The easiest and the most difficult ACCA Skills papers!

Diplomatically speaking, all the papers of the ACCA Qualification are relatively difficult. So be prepared to work extra hard and put on more shift to fulfill your dream of becoming an ACCA member. Coming to a conclusion on which ACCA paper is easy/difficult is complex as this is highly subjective. We are all different and it depends on a number of factors which include prior work experience, intelligence and commitment. Personally I am not intelligent, I am just an average hard-working individual who studied very hard to pass my ACCA exams and obtain the ACCA qualification.

Having said that, there are some ACCA papers which gave me a nightmare. Performance Measurement (PM) is one of them. I applied my strategies as normal as described in my previous article, but I would fail dismally whenever I practiced past papers and would certainly not understand anything when it comes to theory. This was mainly due to the fact that I never really liked Management Accounting (MA) and I had just barely passed it really. So generally my basics where not in place and my foundation was not solid. I put in extra work and eventually passed the ACCA paper and you guessed right, Advanced Performance Measurement was not an option for me. 

Management accounting is difficult because it generally goes beyond the traditional accounting procedures which are book-keeping, i.e debit and credits. Most students find it difficult as evident in the ACCA pass rates simple because they have not done it in real life. It is difficult to see how it applies in real life as a student, but in practice, it is not as hard because the results of what you do will be in front of you.

Taxation for me was rather annoying to me than difficult really. There were a thousand tax rules to be grasped and they wasn’t really any logic and analytical thinking like the other ACCA papers so I really hated it. But a friend who is in taxation says it is interesting especially in practise. Engaging in projects that generally have the goal of minimising your taxes is cool she says. “Its like solving a puzzle”. I certainly have not worked in tax, but the ACCA tax paper was boring. I wrote the UK variant! You guessed right; Advanced Taxation was not an option for me either. 

The easiest paper for me was Audit and Assurance. This was mainly because I had a deep understanding of the IFRS from my Financial Reporting paper which I had studied very well. I had a solid study technique for this paper mainly because most students I had been in contact with deemed the paper to be difficult and the pass rates were scary, so I really wanted to pass it and so I put in an extra shift. ACCA Technical articles helped so much in this paper together with a lot of ACCA past exam papers. 

Audit in practice is definitely challenging, not technically, but emotionally. I would say it is a mental test due to the challenges that you might face when in audit engagements and part of an audit team. Meeting deadlines and working long hours are the characteristics of audit and that is why most people hate audit. But generally, you get the opportunity to travel and interact with different people (clients), which is a factor that may motivate you to like audit, because if you like something, you are most likely to do well in that thing.

ACCA Financial Management wasn’t really as easy as audit and assurance but I generally liked the paper. It was certainly my favorite of the skills papers and I really enjoyed studying it. With this paper you must aim to have a sound and solid understanding of theory and calculations. Do not ignore the theory and you will soon notice that the paper is passable.

In conclusion , passing any ACCA exam requires commitment and hard-work. Have a solid study technique and follow it religiously. This will amplify your chances of passing any ACCA exam. Goodluck…

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