Here are a few ACCA P2 Exam Tips in order to maximise your chances of success while actually sitting the exam.
You have 15 minutes reading and planning 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.
- at this stage, identify which of the three option questions that you will not attempt. Read it anyway – there may be some useful points that you can work into the other answers
- beware the word “and” within the requirement! The requirements often ask for more than one thing in the same sentence – for example, identify and explain
- the identification and the explanation will both carry marks, but it is easy in the middle of the exam to identify and then forget to explain. Underline or highlight the words ‘identify’ and ‘explain’ and you will find it much more difficult to forget either
- then read the Section A 50 marker requirement so that you’re aware of what you’re looking for in the question when you read it
- if you’re still within the 15 minutes reading and planning time read the option questions highlighting key words as you go along and effectively making skeleton answer plans
50 marker compulsory question – 90 minutes
- This is a 35 mark consolidation question with a further 15 marks possibly sub-divided into a smaller question on each of corporate governance and ethics, neither part dependent upon the answer to the consolidation
- DO THESE TWO PARTS FIRST! If you don’t, I guarantee that you will spend the whole 90 minutes on part a) and leave no time at all for these relatively straight-forward 15 marks
- with the consolidation itself, there will typically be 6 or 7 tricky points in the notes to the question, adjustments to be made or bad entries to correct
- keep your workings:
- properly headed
- cross-referenced (SoFP is a perfectly acceptable abbreviation) o legible,
- (and correct!)
- always remember, the MARKS ARE IN THE WORKINGS
choice of 2 from 3 questions worth 25 marks each – 45 minutes each
- planning time here is 12.5 minutes for each of your two chosen questions so use it wisely
- questions 2 and 3 will typically involve a number of IASs / IFRSs for either a single company or different companies where the directors and (worryingly) the CFO are proposing to treat a matter contrary to Standards but beware, sometimes their proposed treatment is correct!
- question 4 will likely be about some matter of current concern to the profession – some exposure draft or discussion document
- personally, if I could, I would avoid question 4. It’s exceedingly difficult to score well on a discussion question!
- the examiner has stated in the past that he will ask a question about any new IFRS at the first opportunity!
- 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.
- each comment that you make should be within its own sentence and leave a line between your sentences effectively making them into paragraphs
- time yourself copying sentences from a book and stop after 1 minute and 18 seconds. That’s the time that you have available to write one sentence containing just one markable point.
- you’re unlikely to get past the third line and that’s the MAXIMUM length of a sentence / paragraph in the exam
- make sure that your writing is legible. If a marker can’t read your script, he can’t give you credit for your thoughts!
- if you write one long paragraph containing several points, then there is a danger that the marker will miss some of those points.
- 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 you will 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.
- there are NO MARKS for showing that you can remember an IAS / IFRS number or title