ACCA P1 Key to success


Nature of the ACCA P1 paper

ACCA P1 Paper – Governance, Risk and Ethics – aims to develop a student’s knowledge and the skills to be able to exercise professional judgement and ethics in practical situations which they will inevitably face as qualified accountants.
Add in the elements of a thorough knowledge and appreciation of internal controls, corporate responsibility and the management of risk and there you have a summary of the nature of the (relatively new, 2007) paper P1.

Structure of the ACCA P1 paper

Question 1 is a compulsory 50 mark question – between 500 and 700 words of information!  It has always been the case that question 1 is sub-divided into multiple parts ( typically 5 or 6 ) and always includes an element of ethics

The remaining 50 marks is allocated to a choice of 2 from 3 questions worth 25 marks each.

Emphasis of the ACCA P1 exam

A clue about the emphasis of the exam is in the title! The emphasis in the exam is on corporate governance, the recognition and management of risk, and the application of ethical mores in the process of decision making.

How to pass ACCA P1 exam

Use the OpenTuition ACCA P1 lectures together with the P1 course notes. Try to read a study text, at least once, but don’t try to continue in any one session once your mind has started wandering. Do something else!

Practice as many past exam questions as you can.

The P1 examiner has, last year, suggested that he could well ask a question which involves simple arithmetic calculations so don’t forget to take your calculator  into the exam room.

See also:

P1 Governance, Risk & Ethics Forums  post your questions to get help from other students

Ask the Tutor – P1 Exams

P1 Past exam papers
P1 Examiners’ report
P1 Technical articles
P1 Examiner’s approach interview
P1 Examiner’s approach article 
P1 Examiner’s study guide article part 1 
P1 Examiner’s study guide article part 2
P1 Examiner’s analysis interview
P1 Pass rates
Professional Ethics Module


  1. avatar says

    Can i answer all 3 questions (increase the probability to gain marks) or they will cancel all 3 questions marks . Is it prohibited to answer all 3 Q * 25 marks and the examiner choose the Highest 2 marked questions ?

  2. avatar says

    What are the chances of writing according to my understanding and hit some points by luck (not exactly as the syllabus) , writing as long as i can tell even if wasn’t relevant . Is the marking for this paper is tough as f8 ???? I read the student articles you predict but facing problems in Remembering the flash cards !!!!!!!!

    • Profile photo of MikeLittle says

      What are the chances of you writing a post tomorrow after the exam lamenting the fact that you didn’t start your studying earlier? Whether you know it or not you should be reading, thinking, planning and writing for 3.25 hours anyway

      The fact that it may be irrelevant – is not relevant! One of the reasons that the score of 100% has never been achieved is because some relevant points were not included in the answer.

      Almost by definition that means that there were some irrelevant points included.

      Accept that as a strong probability – you will have irrelevancies within your answer.

      The issue with you is whether you can happily, luckily, tangentially happen upon enough relevant points

      Hopefully you can :-)

  3. avatar says

    MikeLittle you’re a hoot, love your comments on here :-) would there be any chance of getting a past paper exam analysis for P1? I use them for practicing sections of the syllabus as I go along and am growing to detest writing them up. Would love your help :-)

    • Profile photo of MikeLittle says

      Hi Angel

      I’ve tried doing analyses for all three P level papers that I cover (1, 2 and 7) but find that I’m effectively writing out the syllabus for each exam.

      I have enough problems trying to decide upon a selection of topics that I can suggest as tips – a problem that is facing me as I write – without trying yet again to come up with a sensible past exam question analysis.

      The reputable publishers however do seem to manage a similar task – have you possibly looked at their analyses?

  4. avatar says

    Okay 5 days to go and i havent studied P1 at all! not a single word! im still gonna sit in the exam just to check my luck!
    please give any recommendations (tips, should i read through all the notes of opentuition, technical articles, past paper answers to the questions i must read)
    i know the “Don’t rely on the tips” thing, but please help me out here! my reliance on ur tips nd suggestion might help me pass at this take! or else there is always a next take to sit!!
    thanks, waiting for some magic to happen!!=))

    • Profile photo of MikeLittle says

      Read, read and read. Course notes alongside watching the videos

      Read, read and read past questions and answers

      Let the basics soak into your mind, your body and your soul

      Just read as much as you can as often as you can face it

      And don’t leave it so late to start next time!

    • Profile photo of MikeLittle says

      We always say “Don’t rely on the tips”

      Some tuition establishments appear to tip the syllabus! They tend to get 100% success rate. My tips are simply guesses as to what may come up. But if you have your own ideas of where you might sensibly devote your efforts, then go with that

      Again, my tips are if you now merely wish to keep your knowledge ticking over, then these are some areas that I am suggesting


    • Profile photo of MikeLittle says

      There’s quite an extensive chapter on integrated reporting now in the course notes (updated 2 months ago)

      I’m not sure that the other amendments deserve any comment. I may need to re-consider after I have taught it but at the moment there are no plans for new lectures

      Sorry :-(

      • avatar says

        Hello mike. Firstly, i love the way you teach, very motivational and has made me develop interest in this subject. Could you please tell me why there isnt a lecture on integrated reporting and public sector governance? or may i cant find it if its there? Please help

        thanks in advance

      • Profile photo of MikeLittle says

        Only saw this post by sheer chance – if you really want a tutor to respond to you, then you need to post on the ask the tutor pages.

        Integrated reporting and public sector governance came into the syllabus just this last six months and I haven’t had recording facilities available for much longer than that

        There is a quite comprehensive chapter on integrated reporting and there’s not a lot of contentious matter in the topic. It should be relatively easy to be self-studied

        As for PSG (not the football team) I seem to remember bringing this in to lectures even before it was in the syllabus. Again, it should be self-studiable

        Good luck tomorrow!

    • Profile photo of MikeLittle says

      Much of the “new” stuff was already covered within the “old” notes. There is a new chapter on integrated reporting within the updated notes and tiny changes elsewhere (for example the introduction of “innovation” and “scepticism” within “hairdrift”) but otherwise the notes should be reliable

    • Profile photo of MikeLittle says

      You think the notes are too much!? Try reading a study text!

      Have you tried listening to the lectures on this site?

      “Do I need to understand the themes or even the points?” Is this really a question from an ACCA P1 student? Of course you need to understand! How else are you going to be able to answer the questions?

    • Profile photo of MikeLittle says

      @simonadejo, Yes, strangely a ned is allowed to have shares and options. The justification is that it gives them an incentive to ensure the long term viability / success of the company and that in itself is in everyone’s interests

      Receiving fees? Why would they wish to give up their time for no compensation? These people are, almost by definition, successful business people and they almost certainly did not achieve that success by freely giving their skills away.

      They’re not like the tutors at OT who DO give their skills away!

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