ACCA - The global body for professional accountants


The CAT Examination Review Board provided feedback on the June 2009 CAT examinations.

The terms of reference of the Board are:

  1. To review the questions, answers and marking schemes after each exam session to ensure that the papers are a fair and reasonable test.
  2. To recommend changes to the syllabus and format of the papers.

Members of the CAT Exam Review Board are:

CAMs CollegePakistan 
R MakumaZambia Centre for Accounting Studies 
Ngo Quoc ThinhFTMS College, Vietnam 
Mary Tan Lay MuayKaplan Financial Education, Singapore 
Sunway CollegeKuala Lumpar 
Accounting and Management CollegePakistan 

Comments on the Papers Overall

The feedback from the ERB on the June 2009 CAT examination papers was overall very positive. ERB members agreed that the majority of papers were challenging but fair. Some concerns were raised regarding individual papers; these are outlined below.    

Comments on Specific Papers

Paper T3 contained a well balanced set of multiple choice questions in line with the syllabus. It was felt that topic on accounting concepts and conventions was missing, however, section B examined historical cost concept. Section B overall, tested students’ knowledge well. 

Specific comment received from one tutor:

A well set paper consistent with previous years, well done.

Paper T4 contained 40 marks for MCQs, which was very much welcomed by students.   Questions 1 and 2 allowed scope to score high marks.  Questions 3 and 4 were fairly tested.  Most of the panel felt the syllabus coverage was covered well.

The questions were set within the syllabus.  For paper based questions, time allocation was a little tight.

T5 paper may have surprised many students.  As well as the introduction of MCQs, there were changes in theory style and question types. However, this change was well communicated to students and teachers. 

Overall, the questions were straightforward and clear.  Question 5 in particular was found to be rather broad. Students may have struggled to obtain the full 14 marks offered for part 5(a).  Well prepared students would have performed well.

Section A – the MCQ section was set fairly with basic concept checkers. 

Section B -
Question 1 was rather broad to attend.  However, prepared students would have easily identified key command verbs and allocated enough time to score full marks.

Question 2 was rather short and theoretical.  This question is a prerequisite knowledge for students attempting paper T8 Audit procedures.

Paper T6 was the first paper set according to the new CAT format.  The set questions were appropriate to the T6 level.  It was felt section A contained too many questions on accruals and prepayments which has already been tested in paper T3.  Section B questions were found to be well set examining students’ comprehensive knowledge of T6.  The marking scheme was fair. 

Section A:
Questions 5 and 6 seemed rather long and difficult. A strong background on bookkeeping is essential here.

Other topics should have been tested with MCQs, such as, IAS37 provisions and contingencies, IAS38 development costs, ratios, accounting concepts, etc

Section B:
Question 2 contained adjustments which may have appeared tricky to the student; however this is expected at T6 level.

Question 3 was a fine discursive, theoretical question testing students’ knowledge thoroughly of the framework.

Comments reflected that paper T7 was fair and set well within the syllabus. 

Specific comment received from one tutor:

Questions 1 on marginal costing and activity based costing were a typical area of the T7 syllabus and was fairly questioned.

The remaining questions were fairly easy and students should have performed well. 

Paper T8, the content of this sitting were evenly spread over the syllabus with the marks being allocated to the key areas.  This paper proved good syllabus coverage, time management and student satisfaction. 

There may have been difficulties for non-english speaking students to fully understand the questions and present their answers clearly.

The addition of MCQs to paper T9 was found to be a big boost to students.  The MCQs were fairly straightforward.   VAT and capital gains was welcomed by students. 

Section B:
T9 (SGP) Question 1….it may have been better to indicate the age of the dependant parent, instead of indicating that Mr Tay’s mother is ‘elderly’, this makes it clear as to whether parent relief is applicable.

T10  paper was seen by most to be fair.  A well prepared student would have performed well.  The MCQs in section A were found to be set at a fair level. 
Question 1 in section B was found to be difficult.

Comments received:

Section B:
Question 1 was challenging and complicated since it included difficult calculations required in note 3. Students were confused with notes 3 and 4

Last updated: 17 Jan 2014