The ACCA has introduced this new section into the syllabus for all of the Applied Skills and Strategic Professional examinations now that all the examinations in all locations will be computer based.
However, it does not require the same sort of learning as for other syllabus areas because it has been added to reflect the outcomes and demonstrable skills required for the exams, using the Computer Based Exam software. The level of skill needed to be able to use the CBE software can also be beneficial for your employment.
Many students will already have a high level of skill on computers and be familiar with the use of word processors and spreadsheets. However, those provided in the exam software might not be identical to those that you are familiar with and, in addition, it is essential that you are able to navigate the software efficiently so as not to waste time in the exam.
There are many excellent resources available on the ACCA website to assist you, and so in this chapter we will direct you to some of the relevant ACCA pages and explain their importance.
2. Navigating the exam and the tools available
The exam screen has a top bar and a bottom bar.
On the top bar there are options to call up an ‘online calculator’, to call up the ‘scratch pad’, and to ‘flag for review’.
The online calculator is used in the normal way and can be switched at any time between a basic mode and a scientific mode. You can use your own calculator instead provided that it does not store or display text.
The scratch pad can be used to make notes and do your own rough workings, but nothing written on the scratchpad will actually be marked. You will also be provided with paper if sitting the exam in an exam centre and so you can use this for workings instead – the paper will be collected in at the end of the exam but, again, nothing on this rough paper will be marked. (Note: if you are sitting the exam remotely then paper is not allowed and you can only use the scratchpad.)
The ‘flag for review’ option enables you to put a mark against a question to enable you to quickly come back to it again later if you have time.
On the bottom bar are the arrows for moving forwards or backwards through the questions. In addition there is a ‘navigator’ option which when chosen displays a list of all of the questions enabling you to go straight to a particular question.
3. ACCA Resources
You will find many resources on the ACCA website and the more you refer to the better. Go first to the AA exam resources page Audit and Assurance (AA) | ACCA Global :
On this page, under the heading ‘Introduction to Audit and Assurance’ you will find a link to the pdf Guide to session CBEs. Download this as essential reference material.
Also on the exam resources page you will find a link to Question practice – ACCA Practice Platform where you will find:
- the Specimen exam, Practice exams and Past exams
- Marking and debriefing video
- Practice Platform FAQs.
It is essential to use these resources in your exam preparation.