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Here are a few Paper F7 Exam Tips in order to maximise your chances of success while actually sitting the exam.
You have 15 minutes reading time during which you can write on the exam paper (but anything you do write on the exam paper will not be marked), but during which you cannot write in the answer booklet.
Use this time to:
- read the requirements for the Section B questions and underline or highlight key words in the requirements.
- beware the word “and” within the requirement! The requirements often ask for more than one thing in the same sentence – for example, calculate the cost and comment on it.
- the calculation and the comment will both carry marks, but it is easy in the middle of the exam to calculate and then forget to comment. Underline or highlight the words ‘calculate’ and ‘comment’ and you are then less likely to forget either.
- start doing the Section A multiple choice questions on the exam paper itself (but remember to copy the answers on to the answer sheet at the end of the reading time).
Section A – Multiple Choice Questions
- do not waste time doing neat workings for calculation questions – your workings will not be marked. Only the answer on the answer sheet is marked.
- look first for the short questions and those on topics you feel most happy with. All the questions carry 2 marks so don’t waste time on a question that requires a lot of reading – come back to it later when you have finished the shorter questions.
- if you come across a question that you know nothing about, then staring at it will not make any difference – guess an answer and move on (there is a chance you may have guessed correctly).
- watch your time. You should spend 72 minutes on Section A and no longer. You can always go back to it later if you find you have time left after completing
Section B – long form questions
- keep your eye on the clock and when there is 5 minutes left before the end of the exam stop what you are doing, and guess any of the Section A questions that you have not answered. You must make sure that you hand in answers to all 20 questions even if it means guessing several of them.
Section B – long form questions
- make sure you write something for every part of every question. You are unlikely to be able to finish every part of every question – either because you run out of time or you get stuck – but you can always write something. In the calculations each part of the workings is marked separately, whether or not you have finished. In the written parts, each comment is marked separately. Even if you can only think of one brief comment and get just one mark, that could turn a 49% fail into a 50% pass.
- for calculation parts of questions, show your workings neatly. It is the workings that get the marks (whether the final answer is right or wrong) but the marker can only give you the marks if they can follow what you have done
- for the written parts of questions, make sure that you writing is legible. (Before the exam day, ask someone if they can read your writing easily – if they can’t then consider printing the words!)
- for the written parts of questions, write each separate point on a new line (with a line space between points). If you write one long paragraph containing several points, then there is a danger that the marker will miss some of the points.
- allocate your time. You should allow 27 minutes for each 15-mark question, and 54 minutes for the 30-mark question. There are 3 questions and submitting 3 answers all part finished, will get you more marks than only submitting 2 answers and missing one question completely.
- start each part of each question on a new page in the answer booklet (if you run out of pages you will be provided a supplementary booklet!). That way you can always go back to questions and be able to add more to your answer neatly, if you have time left at the end of the exam.
Do make sure you make it clear at the top of the page which part of which question you are answering.
- where a question has two sections, part a) and part b), and the second part is not dependent upon arriving at an answer in part a), then do part b) first. Part b) tends to be 5 – 8 marks of relatively easy chat yet is most frequently ignored by students. This is often as a result of the time
pressure and the desire to “just balance that statement of financial position”. Very simply, you will only rarely get to part b) unless you do it before part a)
- for a written answer, be aware of just how many marks are available and plan sufficient points to include within your answer to get the majority of those marks. Remember, one correct point earns one mark.
- also be aware of just how much you can write in 1 minute 18 seconds (that’s 1 minute 48 seconds net of 30 seconds planning time per point). Get a friend to time you as you copy from a book or magazine and see what the maximum length of your points should be – probably no longer than 3 lines for each separate point