who is back for 2016! Initially I was very, very hesitant on doing module reviews yet again, and was thinking of bringing it out of this website since this was meant to be a more personal space. Response for these reviews have been great, especially during the week before school starts and so many people have messaged me for notes. Sorry but I will not be entertaining any requests for notes, because they are mostly incomplete and also the syllabus for each semester are ever-changing because the module coordinator may be different as well. So I don’t really want to be giving people incomplete stuff and stuff which may be incorrect (limiting liability yoz haha)

Just to give a heads up for accounting students who might be reading this, I took the business modules during this semester, while half of the accounting students (who are going exchange for Y2S2) took the accounting basket (ACC3601, ACC3603, ACC3605). So please don’t me for ACC300X notes I’m just taking this sem 😡 I believe this basket of business modules is less workload heavy, but in order to do your compulsory internship you will have to clear the accounting modules. Most of the people I knew took the accounting basket first but there were some familiar faces in all my modules, which made the semester not too lonely. (P.S. Zero photos this time around LOL).

that spike

that spike

ACC1006 – Accounting Information Systems

Accounting Information Systems, AIS for short, is an introductory module on how accounting records and information are recorded in the real world. The professor is Ms Susan Seetoh, who has been solely in charge of this module for the past few years. BEWARE, she has been known to set impossible papers. Our midterm was a total killer, the average was a measely 36/100 and 1 person somehow managed to get 83 for the paper… these kind of students must be some genius. For previous batches, they were supposed to do a report and create an AIS for a company, for our semester we just had to do a presentation regarding 3 topics of AIS, which is much easier and less time-consuming.

How is this a Level 1000 module? Content overload every semester, only 1 A4 cheat sheet for the finals. Plus the content is not easily understood. I spent the first half of the semester not understanding nearly everything; thank goodness there was some calculation-element in mid terms, or else I could easily see myself flunking mid-terms. There were a small amount of people who just gave up on this module, and I don’t blame them. I never prepared for tutorials because I could barely understand the content. This module is very hard to map overseas for SEP, but if you are able to do so.. PLEASE DO IT.

The grading structure for this semester was: 25% Mid Terms, 20% Group Project, 15% Class Participation, 10% Forum Discussion, 30% Finals. Our prof released our grades for the 70% worth of components a week before finals. I did quite okay, slightly above average so I was expecting somewhere around B+ if I did average for finals. So imagine the disgust and shock when I saw my final grade… T.T. Prof Susan did hint us about what topics were going to come out, but I don’t think it really helped because of practice material. Very disappointed with this result as I have always done relatively well for my accounting modules. This is one of the rare accounting modules that you can actually S/U so maybe I’m lucky that I am able to do so, unlike some of my peers who are not able to do so for their Managerial Accounting (ACC2002) haha. Guess who ain’t doing AIS for his future FYP LOL.

Final Grade: B

BSP2001 – Macro & International Economics

Another extension of H2 Economics that we learnt back in JC, this time its macroeconomics! Unlike BSP1005, there are much more new content and formulas that need to be learnt. Grading structure is simple: 25% Group Assignments & Presentation, 25% Mid Terms, 50% Finals. Try and get full marks for your group assignments, presentation is nothing much. Mid Terms and Finals are all purely MCQ. Bell curve isn’t very steep because this isn’t a very easy module. I took very long to understand and fully grasp the concepts, and not only that you still have to memorize formulas and know how to apply them on different type of questions. There were people who got single digit scores out of 25 for mid terms, so you really need to study hard if you can’t grasp the concepts at 1 shot.

Another one of those module I never enjoyed, and I only used 1 day to revise this module through the last few weeks of revision, so my grade definitely exceeded expectations. Zero complaints haha seriously I don’t understand because my grade made no sense given my level of understanding for macroeconomics, what…

Final Grade: B+ (yays to first ever B+? HAHA)

DSC2006 – Operations Management

The introductory module to those who may consider doing operations as a major. If I wasn’t to do accountancy, this would have been the area I will aim to major in as its the most math-like subject in business. But that said, this isn’t really a calculation based mod, more of a 50% concept 50% calculation module. Accountancy students will be taking this module at Year 2, as opposed to normal Biz Admin Students who take this in Year 1. Imagine being a Year 2 thrown into a sea of Year 1s; it’s like a shark smelling blood in the ocean. It’s very manageable as a Year 1 who just entered NUS, so imagine how easy we felt the whole module is as a Year 2. No point mapping this module overseas, it really felt like a CAP puller for me.

SLACKEST MODULE EVER OMG. 1 lecture which is webcasted, and 1 tutorial every week. 60% Finals, 30% Mid Terms & 10% Class Participation/Attendance. I don’t even understand how this is a level 2000 module omg. For those not in the business faculty, why take Marketing or Accounting as your breadth when you have this? But from what I heard, Semester 1 for this module is easier than Semester 2. Omg mid terms and finals… some questions were literally copy and pasted from lecture notes and tutorials. And there’s more! You can bring cheat sheet for both of them so expect the bell curve to be steep. Both exams were very standard so the variation of scores weren’t a lot. There will surely be Year 1s out there who will just entirely slack the whole semester and not study, so use this opportunity to ace this module because it’s definitely doable!

Final Grade: A

FIN2004 – Finance

The introductory module to finance! Finance is a very important aspect in the business area and applicable almost everywhere. One of the rare modules which I was looking forward during the semester, besides the 30% class participation component LOL. Yes the dreaded class participation… Fortunately I had a very chill tutor along with a relatively quiet class so I didn’t go full angst mode during classes. Maybe because the class was on Monday 5-8pm, and everyone is just either left with no energy or with a hungry stomach lols.

Grading structure had a good mix of exams and CA: 40% finals and 20% midterms, 30% class participation and 10% group project. 2 A4 cheat sheets are allowed for mid terms and finals, which is more than enough for all the formulas required. 1 tip which I would say for finals is that like most calculation-based modules, time management is king, so don’t get too worked up in questions that you’re stuck in, but also don’t give up too easily as that might have been easy questions. I wasn’t in a good condition during the mid terms; I had to do a makeup paper in the morning and didn’t get a good night’s sleep the night before. My cheat sheets weren’t fully prepared and on top of that, I had to go to the toilet to take a dump during the paper because I couldn’t take it LOL. As expected, flunked my paper which was a super disappointment because finance was a module which I felt that I could have done really well.

This module has been known for having a steep bell curve, given how more than half the Business population is going to have a finance major. Finals… It was such a total killer that people started posting on social media about it, like renaming it as Cannot FIN2004 along with other puns and social media. I really put in a lot of effort in preparation for the finals, so I felt like the super hard paper worked in my favor (which did in the end). I believed that if I had done my mid term well, I could have pushed my grade higher but very satisfied with the module as a whole.

Final Grade: B+

LAK2201- Korean 2

The icon of a love hate module for this semesters. Very fun module to take, but not so fun on my CAP LOL.

Just to give a little background on this choice of module; I was allocated 5 cores but I dropped MNO2007 (Leadership & Ethics) as I wanted to map that module during my exchange. Plus it was a 8am sectional bleh. Korean 2 fitted nicely if I wanted a 3 day work week and it was surprisingly cheap (I got it for 1 point). Prior to that I took a placement test and the teacher barely let me take Korean 2 because some of my basics were quite weak. I don’t think it was the smartest idea for me to take Korean 2 in Semester 1, because it is filled with many people who had a good command of the language already. This module used to be 6 hours but got reduced to 4, and they recently changed the textbook to a much easier one. Also, there used to be a group project component, which is gone now so with all that, this module should be a breeze to me right..? WRONG!

I was never a language person since primary school, but I always wanted to study at a Korean level, but didn’t have the time or money to take external lessons at a consistent lessons. Since I’m paying school fees already, might as well learn Korean right haha. My teacher for Korean 2 was Ms Cho Jin Hee, cutest teacher everrrrrrrr. Lessons were always engaging as she tries her best to ask everyone simple questions in order to practice. Components of Korean 2 include Oral, Writing Assignments and Class Participation to ensure all components are being graded upon. I wasn’t very confident in oral as you had to think, answer and also read on the spot. I struggled quite a lot in the module and put in a large amount of time into it. Nonetheless, I was killed by the bell curve. If I had the chance, I would have taken it during Year 4 when I know I have an S/U to spare. T_T Korean 2 why you do this to me!!!!!

Final Grade: B-

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

CAP (for Y2S1 w/o any SUs): 3.9

CAP (after SUing LAK2201 & ACC1006): 4.33

Overall CAP (till Y2S1): 4.38

The modules this semester were quite enjoyable (other than AIS I’m sorry LOL), just take note that I had to do 3 cheat sheets for finals so do give yourself some time to squeeze in all those important information you need for the exams! There wasn’t many group projects, so it’s pretty much tests and more tests. First time in my NUS life that I have 5 midterms omg LOL. No joke and I didn’t pace myself well so I didn’t do well for some of them. Finals were an equally shag period and the only module which really gave practice was Finance, so that was another meh…  Life can be a joke though; the 2 modules which I put in the most effort did the worst, the module that I put in the least effort did the best. ARE YOU SERIOUS NUS? 

Without the SUs, my CAP for each semester would be all around the same. The distribution of my grades are also similar; there will be 2 modules which I do well and the other 3 are one which didn’t do so well. Such a grade distribution really plays into the strengths of my grade distribution, so my CAP now is a very inflated number which isn’t very reflective of my actual standard. The following semesters would end up me trying my best to keep the CAP above 4, as I see it slowly drop over the semesters. After 3 semesters in NUS, it has become clearly that I excel in calculation-based modules, but simply suck in everything else LOL. Miraculously, my CAP increased, but only because I S/U-ed my 2B-s, so I have only 1 S/U remaining in my entire NUS life…

Without the falling net of SUs, and me lightening my load of CCAs, it’s going to a all of nothing Year 2 Semester 2 as I tackle 4 Level 3000 modules. My CAP has the chance of really dropping a lot of I don’t do well, so the return of the closet mugger mode after February? All I really want is to be at a comfortable CAP which I can be content with after I fly off for SEP. Until then, let’s hope that I can survive 4 consecutive days of sectionals for the semester. (It’s no joke on the stress level really sighhhh)