Here at NTI we cannot work out if Joint Board results day is our favourite or worst of the year. On the one hand we get messages from Sam and Alison at Quantuma, Sonal at Begbies, Charlotte at PwC, Tom Rayfield at A&M, Rob at FRP and any number of others who veritably buzz down the phone, celebrating hard-earned and much-deserved success. These are good people; those are good results.
On the other hand our hearts break when stoic, wonderful human beings admit to scoring 42, 43 and 44 per cent against a pass mark of 45, knowing they have another year ahead of them and aching over being so close; so cruelly close. After 32 years of sharing that pain with others, we know they were a decision, a sub-part of a question, a heading, an annotation or two, or a heartbeat away from success - but try telling that to souls who have given their all to an exam paper, been shown success and then had it dashed from them.
One of the features of the Joint Board result at NTI this year is the number of retakers who got through this time around, having suffered disappointment and bruised self-esteem last year at this time. That is heartening and makes much of the extra effort, phone calls, new Zooms, additional questions and rebuilding worthwhile. We know we can do it again and know it will take a couple of (maybe a few) weeks to get to a place where we are building on the work of last year, not questioning it.
What is our best advice to those who have got close this year and are in pieces? It is twofold:
1 If the same person had taken the same exam nine more times they would have probably passed nine times. They are undoubtedly already good enough.
2 Novak Djokovic lost in an ATP final last week. He doesn't have to do anything new or reinvent himself next time. He just has to go out and be as good as he knows he is again.
With a published pass list for Personal Insolvency being just 19 people deep and only 25 per cent of those taking two papers at the same time passing, there are big questions for those in our glorious profession to be asked. We will leave those questions to you. We have asked them internally at NTI, with our four-strong full-time lecturing team and already come up with changes and ideas to be better and bigger this year. What we won't do is lead or even enter a debate about the exam and its objectives.
We will just do what we are best at. Celebrate with our successful students, work our pants off with our retakes and innovate our way towards doing everything to change some things that are in the control of others.