Multiple-choice questions in paper-based exams

What you need to know about the multiple-choice questions (MCQs) in F4–F9


Where do I record my answers to MCQs?

The answers to your MCQs should be recorded on the answer grid on page 2 of your answer booklet. The answers to Section C must be recorded on the lined pages in the main part of the booklet. There are instructions on where to record these answers on both the question paper and the answer booklet.

For the MCQs do we need to show our workings? 

You are not required to show your workings. However, you may need to perform some calculations to arrive at your answer.

Will we be given marks for workings for the MCQs or is it simply just right or wrong? 

Marks are not given for workings for MCQs. A right answer will score the marks available for that question and an incorrect answer will score zero.

Will we be given scrap paper for MCQ workings or will the question paper have enough space for rough calculations? 

No scrap paper is provided. The question paper can be used for rough workings in your reading time and once you are permitted to write you can use your answer book. Do not worry about running out of space as you can always ask for another answer book.

For the MCQs, do we lose marks for incorrect answers? 

If the selected answer is incorrect then you won’t score marks for that question but you will not be penalised further. This means there is nothing to be gained by leaving an MCQ unanswered. If you are stuck on a question, then – as a last resort – it is worth selecting the option you consider most likely to be correct and moving on. It would also be useful to make a note of the question, so if you have time after you have answered the rest of the questions, you can revisit it.

Will there be two separate answers required for MCQs that are worth two marks each? 

No. There will only be one answer required per MCQ that will be worth the two marks.



Are you allowed to change your MCQ answer?

Yes. You should cross out your incorrect answer clearly and then select your new choice. The instructions on how to do this are at the top of the Candidate Answer Sheet.

Should I start with MCQs and can I select my answer on my question paper in the reading time? 

One of the benefits of starting with the MCQs is that you will be able to decide some of your answers in your reading time and select your answer option on your question paper. An important point to remember, though, is that once you are told that you can start writing you must transfer your MCQ answers on to the answer grid on page 2 of the answer booklet as this is the only way you can obtain the marks you deserve for all your efforts. 

It is also relevant to note that starting with the MCQs will not suit all candidates, so you must ensure you practise your exam technique in advance so that you can devise an appropriate strategy for tackling the exam that plays to your strengths.

Can the MCQs be on any area of the syllabus?

Yes. Each MCQ relates to a specific issue within the syllabus, and so each exam will include a broad coverage of the syllabus. This means that to maximise your chances of success you must have studied the whole syllabus.

Are there examples of MCQs available to use for practice? 

Yes. Examples of MCQs are available on ACCA’s website. Specimen exams and past exams are available on the website. The current editions of the revision question banks published by ACCA’s Approved Content Providers all contain a large number of MCQs.

It is essential that you use all of the questions carefully and follow up on all of your answers. Whether a question was answered correctly or incorrectly during exam preparation, it will provide an opportunity to enhance your understanding of the topic. By reflecting on why a specific option is correct, you can improve your understanding, and while reflecting on why the other options are wrong can help to overcome misunderstanding and eliminate confusion. When attempting questions as part of your preparation, it is useful to remember that the key purpose of the exercise is to enhance your understanding – not just to get the right answer.