Q1: Congratulations for passing your APC Sophie and becoming a Chartered Surveyor! What was the most challenging aspect of the course.
I found the sheer amount that I needed to learn really overwhelming at first, there is so much detail across the different competencies that you need to have an understanding about and when I first started it felt like it would be impossible. I took advice from candidates that had taken their APC recently which was to start revision early to avoid cramming. This meant that by the time my APC interview came around, I knew I had prepared the best I could.
Q2: There is a perception that people studying their APC in smaller niche firms are at a disadvantage, is this true?
I personally didn’t feel at a disadvantage. To pass your APC you need to have a breadth and depth of knowledge - those at larger firms tend to have more breadth and those at niche firms more depth, so there are advantages and disadvantages to both. APC candidates need support from their team, and as long as you have this is doesn’t matter on the size of the firm.
Q3: What were your biggest challenges during the APC and how did you overcome them?
With the APC being an interview as opposed to a written exam, I found articulating my answers when under pressure very challenging to begin with. It’s really important to sound confident when giving an answer, but when you are full of nerves this isn’t easy. I overcame this by doing a lot of mocks and Q&A practice with anyone who was prepared to help, and the more practice I had, the better I became at knowing how to structure my answers.
Q4: What advice do you have for those studying for their APC?
Team up with other candidates if possible. I was part of an APC group and found this really helpful. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so by working with others you can ask questions about a topic you are not confident on and provide support on areas that you are stronger in. You can ask as many questions as you like because you are all in the same boat and therefore everyone understands what you are going through.
Q5: What’s next in terms of your professional development?
Now that I’ve done my APC I can focus on putting what I have learnt into practice which is really exciting. I already act for a number of different landlords across the country which I want to continue to do, but now that I am chartered I can start to take on more responsibility and continue to learn.