The life of an ACCA exam paper
We go to great lengths to ensure that each exam paper is rigorously checked and tested so that it fairly and accurately tests the abilities of well prepared students. This section explains the process involved when setting and checking all ACCA exam papers.
Setting the exam papers
ACCA’s exam papers are set by a team of Examiners and subsequently checked by a panel comprising the Examiner, an Assessor, Subject Co-ordinator and Exam Sitter.
Each Examiner is responsible for setting the question paper, writing the suggested published answers and producing a marking scheme.
No member of the team is permitted to teach students who may be sitting any of the papers for which he/she is responsible. Examiners are required to report to us any attempt made by a student to discuss future papers with them.
Once an exam paper has been drafted, it is reviewed by an Assessor whose job it is to ensure that the questions are relevant to the syllabus and that the paper is fair and balanced throughout. The Assessor also ensures that the suggested answers and marking schemes are suitable for publication.
Next, a Subject Co-ordinator examines the agreed version of the question paper, suggested answers and marking scheme to ensure that they have been set in accordance with the standards required for that level of the exams. The Subject Coordinator also checks to see that the exams are consistent with previous exam sessions, avoid unnecessary overlap with other papers and ensure progression.
Once the paper has been fully considered, it is attempted by the Exam Sitter – our examiners don’t expect you to sit a paper that they are not prepared to sit themselves!
The purpose of this is to ensure that the paper can be completed by an average student in the time available. The Exam Sitter then produces a report outlining in detail any problems encountered sitting the question paper.
At all stages, the Examiner, Assessor and Subject Co-ordinator for each paper work with ACCA’s full-time team of Education Advisers who co-ordinate and monitor the papers throughout the process, providing an additional level of quality assurance.
Marking exam scripts
Each Examiner co-ordinates a team of Qualified Markers responsible for marking candidates’ scripts. Markers’ meetings are held as soon as possible after the final paper for each exam session to discuss potential problems and establish a clear marking strategy. To ensure fairness in the marking of scripts, the marking team does not know the identity of the candidates.
We do not set a target percentage of candidates to be successful at each exam sitting. Your results in each and any paper are totally uninfluenced by any previous exam record, or the performance of other candidates.
Examiners and Markers pay particular attention to borderline scripts and the need to ensure consistency between exam markers.