A new exam format will be introduced for Paper F3/FFA from 26 February in computer-based exams and from June 2014 for the paper-based exam. Both versions of the exam will comprise two sections: Section A containing 35 objective questions for two marks each and Section B containing two multi-task questions for 15 marks each. As stated in the syllabus the multi-task questions will test consolidations and accounts preparation. Whilst any change can seem unnerving you should be reassured that if you are well prepared and understand the key areas of the syllabus you will be able to tackle these questions with confidence.
As with any exam, however, it is important that you understand how this style of question works and any particular techniques which you need to use in answering them. Due to the nature of the topics examinable in the Paper F3/FFA multi-task questions it is likely that these will involve producing financial statements (for example a statement of profit or loss, a statement of financial position or statement of cash flows) either in full or extracts. You should bear in mind the following points when attempting this style of question.
Own figure rule
Whether you are sitting the paper-based or the CBE version you will only be penalised once for making a mistake, even though this mistake may have knock-on consequences for other responses in your answer. The paper-based multi-task questions will be marked by hand and the marking guides will make it clear that the ‘own figure rule’ should be applied. This means that if you make a mistake you will lose the mark at the point that the error is originally made but from that point onwards the marker will follow through your figure throughout the rest of your answer.
The CBE multi-task questions are computer marked so a different approach has been adopted to deal with this issue. The questions are designed so that each response is independent – ie it is not reliant on your answer to an earlier part of the question.