Winning prizes with CBEs

Ali Ahmet scored a prize winning performance when he took Audit and Assurance as a computer-based exam (CBE) in June 2018. He tells us more about his experience.

How did you feel about taking Audit and Assurance as a CBE?

I was happy – Audit and Assurance is a discursive paper, and the speed you can achieve when writing with a keyboard is a great advantage. In the exam, it meant I could generate my answers more quickly and it supported my cognitive processes as I didn’t have to slow down my thoughts to match the speed of my handwriting. A CBE also means that answer presentation is much better – this must make it easier for the examiner to read an entire answer without any issues, resulting in a fair assessment of the candidate’s ability to produce a coherent and cohesive response to the question.

How did you prepare for the CBE exam?

I practised using the ACCA online specimen CBEs to familiarise myself with the navigation tools, and attempted lots of past questions on my laptop to help build up my typing speed. This also meant I could simulate CBE conditions, which helped make the transition between practice tests and the ‘real thing’ as seamless as possible. And, as for all ACCA exams, I practised lots of past questions, noting my weaknesses so that I could focus my revision, and noting my strengths to make sure I could replicate my performance in the exam.

In terms of CBE technique, what’s your top tip?

Try to write concisely, but if you feel your answer may be lacking detail use the CBE highlighter tool to remind yourself and, if you have time, add in extra detail at the end of the exam. Make sure you remove the highlights before you finish, however, otherwise you could draw the examiner’s attention to potentially under-developed answers.