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13 September 2016

What did students think of the September ACCA exam sitting?

F5 Performance Management
Some tough MCQs this time around. Students felt they were more theoretical.
Several PQs were disappointed that there was no demand equation or ABC questions.
Overall candidates seemed to feel the September test was better than June’s, but then that would not have been hard!

F6 Taxation
A weird paper, very different from the past papers, said one sitter. Another described it simply as ‘interesting’.
Students seemed particularly unhappy with the MCQs which one PQ said were “very very very tricky!”

F7 Performance Management
It was a tough one for many.
This exam was, according to one PQ, all about performance and ratios, with nothing on gearing.
The big debate was which was the harder Q31 or Q32. Our feedback is definitely Q31.

F8 Audit & Assurance
The ACCA has been accused by September’s F8 sitters of getting its question numbers wrong! There appears to have been a bit of confusion over what students needed to write down in their exam booklets. Q16, Q17 and Q18 becoming Q1, Q2 and Q3 respectively. Some students felt that invigilators wasted valuable time explaining the changes and it was all very unprofessional. However on one noticeboard a PQ felt if students were distracted by such a minor problem they were just using it as an excuse. He said: “If I got distracted that easy I would be distracted every time someone asked for extra paper or went to the bathroom.” He felt students need to learn to ‘zone-out’.

MCQs were generally OK, but some found them confusing and ambiguous. But that is the point! Students didn’t like the nominal interest rates and inflation rates questions.

P1 Governance, Risk & Ethics
An ‘OK’ paper, but there were quite a few comments about the fact that the exam seemed to cover just a narrow bit of the syllabus. The worry is with four sittings a year students will see more random things as the examiner tries to cover the whole syllabus.

P2 Corporate Reporting
A time-pressured exam, but one where students actually ‘liked’ the consolidation question.
Many students admitted they struggled to identify the issues in Q2 and Q3.
One sitter wanted to kick herself for focusing too heavily on consolidation and not enough on the IFRSs and their applications.
Previous sitters felt this September’s exam was a much more balanced test.

P3 Business Analysis
Time management seemed a huge problem for many sitters. ‘The reading and planning just takes so much time,” explained one candidate.
Many sitters admitted they spent too long on Q1. That really can cause trouble down the line.
An interesting debate on the Open Tuition site was all about just how long and boring the exam is. The examiner was blamed for ruining what has the potential to be an interesting paper.
All said and done this was deemed a fair, and dare we say it (well several of you did) ‘easy’ paper

P4 Advanced Financial Management
Seemed like a fair paper to many.
One student complained that the examiner was treating them like robots!
Another student was convinced they had seen Q4 as a ‘past question’. That said many PQs admit that they couldn’t do the last part of Q4.
Time management is still key in passing this test!

P5 Advanced Performance Management
“Time, time, time what has become of me” was the critical factor again.
Some students were put off by the length of the scenarios in section B. This made it hard to absorb the information and understand what was required. It also overwhelmed some.
The questions covered lean management & CoQ/TQM, benchmarking, ABC & KPIs and transfer pricing.

P6 Advanced Taxation (UK)
An easy enough test. The September exam was felt to be much nicer than the June sitting.
There was one problem question – Q2, which was ‘hated’ by many.

P7 Advanced Audit & Assurance
P7 was OK if you stuck to your timings, according to one student. Q1 seems to have been time pressured, with students admitting to throwing away a lot of time on the question. One PQ even claimed to being a bit ‘freaked’ by the question.
Students said the exam covered the following…
Q1: Audit risks, internal audit, joint ventures and intangibles.
Q2: Development costs, investment properties and defined contributions.
Q3: Due diligence tendering and warranties.
Q4: Quality control.
Q5:Ethics and the audit report

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