We provide guidance on preparing for your exams, including what to bring with you on the day, regulations, how to maximise opportunities for earning marks and how to organise your exam answers
Examination Attendance Dockets are dispatched three weeks before your first exam. The Examination Attendance Docket includes a timetable of all the exams you are entered for, and details the desk assigned to you for each paper. Importantly, it also gives the address of your exam centre. If you are not sure where the centre is, how to get there, or how long the journey may take, check out your route before the exam. Make allowances for rush hour traffic or other possible delays if your exam starts at a busy time of day. Try to arrive at the exam centre about 30 minutes before the exam is due to start. This will give you time to relax and prepare yourself.
As well as photographic ID, also bring your Examination Attendance Docket to your exam as it will be used to verify your attendance. You must sit at the desk shown on your docket. The supervisor will collect your Examination Attendance Docket during the exam, so please keep it available on your desk. If you have any other exams during the session, the Examination Attendance Docket will be returned to you. If it is your last (or only) exam, the supervisor will keep the Examination Attendance Docket for ACCA’s records.
The Examination Attendance Docket also details important exam regulations and guidelines that you must abide by during the exams; read these carefully, and make sure you only take permitted equipment into the exam.
Duplicate Examination Attendance Dockets can be downloaded via myACCA.
On your exam desk will be:
Check that you have the booklet, and the correct version of the exam paper, before the exam begins. If you have any queries, raise your hand and an invigilator will come to you.
It seems obvious, but answers must be appropriate to the requirement in terms of form, length and depth.
Ideally, answer questions using clear and relatively short sentences, although answer length does depend on the instructional verbs used in the requirement.
For example, for requirements asking for a ‘list’, or a ‘brief description’, bullet points or brief points will be adequate. If ‘explanation’ is required, then fuller answers should be given; each valid point will normally attract a mark, depending on the mark allocation.
If a requirement asks for analysis or evaluation, then develop points logically, relevantly, and coherently, thereby gaining the additional marks available.
Set out answers so that the marker can clearly see the points being made. ACCA does not penalise candidates for poor grammar or style, especially in the Foundation level exams and Fundamentals level exams, as long as points can be understood by the marker. However, by making points succinctly, you can also earn marks more quickly and efficiently.
Avoid numbering the points made within an answer, unless the numbering relates to that used in the question (see above). Additional numbering can be very confusing for markers.
If a diagram, figure or table is needed to illustrate an answer (such as ‘Porter’s five forces’, for example), then support it with a full explanation. This tells the marker that you understand the model, theory or concept being illustrated.
In an exam, effective time management is vital. If you run out of time, then some questions (or parts) will be left unfinished and marks lost.
The key to good time management is to divide the time allowed between the marks available. For example, in a three-hour exam allow 1.8 minutes per mark, and in a two-hour exam allow 1.33 minutes per mark. This allocation gives a rough guide as to how long to spend on a question or part. Candidates often waste time by:
Candidates can avoid these problems as follows:
The global pass rate for any exam is very sensitive to the performance of marginal candidates. If these candidates gain an extra mark or two, then not only will they pass, but the global pass rate would be significantly higher.
The guidance in this article can really make a difference, so remember the following: