- December 5, 2018 at 10:51 am
opentuition_teamKeymasterDecember 5, 2018 at 2:11 pm
Q1 was ok. Exchange rates got me in q3, wasted too much time on themDecember 5, 2018 at 2:25 pm
I found the first 2 questions ok, struggled properly applying the scenario in the second question though.
Third one metaphorically threw me off the chair. Already having time pressure to get deal with, spent 10 minutes figuring out what to do.
My thought’s were on expected value, so e.g.for the cost, 50% EV calculations on currency risk for half and other half the standard cost. I hope it’s something along this those lines or the Examiner will wonder what monstrosity this student has produced!December 5, 2018 at 2:54 pm
I think this was a fair paper… but I completely messed it up 😀 🙁
Q1&Q3: One could score most of the marks by applying common sense and basic knowledge about the syllabus areas. Of course everything looks so hardcore when sitting, sweating, cursing in the exam centre.
Q2 is a different story, I hope no perf. pyramid in the next round (pleeeeeeeeeeease)!
See you in March 😛December 5, 2018 at 3:25 pm
Thought this was a fair paper but no idea how’ve I’ve done and even if I did it means nothing, thought I did well in March and got 47%.
Felt very time pressured, but stuck to my timings for each question.
Q1 was average, part a different to normal as it was looking at the performance management system as a whole, not just the report. Did what i could of the benchmarking but got timed out at the end but still wrote about all the points.
Was happy with the pyramid, but thought the 6 sigma question was misleading and wasn’t too sure what they were looking for! Basically defined the problem, evaluated the measures and then went through the rest of DMAIC with those measures (?).
Spent too much time on figuring out Q3 but was able to produce the table of outcomes. The currency was confusing , converted the COS to the correct currency first then I increased COS by 1.10 for outcome 1 and then divided that by 110 and x90 for outcome 2.
Jotted some quick points to consider for the PEST linking it back to example.
As I said, can never guess what you got in the paper so time will tell so good luck!December 5, 2018 at 5:04 pm
I think the paper was fair with few surprises in there, although I do feel it was time pressured and found I had to force myself to move onto the next question even though I had more to write.
Q1 was pretty standard evaluating a performance report
Q2 I found tricky to tie the points back to the scenario and the model
Q3 was OK if you had revised maxi-max and maxi-min questions and their layouts. The curveball here was the exchange rates – I found myself spending a fair few minutes trying to wrap my head around the wording of that bit (it was poorly worded I feel and I have sat P4 AFM as well!!)
Overall I don’t feel like the questions tested a wide breadth of the syllabus and if you had not revised certain bits you would be stuffed!December 5, 2018 at 6:59 pm
I needed more time to finish this paper, time was not long enough to answer all 3 Qs.
I guess I’ll be back in March… 🙁December 5, 2018 at 7:32 pm
Q1 I worked on ” report” evaluation, but It was written ” reporting system ” .. should have been related then to gathering also data and IT?
A lot of tricky moments…
Crossing fingers for 50 marks and good luck to everybodyDecember 5, 2018 at 7:40 pm
Hi guys was there a definite decision of choice of product in Q3 under maximin i think it related to the employees?December 5, 2018 at 8:03 pm
Did anyone take from question 1 that it was to evaluate the performance measurement system ? What did people write about in relation to the customer survey score ?December 5, 2018 at 8:35 pm
Q1..I also evaluated the performance report since it was specifically mentioned that it was what the board used for the review but i highlighted that the weaknesses in the main financial report used by the board could be improved by bringing in the information already available in the performance systems in the company e.g. the information in the divisions relating to innovation and staff training..
I don’t know if that is what..but i find that the difficulty in this paper is always to do with the “tricky” way the questions are asked.. not the actual knowledge/content.
God help us all. Can only hope for the best now..Goodluck everyone.December 5, 2018 at 9:12 pm
The examiner asks the simplest questions in the most confusing manner. It’s not fair that Advanced papers have the same 3 hours as intermediate papers.December 5, 2018 at 9:35 pm
Did anyone take from question 1 that it was to evaluate the performance measurement system ? What did people write about in relation to the customer survey score ?
Customer surveys I put in some standard stuff from the text book. People feel inclined to pick the middle as 0 & 10 are extremes, they only picked a handful out of 180. I disagreed with the stockbroker about the disclosure to the press, I said they should show results to boost transparency and develop the brand but need better surveys.December 5, 2018 at 9:45 pm
I also thought the paper was fair. No real nasty surprises in there. The examiner was quite kind in pretty much giving you every model you needed to use – there was no real need to memorise any model for this paper. On the performance pyramid the whole model was given to you in a diagram, the 4 areas for PEST were spelled out to you, the DMAIC process in Six Sigma was given to you etc. I think the only model I used which wasn’t given to you was balanced scorecard, and I shoehorned in a comment about BCG at one point. On the flip side this means all the time I spent memorising models and coming up with my own mnemonics was wasted!
As seems to be the case with APM there were a few marks for calculations here and there but most of the marks were for application and a lot of it was common sense. Hopefully I did enough to pass and will become an affiliate in January. Best of luck to everyone else who took this exam!
Below is my recollection of the questions and the marks per question. Hopefully this will be useful to anyone taking the exam in the next couple of sittings. As is usual in APM, for question 1 the whole answer formed a report to the board and there were 4 professional marks available.
1a was 14 marks on evaluating the current performance management system. It did say system rather than report, but only the report was given to you and there was not really any other information about their reward and control systems etc. so I can’t see how you could have talked about those. I just focused on the report, and there were plenty of things to talk about on that anyway (mostly negative). The mission talked about customer satisfaction, skilled staff and innovation i.e. the other 3 perspectives on the balanced scorecard, but the report only covered financials. There were too many numbers (it was basically just a P&L), nothing for the shareholder return, few comparatives with the external market, not enough percentages, ROCE which is poorly correlated to shareholder wealth etc.
1b was 9 marks on evaluating the analyst comments on why the customer survey was poor. A few things stood out – the sample size was too small, it was the first 9 customers on the list not a random sample, it was not weighted by customer size as only small customers had given high scores (I calculated the weighted average to be 6/10), the company defined 5/10 as good when most people would see 5/10 as average or poor, the comparison to the competitor might not be fair if the surveys were different, etc…
1c was 9 marks on definitions of the types of benchmarking and whether internal benchmarking was appropriate for the 3 divisions. I said it could be appropriate but as there were all based in different countries should be linked only to controllable factors, and external benchmarking could be used too.
The final part of question 1 was 14 marks on calculating missing ratios and metrics for one of the divisions and commenting on the overall results of the divisional benchmarking. You had to be careful with the reduction in accident rate to calculate it and follow the method in the notes. At first I just divided 68 accidents by 74 accidents, but then realised this was wrong as you had to take the number of hours worked into consideration. There were quite a few points that could be made about the various ratios and the different performance between the divisions.
For 2a, 10 marks on how they could use the performance pyramid. They had some recent poor financial and market performance and didn’t previously have a mission statement or systems to capture operational performance, so I explained how the PP could help with these but not sure I wrote enough points to get all the marks.
Then 2b for 8 marks. They had come up 3 new metrics and you had to explain whether they were sufficient to measure the operational level of the PP. There were a few issues with these such as the fuel one. This was litres of fuel per mile travelled, but it made no reference to the amount of freight carried so wasn’t a useful metric when comparing different vehicles. The cycle time and quality areas were missing.
2c was 7 marks on another 2 metrics and whether these were appropriate for DMAIC in Six Sigma. I said that within 10 minutes of the allotted time was too strict as less than 0.0001% of complaints came from deliveries made within 30 minutes and the accepted rate of failure in Six Sigma is 0.0003%. Therefore the metric should be within 30 minutes not 10. The other metric was failed deliveries due to the customer not being in, or the address being wrong. The company has no control over either of these so I said this wasn’t a good metric to use as the DMAIC process wouldn’t work if you can’t control it.
3a was 14 marks; you needed to work out that the employees were risk averse, the directors risk seeking and the investors risk neutral. Then you had to calculate maximin, maximax and EVs for the 3 potential products. The FX did make this a bit tricky, you had to read the question carefully and then there were a few steps to calculate both the revenue and costs to get the profits.
3b was 5 marks talking about the disadvantages of the 3 methods in 3a so I talked about standard stuff like maximax and maximin not looking at probability and the EV not being the actual outcome and more suited to repeated events.
3c was 6 marks and asked how a PEST analysis would help them manage performance in the new country. It specifically said not to actually do the PEST (there wasn’t really enough information in the question to do this anyway), but instead explain how PEST would help them manage performance. I talked about things like being aware of the local economy and technology when pricing products to maximise marginal revenue, being aware of the expectations of customers and employees, and being aware of local laws and regulation.December 5, 2018 at 10:26 pm
Yes they were definitely the trickier parts – for the last part of question 1 there were I think 5 missing ratios and some like the accident rate were not that straightforward to calculate, and then you had to comment on the results. Not sure what the breakdown of the marks will be be between the calculations and the comments. I definitely could have written a bit more on this question if I had time.
And for 3a I initially thought it was straightforward when I first scanned through the question, until I realised the complexities with the FX. Especially the cost per unit with half in the home currency and half in the other currency which could go up or down. It meant you had to do a lot of work to get the figures you needed.
Best of luck to you @showdown, hope you pass this time around!December 5, 2018 at 11:18 pm
@chris My answers were very similar to yours, and yes! I spent time memorising the damn models too.
I’m kicking myself at the third question, as I only calculated EV which sadly gave very little for the assessing what the separate stakeholders would pick.
Btw, for one ci.) did you talk about all three types of benchmarking, internal, external and process/activity.December 5, 2018 at 11:32 pm
I gave a brief definition of all 3 types but only really applied internal and external to the scenario. I could have written more on that part but the clock was ticking and I moved on.December 6, 2018 at 12:29 am
this is my second attempt. but i think i did it bad again, worse than last time. cannot finish the exam. the question, especially Q2 is too ambiguous. Either consider to attempt it again or switch to other elective subject. Depressed. Need some time to get over.December 6, 2018 at 5:39 am
Interesting how you had maximax, maximin in question 3.
I remember mine was about uncertainty and risk.December 6, 2018 at 7:13 am
The question didn’t explicitly state you had to use maximax, maximin and EVs. However it asked you to work out what the 3 groups would choose based on their attitude to risk and uncertainty, so you had to apply some form of technique to the results to do that.
The 3 groups were clearly risk averse, risk seeking and risk neutral from the information in the question. A risk averse person would use maximin, a risk seeker would use maximax and risk neutral person would use EVs.
Curious how you approached the question if you didn’t use maximax and maximin?December 6, 2018 at 7:58 am
this is my second attempt. but i think i did it bad again, worse than last time. cannot finish the exam. the question, especially Q2 is too ambiguous. Either consider to attempt it again or switch to other elective subject. Depressed. Need some time to get over.
Stay strong and positive mate. I was certain I passed in September and failed, I also had friends who thought they failed and passed.
Positive mental attitude!December 6, 2018 at 7:59 am
Oh makes sense now, thanks.
I didn’t use maximin approach, but instead assessed what product gives the lowest chances of failure for risk averse- using FX moves as a key indicator (e.g. if FX rates change by 3 or 6 times then costs will be higher than sales price and therefore product will be loss making). Also estimated what product requires least amount of investment at risk.
Then calculated the potential total profit for all products (using expected fx rate as a reference) and selected the max one for risk takers.
I guess your approach is more refined and what examiners want to see.December 6, 2018 at 9:11 am
I remember sitting in the exam and wishing we still had the option question portion coz I could not understand question two it confused me at one point I just gave up and stating answering what I thought the could be asking the six sigma!? Like what!
Question one was okay question 3 was confusing toke me a well to figure out the exchange rate part. I am just praying for 50 and hoping to get a kind hearted markerDecember 6, 2018 at 9:25 am
I find this exam hard due to time management issues. I ran into Q3 with 15 min left and knowing what to do and not managing to do it, hurts more compared to when you just don’t know how to answer.
Q1 was fair.
Q2 was an unpleasant surprise. I had the impression they decided to test the pyramid but were lacking imagination when inventing the question. Compared to other pyramid questions from bpp exam kit, this one was uninspired and somewhat inflated.
Q3 was pretty interesting – in my opinion the maximin meant you had to compute total contribution for the FX rate dropping 10%, MaxiMax for FX Strengthening 10% and EV for risk neutral stakeholders.;
all of this after adjusting for 50% cost in Kayland currency and the trick here was that costs were in D currency so one had to convert it to K dollars at existent rate (2) before computing the unit revenue contribution exposed to Fx risks and than extrapolating it to total units.
Unfortunately I messed it up doing/redoing calculations and will be lucky to get several marks on this Q, despite of it being more doable than Q2.
Overall, I think this my first real chance to join the re-takers club.
Good luck to all!December 6, 2018 at 9:42 am
This was my 5th attempt. I won’t discuss my answers and I won’t say how I feel the exam went – no point because often people feel they did well and they will definitely pass but get a slap in the face with a fail mark, sometimes it’s the other way around. It’s not about how you feel how the exam went, it’s down to luck sometimes. I covered the whole syllabus but it was impossible to practise every single question multiple times from the BPP book.
As per my discussion with my chartered tax adviser friend, we need to keep studying, keep practising even after sitting the exam all the way until the results get published. Then if you passed, you stop studying but if you failed at least you didn’t waste 6 weeks and it will be easier to pass next time around. I personally forget a lot of things if I don’t study until the results day so this is my new technique. Hopefully it will work. I will also study (again) for SBR to not waste any time.
Keep going, keep studying until you past. Nothing else you can do. 🙂
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