Advanced level papers where questions are scenario based are to encourage students to think like accountants. that is to encourage realistic solutions, based on technical knowledge as covered in the syllabus, and from earlier (related) papers.
Passing the advanced Level papers, requires the student to apply theories sensibly to the scenario given. Do not be afraid to state your opinion or to give recommendations. After all, the exams are practice for the corporate world, where as an accountant, you may have to proffer solutions,make analysis based on scenarios.
In exams, there is the temptation to cram the answer sheets full of as much technical detail/definitions of theories etc as can be remembered, in the hope that this will sway the examiner in our favour, but you get more points for applying the theories to the scenario.
Words like ‘analyse’, ‘apply’, and ‘evaluate’ are common at this level. this requires more than simply stating definitions. learn to realistically apply theories to situations. This requires you to come up with possible effects of situations on a business For example, How does high unemployment rate in Country A affect a company C looking to establish a garment manufacturing factory in this country. Possible effects may be – labour costs (labour may be cheaper as there are fewer jobs to go round)
Establish a link between answers in a scenario. In real life situations, a business decision is likely to have a follow-on effect on another area of the business. Eg. the possible repercussions to Company C from taking advantage of cheap labour: possible outcry at the exploitation, quality control issues, home country regulations.
Give your opinion – Don’t be afraid to give your opinion. you will not be penalised for reasonable well though-out answers, even if your opinion contradicts given theories. It is alright to have a different opinion. I suggest giving your opinion using words like ‘may’, and give reasons for your opinion. Do not, however disagree just to be different, without evaluating the given scenario, or strategies
I find that keeping abreast of current affairs, and business news helps in forming opinions. and developing strategic thinking, which can be useful in exams to buttress an opinion and to illustrate.
*Apologies for missing last week’s post, I’ve been ill.
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