- April 13, 2020 at 12:02 pm
Today I discovered I failed APM yet again (44%) when I really believed that I had passed with around 60% and finished ACCA.
After the initial shock I know I have two choices (1) give up or, (2) just take it again (the3rd could be take audit or tax instead but I dont feel this would be any better)……of course, I cant give up so I will take it again….
I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts based on their own experiences on how I should look to tackle this and remain positive. I’m based in the UK so the next exam sitting is in September (at the moment).
Should I listen to all the videos again? Read the text again? Just jump into questions? I struggle with making notes and I always end up writing the whole thing out as I worry that I may need to know it.
I also hope the responses help and support others who are reading this.
Thank you in advance!April 13, 2020 at 6:29 pm
The most important thing about APM is exam technique. How to answer – How much lines per paragraph – How to be clear. I failed 3 times this paper- I never understood why. I know that depressive feeling too well. But I got a tutor to personally correct my answersheet. And, yes it worked. I left nearly 16 marks unanswered. An got 57 points. Answer technique is key.April 14, 2020 at 12:35 pm
Thank you. I would be interest to know if the tutor you used was part of the larger BPP, Kaplan tutors or a local one.
If you dont mind me asking, did you base you learning phase on just open tuition then spend most of the time on question practice? (for your retakes).
ThanksApril 14, 2020 at 1:17 pm
Sorry about the result. the tutor i used is Mustafa Muchhala in FME online he helped me pass APM at 2nd attempt
He marked my solutions and told me everything i was doing wrong
i attended i large tuition provider and the lecturer was good, but i sought more individualized tuition as i stilled failed before
the lecturers at FME know or some use to be ex examiners of APM so they know the standard required for ACCAApril 14, 2020 at 10:34 pm
I had a similar experience to awogbod2 and tekka.
It took me three attempts, and the thing that made the difference was classroom tuition with Gamel Taher, via a residential course at Reed Business School. Gamel is brilliant. I also found the residential aspect hugely beneficial, as you don’t have think about anything except study.
It’s a weird paper. I think the syllabus content is (mainly) really interesting and relevant in pretty much any organisation. There is however a huge volume of information you are supposed to be able to recall and apply as required under time pressure.
The knowledge phase of the course took three days. We covered the whole syllabus in that time however I don’t think it would have been enough on its own. I did a lot of reading outside the classroom.
It was a small class and there was plenty of time for discussion, like a seminar group.
Assuming you have the right level of knowledge in the first place, you need to be clearly instructed by the examiner as to what you’re supposed to be doing with it.
Gamel taught us how to interpret the question and plan an answer in response, broken down into points to make and a time allocation for each point.
There is a pattern to the wording of the questions that becomes apparent with enough practice.
I find it very difficult to make myself answer practice questions in simulated exam questions. We did loads in the classroom, including a full mock, where there was no choice. That made a big difference for me, both in terms of technique and confidence.
Gamel taught us a number of things that can make the difference between 45 and 50 eg:
– How to get all the professional marks in Q1.
– 1 page of writing is worth an average of 5 marks
– A page of a passing script will typically contain 5 or 6 short paragraphs, with a blank line in between each paragraph
– A marker will read an answer to a 25 mark question in 5-10 minutes. Try to make it easy for them to spot where to give you marks.
– Candidates tend to score marks much more efficiently in the time it’s supposed to take to write an answer, ie for a ten mark question you’re likely to score 5 or 6 in 18 minutes or 7 or 8 in 30 minutes.So it’s important to stick to time for every element of every question, and to move on even if you have more to say
– Pay attention to the marking scheme in practice questions
– Being aware that there are often marks available for any relevant point if it’s well constructed.
– You don’t have to answer the questions in order. If Q2 and Q3 examine subjects you are strong in, you might as well do these first and approach Q1 with 25-30 marks already in the bag.
– Use the reading time at your own discretion. It’s fine, for example, to allocate your time at 50, 50 and 100 minutes and to start writing as soon as you’ve done your first answer plan
In the exam I panicked and most of the above technique fell apart for me, but I still blundered through with a score of 54. I reckon 45-50 of my marks came from questions 1 and 2 . Question 3 was a bodged, rushed mess.April 15, 2020 at 9:37 am
In addition to Richard,
You have to get to the point quickly in APM, 1point=1 mark =2-3 sentences max per point. if a question is a 15 marker they are expecting 12-15 points. if you only have 5 good points you only get 5-7 marks which is a fail
like SBL identify the issues of the company in question and offer recommendations and solutions relative to requirements.
If you forget definitions its ok in the exam.i did and still scrapped a pass
one point = new paragraph to make it easier for examiner
remember each exam script is marked in 7-8 minutes so you don’t have to over elaborate on a point
APM is based on situation and the specific environment, use the case study to justify relative points to the industry knowledge and commercial acumen you have
for instance if a question is on retail industry- there must be a point you can make on delivery, fast fashion, trends, advertising, customer satisfaction
if a question is based on a tech company-there must be a point to make on- cloud computing, security, data warehouse, licensing, software R&D development etcApril 16, 2020 at 8:11 pm
I passed on my 4th attempt.
My 2 tips are:
1. Do not right anything that does not add value to the company under review.
In lots of papers you will see that the overall objective of the company or its mission has some type of weakness. For example, if the mission says ” the company aims to be successful”. The first thing that you need to highlight is that “successful” is very subjective and this can mean different things for different people. After you highlight this, you take a position and suggest what they might be trying to measure and suggest a metric. The problem I used to have in this type of scenario was that, I would take “successful” at face value and then I went to suggest a metric. You dont get enough marks if you are not being sceptical and add value. Every word they write means something, dont forget!
2. Dont worry about the calculations too much. Try to give them a go, but move on. If necessary, come up with an educated guesses, but explain what the figures mean. The commentary will get you half of the marks.April 16, 2020 at 8:42 pm
I forgot this tip which is quite helpful.
When they draft question 2 and 3, they usually have a model in mind that you are meant to use. Some times they state the model, sometimes they dont. When you read, try to pick a model if its is not given. The model will give a logic structure to your answer and you will be able to touch on lots points that you wouldnt touch if no model structure was followed. BUT once you decide to go for a particular model, dont waste too much time trying to defining the model. Just go directly to the case and give examples that will add value. For example, in the recent paper when talking about JIT. I didn’t explain model, just one or two lines defining the model. I went straight to say: 1. production runs needs to be shorter for the dresses. 2. renegotiate with suppliers to deliver only on pull basis and make sure that this requirement is included in an SLA or in the terms of the contract.
As you can see in this example. I was just giving advice and adding value all the times. I didnt waste too much describing the model because as you write the examples and advice you give, you start to show that you really know what the model entails and you are just applying.
I didnt pay for tuition. just Opentution and past papers.
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