Exam Digest for March 2017 Exams
F1 Accountant in Business
The paper was composed of two parts. Part A included 46 questions, worth either 1 mark or 2 marks. All of these were objective test questions with only one correct answer to be chosen from either 4 options (for 2 mark questions), or 2 or 3 options (for 1 mark questions). There were 6 questions in part B, each worth 4 marks. At least one section of each part B question was based on a short scenario. Each question related to one of the generic syllabus areas. December 2016 was the last examination session for which candidates could sit a paper-based version of the examination.
Success in the F1/FAB paper is dependent on accumulating a reasonable knowledge of a range of diverse subjects, all of which fall within the generic disciplines of management, organisations, accountancy, and ethics. As each of these subjects are disciplines in their own right, there is a vast array of material and no prospective candidate can possibly know every fact or understand every concept fully. However, the examination is deliberately designed to ensure fairness, so that a candidate who invests a reasonable amount of time in studying all of the syllabus areas will achieve pass standard. Best practice is therefore to adopt a broad approach but one that has to be relatively shallow.
Candidate generally coped quite well with the range of theories that they are expected to study, but it is inevitable that some questions will be more challenging than others. To address any uncertainty in relation to the depth of knowledge required, candidates should be guided by the study materials accredited by the ACCA, and also read articles in ‘Student Accountant’, many of which are written by members of the examining team. Candidates should be mindful that while some subjects in the syllabus appear to be ‘common sense’, such as time management, dealing with conflict and communications, this does not necessarily mean that all questions will be easy.
Read the full F1 examiner’s report – December 2016.
F2 Management Accounting
The examination consists of two sections. Section A of the paper contains 35 objective test questions – each worth 2 marks, and section B contains 3 MTQs worth ten marks each. All questions are compulsory. The paper is two-hour examination. A pilot paper reflecting this structure is available on the ACCA website together with a number of practice MTQs As always, excellent scores were achieved by some candidates.
In section A the worst answered MCQ questions were calculation based. Calculation questions accounted for approximately 40% of section A questions, and as usual were answered worse than the narrative based MCQs. In section B, approximately two thirds the marks were for calculation. There was little difference in performance between section B calculation and narrative questions. However, there was some evidence that candidates performed worse on section B MTQ questions than on section A objective test questions.
Read the full F2 examiner’s report – December 2016.
F3 Financial Accounting
There are two sections to the examination paper and all of the questions are compulsory. Section A consists of 35 multiple choice questions (two marks each) which cover a broad range of syllabus topics. Section B has two longer questions (15 marks each) testing the candidates’ understanding and application of financial accounting skills in more depth.
This section tests a wide range of the syllabus and the majority of candidates usually attempt all of the questions. Candidates must have a thorough knowledge of the entire syllabus and are advised to practice as many multiple choice questions as possible prior to the exam. It is important to read the questions carefully and calculate any figures required before choosing a response.
In this section candidates are required to prepare detailed answers which test their understanding and ability to draft financial statements. The standard of Section B answers in the current session was generally good and the majority of candidates attempted both questions. Candidates must ensure that they use the correct format to present their answers and know how to apply various accounting techniques. Neat and logical workings should always be presented so that, even if the final answer is wrong, marks can be awarded for the correct method used. If there is a multiple choice question in this section, ensure that you clearly state the answer.
Read the full F3 examiner’s report – December 2016.
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