As Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA) is my “thing” for StudySmart, I will take my inspiration for this article from the PowerPoint presentations I use for AAA, but of course, the overriding principles can be applied to any subject, especially at the ACCA Strategic Professional level.
It goes without saying that any paper at this level can drive you crazy.
Having been a student at school and university then a candidate for my professional qualifications (ACCA, ACA) and now a tutor of those professional studies, I always found this phrase rather odd – of course, if you are “well prepared” you should pass each examination. But as a student/candidate how do you reach this mythical status?
This article aims to give you insight on how to become the “well-prepared candidate”.
Is this the pass mark for your exam? 50% is a standard level to achieve but for most exams far less than 50% of candidates achieve that hurdle.
The Golden Rule 1
This is my first “rule”. You may have the technical knowledge but without the (exam) technique you will not pass. Having the knowledge but not understanding when and how to apply it using the exhibits given to you in each question, will doom you to failure.
The Golden Rule 2
1 (one) is the loneliest number but for an ACCA candidate the 49 is the loneliest number
Most candidates probably forget that the examination is an exercise in communication – the marker knows the answer, you know the answer but you have to show the marker that you know what they know … BUT you also have to show that you deserve to pass. That is where good technique comes in if you are a 49er. Candidates who are in the marginal fail category more than likely failed because of poor technique. I always say (with tongue in cheek) that if you are going to fail, then fail very well – get 25%, 30% then you know you have failed!
The Golden Rule 3
Be properly prepared
Study all of the study chapters/sessions/illustrations/examples
Do all the monitoring tests, practice tests (whatever they are called) and mock examinations under exam conditions
Read (and understand) the technical, examiner’s articles and support from ACCA.
Read, assimilate and apply the advice from the examiner’s reports
Work through all past examinations, audit your answers to the solutions and back to the requirements and exhibits
Ensure you understand how the examiner developed the solution from the requirements and exhibits
The Golden Rule 4
Know the examiner – get inside his/her mind
Live, breathe and think like the examiner
Walk like the Examiner
Walk the Talk
The Golden Rule 5
Make the marker like you
Make the marker’s job easy to give you good marks
Present your answer as if the examiner wrote it
Apply the 3Ps – practice, Practice, PRACTICE
Keith Rye, StudySmart Associate