A lot of students finish an exam with the confidence that they have answered (to the best of their ability) the questions quite well, but are disappointed when results are out. To avoid this, it is necessary to properly understand the requirements of the exam
It must be understood that to pass ACCA, the student is being assessed on: the knowledge of the subject, ability to understand, and follow instructions, and time management. Students may fail, when the focus is only on knowledge of the subject.
To be clear, knowledge of the subject is a pretty big part of the exam, but it isn’t the only requirement for passing the exam.
Several articles in ‘Student Accountant’ have shown that more often than not, students fail to understand basic exam requirements and loose marks as a result.
The front page of the exam paper, depending on the level clearly states that 4/5 questions MUST BE ATTEMPTED. Forgive my stating the obvious, – This means that you should answer all the questions, not just the ones you feel capable of answering. In order to achieve this, it is sometimes necessary to move on to another question, without completing one, if you find that the 3hours for the exam isn’t enough time to do all.
I shall illustrate this, using 3 students (Yunu, Gani, & Mary) sitting the F7 exams; the front page instructions state that ‘all 5 questions are compulsory, and must be attempted’. All 5 questions have 3 sub-questions (i.e 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c…5a, 5b,5c)
Another key instruction in the ACCA exams is the ‘question verb’ contained in each question. Understand the key words in questions; words such as identify, define, illustrate, explain, analyse, compare, advise, discuss are often used in ACCA exam questions. It is crucial to getting full marks to understand, in the context of the exam, what these words mean, and answer appropriately in the exam. The study guide for each paper explains what these verbs mean, and how to gain marks by following instructions.
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