This exploratory study aims to understand and uncover the contextual factors influencing accounting students' learning conception and approach and how it relates to their academic achievement. Three students who achieved different levels of overall mark (High Distinction, Credit and Pass) were interviewed and was taken as a case study to identify and analyse their learning conception and approach. The findings suggest that the way students approach and perceive their learning experience may not always tantamount to an excellent overall mark. Further investigation is needed to understand how other contextual factors may affect student learning. Some of the factors identified by the respondents associated to 'surface' learning are time constraint, poor organisation, work and family commitment and the assessment structure. It appears that putting too much emphasis on the end of semester examination encourage students to defer learning until the assessment is fast approaching. On the other hand, the factors associated with 'deep' learning are: personal habit and/or previous experience, personal commitment to improve, perceived relevance to career, peer pressure and pressure to achieve good grades.