Exam Digest for the P Papers – Issue 2

eemeiyi —  February 16, 2017 — Leave a comment

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Exam Digest for March 2017 Exams

P5 Advanced Performance Management

The examination paper comprised two sections, A and B. Section A consisted of one compulsory question for 50 marks in total. Section B consisted of three optional questions for 25 marks each from which candidates were required to answer two questions. The majority of candidates attempted their allocation of three questions and there was little evidence of poor time management in terms of completing the paper. However, the team would like to suggest that candidates spend sufficient time reading the requirements to ensure that they fully understand what is being asked of them. Many candidates wrote long answers based on a question they thought had been asked but was not in line with the requirement. The examining team continues to be concerned by the quality of answers which have been observed and which is consistent with that of the previous diets of P5.

The advice in past examiner’s reports and approach articles does not seem to have been taken up by many candidates. We would strongly advise that candidates use these materials to ensure that they have the right overall attitude to P5, which is intended to lie at a post-graduate level. Principally, this means paying specific attention to the question requirement: at P5, questions demand that scenarios are “analysed”, “evaluated” and “assessed” rather than described. The difference is fundamental and crucial as an analysis involves a study of applicability rather than a description. Also, providing a history of how and when such a model was developed, although interesting, adds little benefit when providing advice. Such an approach is straightforward to adopt when considering past papers and should be the basis for any revision strategy. Knowledge of any technique is essentially taken for granted at this level. The essence of P5 is the application of this knowledge to a practical scenario and it is the demonstration of these skills which will make for a successful response at P5.

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P6 Advanced Taxation

This examination requires candidates to attempt two compulsory questions in Section A where Question 1 was for 35 marks and Question B for 25 marks, totalling 60 marks. In addition they had to attempt two questions in Section B. Three questions were provided in Section B, each for 20 marks. Although the majority of candidates attempted the required four questions, there were a few scripts which only attempted three, two or even one question. These scripts reflect poor preparation of the candidates, as the performance on the paper as a whole was generally better than in previous sittings. Overall candidates performed better in the two compulsory questions, Question 1 and Question 2, compared to the Section B questions.

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 P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance

The examination consisted of two sections. Section A contained one question for 35 marks and one of 25 marks which were both compulsory. Section B contained three questions of 20 marks each, from which candidates had to answer two questions.

As in previous examination sessions, to score well in the exam candidates needed to demonstrate good technique combined with a strong appreciation of the syllabus, building upon knowledge from both F8 Audit and Assurance and P2 Corporate reporting. Candidates and tutors will also need to be aware of current developments in the field and should take note of the inclusion of new examinable documents and updates to the syllabus in conjunction with recent articles published by ACCA relevant to the syllabus. In this exam, well prepared candidates demonstrated an ability to use their knowledge and experience to relate their answers to the question requirements given.

Generally, candidates were able to demonstrate good time management and address the required number of questions. However, many candidates appeared to have lost focus on the requirement or failed to appreciate it in detail and therefore gave answers which were irrelevant and could not gain credit. For candidates preparing for this exam, it is especially important to focus on tailoring the number of points written to the mark available and to take note of areas that the requirement flags as not required. It is also important to consider at which stage of the audit process a scenario is occurring. At the planning phase of an audit the report outcome is unlikely to be a discussion point, at completion there may be a requirement for additional procedures to occur but this is not generally something that occurs at the reporting stage when candidates are told the testing is complete and concluded on correctly.

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