- September 4, 2018 at 10:21 am
opentuition_teamKeymasterSeptember 4, 2018 at 3:07 pm
Could you share the exam questions?September 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm
It was a 100 point case study with questions around strategy financial and nonfinancial issues, ethics, controls, project management, risk committee and big data.September 4, 2018 at 5:43 pm
It touched on the areas of the specimen paper. It was a like a blank canvass. With you painting in strokes as you saw fit. Didn’t seem to touch on many strategy areas. I think I placed too much store in the specimen papers where you are almost guided how to answer.
The PID question threw me a bit. The central point I made the business case was a seperate document detailing why and what of projects. And the PID was the how.I wasn’t sure about the operational issues. I was wasting time so I moved on.
I didn’t leave enough time for the big data slides or opportunity slides. I threw down a few lines around the 4 Vs. Predictive Analytics. Hidden biases. Correlation doesn’t mean causation. And just slide points for the opportunity part.September 4, 2018 at 6:03 pm
Thought the paper was not too bad, hard because it is the first but at the same time, it was practical. My only wish is that I hope the markers or examiner would also consider practical answers rather than basing on a fixed set of answers. There are a lot of possible answers, so a bit of consideration and flexibility would be appreciated on this one.September 4, 2018 at 6:40 pm
What was the case study ? What was the company about?September 4, 2018 at 6:44 pm
I also struggled with the PID question. I think a lot in the suggested PID made sense, but criticised the lack of detail and missing main risks.September 4, 2018 at 7:44 pm
I’m just hoping the ACCA aren’t aiming for a scarily low pass rate for SBL, as is the case for other Professional Level papers.
Keeping my fingers crossed!September 4, 2018 at 7:47 pm
It was not a bad paper. Found it fair when comparing it with the specimen exams. I have also struggled with PID…i encountered deficiency of ideas on how to recommend improvements… and time was up when i reach to Big data… which was my favourite topic actually! Fingers crossed for pass…September 4, 2018 at 7:55 pm
I believe from what I’ve read/head the examiners will accept valid points even if they aren’t from the model answers.
Because there are so many ways to answer the questions, they can’t include every possibility in the model answer, and students could make other perfectly valid points which will still score.
And that’s where my hope lies!!September 4, 2018 at 9:16 pm
The company was one which constructed roads etc. In a couple of different countries and had an opportunity for a large contract in a mountainous country. There were various ethical/reputational issues and then there was also the possibility of taking on contracts which involved maintaining the road infrastructure as well as constructing it in those countries.
For the PID, I think I put that the risks weren’t specific enough, and they needed analysing for likelihood and impact so possible responses found be constructed, but I have no idea if this was right for a PID. I was grasping at things to put at that point!
I also put something about not knowing what the impact of late running stages would be – would it impact on the others? And there was no mention of what resources were needed, beyond money. Again, no idea if it was right.
Just crossing my fingers for at least 50% on this one. :/
thank you.September 5, 2018 at 6:54 am
Very upset about the exam paper. What were the specimen papers about? This kick in the guts deserves a medal. Q2 just didn’t make any sense and the last thing I would have thought about was to critisise the lack of information. My last paper and definitely fail. Passing all the P papers on first time and failing SBL making me seriously depressed!September 5, 2018 at 7:07 am
I agree. It was completely unlike any of the specimen exams. Found it very difficulty due to trying to answer the paper with models but it didn’t need any. Felt like it was asking for commen sense.September 5, 2018 at 7:32 am
Yea, it felt like whatever I prepared were thrown out of the window, as the questions were completely different from the 2 specimen papers. If anything, it was more like an audit paper than “Strategic Business Leader”. Such a disappointment.September 5, 2018 at 8:23 am
Was the first question about accepting the maintenance contract? Or accepting the road building contract? I wrote about financial and non financial factors for the road building contract. Just thinking that wasn’t correct.September 5, 2018 at 8:48 am
That exam for me was unexpected, similar to an earlier post I was expecting there to be a lot more around Porter, PESTEL etc. Did anyone use any models/frameworks in the exam?September 5, 2018 at 9:02 am
@patbvk21 I have applied SAF – suitability, acceptability and feasibility.September 5, 2018 at 9:50 am
Tricky exam. 50/50 to pass or fail. As well i used SAF in 1 question and mentioned TARA in
3 question. No more models used.September 5, 2018 at 9:59 am
I applied SAF to the first question, most of my financial answers obviously fell under the Acceptability heading. Kicking myself this morning as I failed to write about the negative cash flows in the middle years of the project. I was preoccupied with linking back to the case study so mainly concentrated on the overall profit margin of the project. Also tried to link any potential change in gearing as a result of the project back to the case study as they’d indicated debt to equity levels were to remain constant. Would have been easier if they’d given us a balance sheet. I hope not writing about the negative cash flows in the middle years doesn’t come back to haunt me. I had plenty of qualitative reasons as well so hoping I scored highly there, it was of course straight forward to comment on the generic strategy of diversification into road construction etc.
Question 2 threw me, only managed a couple of points and had to move on as I didn’t want to waste time scraping around for poor points. My two points were the seemingly lack of authorisation on the PID for the project as I was under the impression from my revision this was the primary purpose of the document. I also managed to write about the business case being included in the ‘contents’, again from my revision I remembered this should be a stand alone document.
Question 3 was okay, hoping I scored relatively well here. Picking out the faults/ weaknesses in internal control was very much like an audit and assurance exam as somebody else said.
Question 4 was a bit of a disaster as I was rushing, got one slide down and the notes but how coherent it was is a different matter!
Hoping I scored well enough in question 1 and 3 to scrape a pass, it’s fortunate that these were the questions worth the highest amount of marks.
Fingers crossed but I think it’s touch and go for me.September 5, 2018 at 10:12 am
Did anyone use PESTEL for the first question? I did! But seeing people used SAF Im a bit worried now. I literally had no clue on the PID question, what was that about?!? Probably fail for me on this paper 🙁 But I do have to say it seemed a bit easier than the specimen papers. Good luck all!September 5, 2018 at 10:22 am
@tomrichardson92 I am pretty much same. Q1 and Q3 seemed to be manageable. The rest was absolutely painful.September 5, 2018 at 10:23 amSeptember 5, 2018 at 10:29 am
For question 1, I used SAF as well and also discussed extensively about the liquidity, cash flow and profitability of the proposed contract. The question does not require any specific model. Question 3 is fine too. I attempted the question on Big data analytics as well. Fingers crossed.
Lagos, NigeriaSeptember 5, 2018 at 10:29 am
I made a mistake of referring to the PID for the first question when I talked about the negative cash flows in the middle years. hope I wont get penalized for that…
I applied SAF to the first question, most of my financial answers obviously fell under the Acceptability heading. Kicking myself this morning as I failed to write about the negative cash flows in the middle years of the project. I was preoccupied with linking back to the case study so mainly concentrated on the overall profit margin of the project. Also tried to link any potential change in gearing as a result of the project back to the case study as they’d indicated debt to equity levels were to remain constant. Would have been easier if they’d given us a balance sheet. I hope not writing about the negative cash flows in the middle years doesn’t come back to haunt me. I had plenty of qualitative reasons as well so hoping I scored highly there, it was of course straight forward to comment on the generic strategy of diversification into road construction etc.September 5, 2018 at 11:11 am
Question 1 I did a sensitivity analysis and discounted the cash flows. No good financial information so I used 10%. I was trying to do a PESTEL for the non-financial, but same here the information was not so good in the question. Main points were that they were not used to build roads in this mountain area and that there is a risk they have underestimated the costs.
Question 2 I wrote about the main risks he had in the paper and that they were not the main risks in my opinion. This was a tricky question.
Question 3 – Quite straightforward.
Question 4 – Went ok, time pressure on the second slide. Argued about the possible access to information from the different governments and if these jobs were currently governmental, about willingness to outsource the jobs to another country.
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