FR frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the format of the FR exam?

All questions in the exam are compulsory.  The exam contains a mix of objective test and longer style questions with a duration of 3 hours and 15 minutes.  The pass mark continues to be 50%.

Is the exam all about calculations or do I need to know some theory too?

It is important that a candidate sitting the Financial Reporting (FR) exam has a good grasp of theoretical elements of the course as well as being able to prepare calculations, make accounting adjustments and prepare financial statements.   For example, many of the outcomes in the study guide begin with ‘explain’ or ‘describe’ or ‘discuss’.

Is there any guidance that can be given on the allocation of marks between calculation and interpretation of ratios?

It will differ from question to question but the marking guide is generally weighted towards commentary that makes use of calculated ratios and the scenario details written by the examiner.

Candidates are encouraged to look at the marking guides for past exams where this point is illustrated.

Will discount factors be given if candidates are expected to determine present values?

Candidates may be asked to determine the present value using an interest rate for amounts payable in one year. For example, to calculate the present value of $2.7m which is payable in one year with an interest rate of 8%, then candidates would be expected to be able to perform the following calculation:

$2.7m/1.08 = $2.5m present value

The relevant discount factors will be given for amounts payable in more than one year. 


How will the examiner deal with the fact that examinable documents are adopted at different times in different countries?

If a candidate answers using the more recent version of the standard when the older version was examinable, markers will take this into account when awarding marks and appropriate credit will be given.

However, if according to the examinable documents a candidate should be using the most recent version but answers with an older version, fewer marks will be awarded.


What if candidates are taught different methods of preparing consolidated accounts, for example journal entries or ledger accounts?

Appropriate credit will be given as long as the student has answered the question and their workings are clear.

How should candidates best prepare for the exam?

We have evidence that many candidates do not practise exam questions prior to the exam but simply read the questions and model answers together. Candidates are advised to practise the exam questions as if they were sitting the exam.

In accordance with IFRS9 Financial instruments, an entity may elect to recognise subsequent re-measurement of investments in equity instruments within other comprehensive income. Is this within the syllabus?

Yes, this is within the syllabus. It is therefore examinable, but unless the question specifically mentions that the entity has made this election, candidates should assume the default position.   The default position for equities is to take gains or losses through profit or loss.   This is just one of several classification issues covered in IFRS 9.   Candidates are expected to be able to apply the correct measurement and subsequent measurement to various types of asset and liability.

How do candidates know what is in the syllabus?

Candidates and tuition providers are advised to regularly review the syllabus guidance published on the ACCA website.

How do candidates know which IFRS will be examinable in F7?

The ACCA website contains a list of examinable documents for Financial Reporting (FR).

How should candidates calculate non-controlling interests?

The question will tell candidates whether to use the proportionate method or fair value method of measuring non-controlling interests. Therefore, candidates should expect to be tested on both methods.


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