Every ACCA Skills Paper described in a single paragraph. And, does scoring high marks count?

ACCA AB is an introduction to the ACCA Qualification hence it is not that difficult. When studying, it is important to focus on issues that are generally more difficult than others. For example, the Schnein theory is generally more difficult to grasp than other theories for example the Marslow theory. It is more advisable to generally spend 76% of your time in part A and the remaining 24% of the exam on Section B. However, you can move past the Section A of the exam swiftly and dedicate the remaing time to Section B. The ACCA examiner stated that the exam generally does not contain trick questions hence dwelling too much on a single question is counter-productive.

With ACCA MA, the most important part of the exam is covering the whole syllabus. The ACCA examiner pointed out that the main reason why people fail this exam is because of the inability to calculate payback, NPV and IRR; inability to calculate standard cost variances; inability to calculate to calculate residual income and ROCE; and an apparent difficulty with questions presented in spreadsheet format. It is important that you attempt every question in the ACCA exam as there is no negative making.

FA is generally straightforward and exams often include questions that relate to the preparation of the financial statements. Make sure you have an understanding of the proforma that will guide you in the preparation of the basic financial statements. Prepare well for all questions and study the whole syllabus. Time management is vital to pass this ACCA exam very well.

ACCA PM is generally a bit difficult. You need to be able to apply knowledge of theories or techniques to the scenario given. Questions are examined in the context of the case so it is important to give answers that are relevant to the case that is provided. Also ensure that you cover the whole syllabus and answer all the questions in the exam. Time management is generally difficult to achieve hence it is important to work on that during the revision phase.

For ACCA FR, it is important to study the whole syllabus and familiarize yourself with word processing and spreadsheet that is used for CBEs. Be able to apply theories or techniques to the scenario. Have a solid understanding of the International Financial Reporting Standards as some of these will be examined, but not as they are examined in the Strategic Business Reporting exam. Also learn the proforma of preparing consolidated financial statements.

ACCA AA requires the student to read the whole syllabus like any other ACCA paper. When answering the questions, do not re-write the question as this is time consuming and scores no marks. You need to able to explain risks fully, and that comes with reading the question very well and understanding the audit risk arising. The examiner stated that most students do not attempt questions that relate to substantive procedures. Cover that part of the syllabus very well.

ACCA FM requires you to answer everything in the exam as this one of the reasons why students fail. Learn the NPV and understand it fully and master how inflation is treated as the examiner pointed out that most students fail on that part! Also, derivatives tend to be difficult for students hence ensure that you cover them very well and understand them fully. Generally all questions need extensive study. This ensures that you are more than ready to answer any questions that may be examined! Master every concept of the exam and start revision early!

If you are an average student like me you will most probably be getting marks that range from 50% to 69% and you are probably wondering whether that it is going to affect your employability. In every ACCA exam my goal was to get at least 60% especially for my applied skills paper because I was a full-time student and did not have a degree during the time and my fastest chance of obtaining one was through the Oxford Brookes route.

So, if you want to obtain a good degree class for your bachelors you need to make sure that your marks are good in all the skills exams you write. Basically, if you have an average of 60% or more in your skills papers, you are guaranteed to obtain an upper second-class degree regardless of any pass symbol you obtain in your project. Similarly, with a 68% average in your ACCA skills papers you are guaranteed to get a first-class degree with any pass mark you obtain in your research project. Other than that, marks do not really matter because a certification is a certification. It proves that you have amassed and honoured a unique skill set that employers want.

However, the growth of the ACCA qualification means that employers might sometimes turn to marks to assess suitable candidates if many of ACCA affiliates/students apply for the same posts. So, try your best to achieve the best results possible. But in most cases, the job interviews are more than enough to distinguish between the capable and those who are not capable of doing the job. Goodluck…

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