Archives For ACCA Exam

by ACCA affiliate blogger Durre Adan

The aim of P7, Advanced Audit and Assurance, is to apply relevant knowledge, skills, and exercise professional judgment in analysing, evaluating, concluding and reporting on the assurance engagement and other audit and assurance issues in the context of best practice and current developments.

At this advanced level in the qualification, ACCA is aiming to test students’ skills on evaluating situations and applying proficient intellect to resolve problems or recommend ‘precise’ actions to these problems.

Allow me to suggest a systematic approach to P7 that worked for me.

Most of the marks for P7 are not just for knowledge. You also score marks for your aptitude on applied scenario-based questions. Initially, there are only around five or six types of applied audit questions. Therefore, phase one is to study the techniques for all the types of applied audit questions and grasp an understanding of theories like audit risk, internal controls, substantive testing, and so on.

Many students do well when they are tested on the techniques. However, many students also fail to practise these techniques during the actual exam, which ultimately leads to a fail.

So first, I would recommend recognising the key points to learn. Then keep practising exam questions (always make sure to use revision kits from ACCA’s Approved Learning Partners). Repeat this as much as you possibly can in the weeks leading up to the exam. Repetition can be irritating and time consuming, but it is effective.

On exam day, when writing your answers, keep re-reading the techniques and reiterate them inside your head and make sure you adhere to them when applying your answers to the question scenarios.

While preparing for P7, take time to practise writing a minimum of five bullet points for each accounting standard to help drive home in your mind the key topics. Understanding the more complex ISAs such as succeeding events and initial audit concepts is important. Core standards on areas like audit risk and response, evidence, and audit reports must not be overlooked either.

If that all seems straightforward enough, why isn’t the pass rate for P7 as high as it could be? It is discouraging, but you need to read, comprehend, grit your teeth and try to follow the above.

Rigorous exam practice can always save you from making any blunders in the exam – and I hope you find my detailed tips useful for your exam practice.

Good luck to those preparing for P7!

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by ACCA student blogger Kevin Bradfield

How does one get the drive to continue studying after having failed the same exams consecutively?

One needs to reconsider the strategy being employed. From my personal experience, I have studied the text and syllabus for an exam only to end up failing.

I decided on the resit to scan through the study text and the syllabus and felt I was more than ready for the exam, especially as it was a resit.

However, I failed again. What was I doing wrong?

A suggestion a passed finalist gave to me was to discard all the prior knowledge I had on the subject and to start over, as if I was taking the exam for the first time. She implied that I was going into the exam with ‘preconditions’.

I think this piece of advice is a good one, but after having extensive knowledge of a subject, it’s difficult to do.

I will, however, try this advice, and see how it turns out. I would encourage anyone who is in the same position to try and do the same too.

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theaccablog —  21 April 2015 — Leave a comment

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by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

‘In September 2015 ACCA will be offering an additional exam session in some of our larger markets, which will be followed in 2016 by the introduction of four exam sessions a year across all of our markets, allowing you to take your exams in March, June, September and December.’

Whenever such news is announced we always tend to think about how it will affect us and then, after it has been digested, we consider how it can benefit the wider group.

Personally this decision is huge for me. My 10-year limit expires in June 2017 and, while I only have two papers left and I should by all means be qualified by then, ACCA has just thrown me and thousands of other students a lifeline.

ACCA is doing all in its power to get behind students and, in doing so, sends them a tangible message. That message is: ‘While we acknowledge the level of difficulty of these exams, we are behind you in every aspect.’ This is the message I am getting anyway.

ACCA has done this with the introduction of bloggers, live Q&As on Facebook, and the ACCA Learning Community (which hosts regular learning event Q&As with experts), and I am sure that this is only the beginning of ACCA’s way to separate itself from the rest.

This is ACCA’s way of adding that extra value to us as students, and to give us the necessary tools to succeed.

The next exam session is about six weeks away, and it is all about revision now, so here are a few pointers of what not to do while studying:

  • Having your mobile phone on
  • Cramming in too much data
  • Getting overwhelmed
  • Looking at the answer before even attempting to answer the question
  • Procrastinating
  • Reconstructing notes
  • Having a heavy meal beforehand
  • Pulling all-nighters
  • Not believing in yourself

Prepare for results day

by ACCA student blogger Shahroze Naeem

I’m confident many of us are eagerly waiting for 8 February so we can find out how well we did. Meticulous exam preparation will pay off for some, while others would have to try their luck the next time around.

I did not sit any examinations this session, so I don’t have to worry about anything :)

As for those waiting for the result day, here’s what you should be doing right about now:

1. Expect the best, prepare for the worst

This is easier said than done. No one will actually consider the worst case scenario. My question is, why? Why can’t we consider that we have a 50% chance of failing as well? Being optimistic about something is a different thing – considering the realities of a situation is something else.

No matter how hard we try, the rate of passing is always going to be 50%. Therefore, let’s prepare ourselves if things don’t go according to plan. Make a backup study schedule for yourself and keep your notes with you until the result day. Ensure that you make a thorough plan to appear for the next examination session so you can succeed the next time.

2. Work on preparation loopholes

Preparing for exams, there are always some areas that we fail to cover effectively no matter what. You should keep a keen eye on those areas because they need the most amount of practice if you have to reappear.

Have everything ready before the result day takes you over with a surprise and you then find out you have to begin with scratch. These loopholes can be eliminated if someone is reappearing and you will therefore stand a brighter chance of not only passing, but passing with an impressive score.

3. Doctor says, take your daily dose of positivity 

Reading at least 5 motivational quotes or 2 pages off an inspiring book daily will help you change your point of view regarding failure. With a positive approach at reality, you will be so much better off. Failing with a score of 49 is not a bad thing – you just have to work hard enough to deserve that 1 extra mark.

Do let me know in the comments section how your waiting time is coming along and if you have any of the above in your check-list. All the best for the result day!

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by ACCA student blogger Pantelis Fouli

How does one pass P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics paper? I was fortunate this last sitting to have passed this paper first go and I am sure that what I will share below will “add value” to your question paper.

Our lecturer told us the obvious:

  • Study the whole syllabus
  • Practice questions
  • Sit at least 3 Mocks under examination conditions

BUT: What “added that extra value” to all the above was the following.

He set up an intranet site on the college server, he then took REAL LIFE examples for each chapter and scenarios we had in the syllabus and posted it there. His material that he uploaded spanned from previous ACCA technical articles, to annual reports, newspaper clippings from the financial newspapers and ANYTHING that we could link with the syllabus.

For e.g. when we covered the annual report of a PLC and all its inclusions (Chairman’s report, various disclosures and so forth) we had real life examples to go and read and study.

The secret apart from the obvious stated above was to understand the topic broadly and then apply it to real life instances, be able to say whilst reading your P3 Text book from the approved ACCA Text Books that “I can relate what is been written here to such and such story which was reported in the news last week” for example.

The best way to conceptualise the above point is to see an ACCA video on YouTube:

It talks about the very principles I spoke of above. At one point of the video the speaker said, “The fundamental principles of Corporate Governance are valid for all organisations” It very easy to understand and provides great relevant and recent examples that can be used by you, the aspiring ACCA accountant in your P1 Exam.

My personal opinion is that in the exam, if you write down, relevant, real life reported cases and link it to your question it will for sure “add value” to your paper.

I am a firm believer and I have no proof of this next statement but I am sure this is what helped me pass P1, understanding the syllabus but been able to link it to real life scenarios.

Visit the ACCA website for more information on Paper P1