ACCA Examiners Guidance

ACCA Study Advice

Understanding the ACCA Examiners report can be beneficial for students who have failed their latest ACCA but it can also be used a preventive measure and analysed before taking any ACCA exam to make sure you don’t fall into the same pitfalls as other students.

ACCA Examiners Report

After each exam sitting the ACCA will release an examiners report for every paper in the qualification. So you will see four examiners report each year per paper.

The document is around four pages long contains two main areas:

  • General comments about exam.
  • Specific comments addressing each question in the same and highlighting the common mistakes made and things that were done well.

It’s a free resource that is provided by the ACCA and the constructive feedback should be taken on board and will go some way into helping you pass your next ACCA exam.

General Comments

The general comments will go through how the exam was structured and what types of questions the students could expect.

Below is an extract of the general comments made by the ACCA examiner for the F5 Performance Management paper that was sat in June 2016.

In general, performance on Section A of the exam was significantly better than on Section B.

It is a good idea to do this section of the paper first to build your confidence before tackling the written questions. Make sure that you do not spend more than the allotted time on this section of the paper. It is better to move on and then come back at the end if you have time.

These general tips and comments should be noted by students who will be taking the exam next time and it’s a good idea to print out or open a copy of the exam paper in question so you can align the exam paper against the examiners report.

Specific Comments

To pass the ACCA examinations, it’s beneficial to really understand why previous students went wrong and not make the same mistakes. The specific comments section on the exam report is a great to do this.

The example below shows the F5 Performance Management paper from June 2016 and addresses question 1 on section b.

Section B Question One

This was a variance question examining the area of sales planning and operational variances (market size and market share). Part (a) was calculative and part (b) was discursive.

This question was poorly answered. For part (a) it was necessary to first of all work out the revised sales quantities and the standard contributions for both products. This probably wouldn’t have been a huge problem but many candidates didn’t appear to know that these variances are a breakdown of the sales volume variance and instead worked out planning and operational variances for price. Others, that did know this, used actual contribution rather than standard contribution.

As you can see, the examiner points out that this question was poorly answered by many students and gives the reasons why students made mistake on the variance question.

By going back to the question paper, answering the question yourself and then aligning it with the examiners report you will be in a good position to pass similar questions when sitting the exam yourself.

You can find the examiners guides on the ACCA  F5 Performance Management paper here. And the full list of examiners reports can be found under each paper on the ACCA website.

ACCA Exam Pass Rates

Passing the ACCA exams, much like any qualification, get harder as you progress through the different levels. The early fundamental papers have very good pass rates, which illustrates that students are comfortable with the exams and ACCA see these early papers as way to give students the footing they need to progress further down the line.

ACCA Fundamentals Exam Pass Rates 2014-2016

How to pass ACCA exams

  • F1 Accountant in Business has a very good pass rate with over 4 out of 5 students passing the exam. However, the pass rate does dip for the F2 and F3 papers.
  • Students would be advised to be aware that extra effort is needed for these slighter tougher papers.
  • Another interesting trend is that F4 Corporate and Business Law has quite a high pass rate – which may be seen as surprising as ACCA students would feel more comfortable with numerical papers rather than law and theory behind it.
  • Perhaps the toughest paper at this level, based on previous pass rates, is the F5 Performance management. Again, extra effort should be applied to this paper – of course each student has their own particular strengths and weaknesses.

ACCA Professional Exam Pass Rates 2014-2016

ACCA Exam Tips

  • Generally speaking, all of the compulsory professional papers P1, P2 and P3 have on average a 50% pass rate.
  • While the optional papers are much tougher and it’s clear that students struggle to pass these papers. In sames cases – the June 2015 sitting of the P5 Advanced Performance Management – only 28% of the students passed the exam.

There is, of course, no easy paper with facing the ACCA exams but trends suggest that the Performance Management papers (P5 and F5) are tough tasks, while students are excelling at the F4 Corporate and Business Law – perhaps the change from numerical based to theory is a welcome relief for students and they really apply themselves to the law.

Full the full list of ACCA pass rates you can visit here.

Why study ACCA?

ACCA Study Advice

Gaining a professional qualification in accountancy is a tough prospect but there are multitude of reasons why you should commit yourself and study ACCA.

Firstly, ACCA is the global body for professional accountants with close to 200,000 members and half a million students in over 180 countries. It’s a well respected professional qualification that is recognised by employers the world over.

Furthermore it’s been in existence for over 100 years and can be as flexible as you want with students studying part-time, full-time and around work commitments.

Benefits of being an ACCA member

Once you have passed all of the ACCA exams and gained the professional competence the benefits of being an ACCA member are apparent.

  • Having the ACCA letters after your name gives you a link to the tradition of excellence associated with the ACCA while it also make you stand out with perspective employers.
  • Membership to ACCA is key in unlocking professional opportunities the world over.
  • You will have opportunities to stay up to date with industry news via ACCA led workshops and seminars.

ACCA and Career Opportunities

If you are curious as to HOW studying and qualifying with ACCA will benefit your career or potential career then you can visit this excellent guide provided by the ACCA – it goes through each sector and explains how the qualification will prepare you challenges that lie ahead.

You can also watch this excellent video below from the ACCA that goes into more detail about why you should start studying today!

If you want to apply to become an ACCA student then visit the ACCA global webpage here and begin your application today.