- This topic has 18 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 1 month ago by t20t.
- April 19, 2017 at 8:20 am #382576vapiano91
I have been a member of the OT forum since joining the ACCA course i.e. from June 2016!
I have passed all papers in first attempt and have self-studied my way through the ACCA journey!
Here I am to talk about the paper P4 which i found to be the most difficult paper to study! I passed this paper in the first attempt this March 2017! ! but the paper was ridiculously unexpected!
Having said that i want to say especially to those who didnt make it this time, DO NOT LOSE HOPE! even if this is a difficult paper to study, it is passable if you put in the right amount of effort and strategy into it. The strategy part comes into play especially WHILE writing the paper itself!
I am listing down the study plan that i used for this paper and my experience while writing the paper itself!
I studied for this paper with the help of OT lectures, a Kaplan Text Book and a BPP revision Kit! Trust me, these are the only resources you need to pass this paper or any ACCA paper IMHO! I studied for 4-5 hours every single day for 2 months (i was also studying for P3)!
I started with the textbook first and went through the project appraisal part first, since it was covered extensively in F9. So honestly, there was very little to be studied freshly for that part. The newer part in this was the APV calculations. Now, my tip to know when to use APV is when MAXIMUM finance is debt for any project, you start thinking of appraising for APV.
The second part i covered was capital structure and financing. Again, covered very well in f9. certain new things, but very manageable! Along side, i also studied the technical articles for f9 and P4 as and how i covered the corresponding parts/chapters!
This helps! and to make your study more comprehensive, solve past questions simultaneously! My suggestion is, solve the BPP kit side by side and NOT AFTER finishing your studies! ideally, you will need to solve the KIT atleast thrice. I solved it innumerable times! and would still mess up. But with this technique, two weeks before the exam, i was able to confidently solve newer and more complex questions!
The third part was the most dreaded part for me personally! The Hedging Techniques!
Honestly, i was afraid to even open the chapters! but then i made up my mind and staretd reading through. For this part, i used the OT Lectures a lot! and believe me, this is now the part i find the easiest to solve! practice is key but so in a deep understanding of these techniques!
The rest of the part was theory and i made sure i read every technical article on the website thoroughly! not once but innumerable times! ?
Overall study wise, the only part that got to me was IRR and Currency hedging. Because you need to understand the technicalities behind using these derivatives- options, swaps, futures and forwards. Also try to understand why futures are more preferable over forwards or why forwards are more expensive and what are its types etc! such questions help build your understanding for the practical world!
Now comes the exam day part! :
So i go in the exam hall, already having nailed the P3 a day before that (got 75% in P3), thinking to myself that come what may, i am going to attempt 50% of EVERY damn question on that paper! So, Its 2.30 pm and i open the paper!
Q1) RTO+ financial reconstruction! My heart sank! my head went blank. Now, although the case itself wasnt very tough, time management was key! i read the entire paper, without letting the shock of Q1 affect me much!
Q2- again a googly, 25 marks of theory on behavioral finance! It was at this point that i realized that if i were to pass this paper, i would HAVE to have a proper strategy and ofcourse a cool head!
Q3 was swaps and related theory and a small NPV calculation, which was pretty manageable!
and Q4 was APV which i nailed! i think this question helped me score my initial 22-23 marks!
So i solved Q4 first, then went on to Q3 which i wrote for around 19 marks and Finally Q1, which was such a messed up HUGE case! part A was straight theory from the technical article so i wrote it down easily and scored a straight 9 i think! then came the important solving part, “calculating individual values created before and after reconstruction”. This took some time and patience! I went wrong at a few places but kept reading the case and making small notes on the question paper. This helped me massively! because i knew in my head i had to keep reading those mini notes and keep track of my answer plan.
I answered the entire question, though i wasnt sure if i wrote everything correctly, but i was satisfied with the way i handled the pressure!
Came out of the examination hall, feeling confused and unsure!
but my hard work and exam strategy finally paid off and i got a pass in P4 at my first attempt itself! it was a huge deal for me also because i studied for this paper without tuition or classes!
Moral: anybody can do it and pass any paper of ACCA no matter how tough it is! just the right strategy and study method and you’re sure to get the desired result! for those giving once again in June, do not worry! just go ahead with confidence and keep your chin up! you’ve reached the end on this journey with your hard work!!
Finally, many thanks to the OT TEAM! Especially Sir John Moffat!!! I absolutely enjoyed his lectures!
I will do my share to help OT become the best free coaching provider and will recommend it to my friends and colleagues!
All the best everyone! ? hope this helps!April 19, 2017 at 4:19 pm #382667enohakem
Very helpful tips. Will apply it in my ACCA studiesApril 19, 2017 at 5:06 pm #382679John MoffatKeymaster
Thank you for your post – it is very helpful for other students attempting P4.
(And thank you very much for your comment about OpenTuition 🙂 )April 19, 2017 at 11:42 pm #382755bilalahmad99
Hi, I would like to share my thoughts here as well and although vapiano91 post is comprehensive and complete on its own but I have a few extra tips for new students who are attempting P4 for the first time.
I would suggest not to use Kaplan text book with a BPP exam kit or a BPP study text with a Kaplan kit. Anyone will benefit from trying not to do this. However, the hedging section of the syllabus could be an exception. The reason is, the way Kaplan study text teaches the hedging part is technically simple and I would say it is easier to understand compared with BPP text. BPP writes this part in its study text in a complex way which needs time to digest and sometimes you don’t have enough time! at some points, you will not have a clue what u have been taught about part until you have not done the hedging questions contained in BPP exam kit which elaborates on that point additionally BPP hedging sections at the end of their study text builds on from their chapter 6 on real option theory while Kaplan treats these two parts of the syllabus guide distinctively.
My second suggestion is NEVER to start preparing for the P4 from the exam kit alone in the initial stages of your study. Personally, I think you can successfully adopt this approach with P5 or P3 but this approach is never going to work with P4 and you will end up struggling and confused with the underlying theory however sometimes even you can get a passing marks on a question BUT if you want to have a real fun with P4 and make it interesting for you DO NOT SKIP A TEXTBOOK this approach will save you A LOT OF time and wasted effort.
Study texts are there to help to give a structured approach towards understanding the subject matter of P4 which is very important and vital for the development of financial management skill set.
Sadly, I never realized this until after the actual exam day when this weakness was badly exposed to me.
On the actual exam day just answer the questions asked by the examiner don’t try to manufacture answers for the questions not asked in the requirements. Always be honest with yourself and with the answers you try giving against the requirements if you are unable to understand a question or part of a scenario DON’T HESITATE TO STATE YOUR ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT IT try to present the best possible answer to the requirements and what you may know about the situation and don’t then cross the limits beyond what you have already stated in your assumptions. You may appear weak in your script compared to apparently other well-presented scripts but examiners are very intelligent people they will have accumulated an idea from the very first page of your script about at what point you were at your studies with P4 when you were writing those answers. Honestly, and trust me I feel they will get to know your level instantly.
I personally started studying for P4 from BPP kit and had no idea that I am taking a wrong approach I attempted every question in the BPP kit questions 10 times by the end of my preparation I took 6 weeks off from my job (unpaid) and studied 12-18 hours per day but sadly with a wrong approach and I was so reluctant to open a study text although I had bought both. The real understanding I got about the SUBJECT ‘financial management’ when I started to prepare for a re-take for June session and when things started to make sense in my mind and I became sharp and intelligent in my understanding of this subject and I started to feel like I have jumped from Level 1 right on top of all the levels and if I had not have passed this time I feel like I definitely would have passed in June sitting. I am not proud but I am trying to suggest and emphasize the importance of adopting a right and wrong approach towards studying for a technical paper like P4 is within a limited time frame.
Sir John Moffat is a great source of help I would urge to use this precious resource very wisely. Also download Bloomberg market, seeking alpha, MSN money apps on your android phones and IPads they are great source of understanding too but don’t forget my previous advice that ALWAYS STUDY TEXT FIRST complete a section and do the relevant question from the kit then move on to the next section from the study text and do the relevant question again from the kit and the same approach for rest of the syllabus.
Hope this will help many.
ThanksApril 21, 2017 at 12:04 pm #382955mitsu3645
Indeed the best thing for the ACCA advanced paper is the planning with execution. I did same mistake I did exam kit many times but didn’t touch the small areas for the best practice. but realised it now so will take care for the june attempt.
thanks everyone for the suggestion and it will help all for the June preparation.May 28, 2017 at 11:37 am #388561taxman123
Did you leave any parts of any question unattempted?June 11, 2017 at 11:30 am #392706vapiano91
no. i attempted every part of every question, even if it was a small para or two.June 16, 2017 at 6:29 am #393291patterson973
Well done!!! Did you use Becker ATC at any point in time?? Furthermore which study materials to use especially for P4 especially Hedging Techniques in order to really understand it well.
Were you studying full time or working part time?June 23, 2017 at 7:10 am #393860kelkar
Thanks to all sharing your tips . I have choosen P 4 and P 7 for optional papers as P 6 UK has no practical use for me. I passed F 9 from the 3 rd attempt being first two vey close to pass. I sat P 7 in Jun 17 and believe that I have passed it.
Please share your thoughts if I should go for P 4 as it is a very specilised area as one of the teachers said ? I passed F 5 from the 3rd attempt as well but I did not like F 5 as much as F 9.
F 9 for me was more logical and easy to understand (at he least the concepts within F 9 are straightforward ). I am not saying it is an easy paper but for me it was more enjoyable and understable.
I have heard that P 6 is much easier to deal with but I do not want to spend my time on something that i will never use in my life .
So, is P 4 is passable as it has horrible reputation as the most hardest paper within ACCA exams ?August 3, 2017 at 6:17 am #400146patterson973
hello Vapiano91 when using Kaplan Study text was there any technique used to get the maximum use??? like keywords mnemonics etc???March 18, 2018 at 1:55 pm #442944ram456
Thank you so much for your post. I am really motivated by your posts. I am sitting for paper P4 this June. I shall try to apply your techniques and pass the paper in one go…….. Thank you once again………April 30, 2018 at 6:22 pm #449515jazib
thank you for the tips. Now only 40 days are left towards the exam and I have to start afresh. I’ve failed this exam numerous times in 2011 and then over the years, and afraid to attempt again. Now my professional passes are expiring in December 2018 and I have to get a headstart in ensuring I pass the options paper. I’ve been at 2 papers left to gain affiliate status for the past 7 years, attempting exams off and on but never passing.
My main problem with P4 has been getting stuck at either the hedging part or 1 thing during the exam and then just totally blanking out and forgetting all the syllabus I prepared for…do you think as part of exam technique it is important to move on and not obsess on 1 part, and how would someone build the mindset for that?July 24, 2018 at 9:21 pm #464536nlanjo
thanks for sharing, very helpfulJanuary 14, 2019 at 4:19 am #501490dxd2005
It’s been almost a year now. So guys, please continue to share your tips for passing this subject. Thanks!!March 10, 2019 at 12:18 am #508865peppabo
Thank you for your sharing! It’s really helpful.
By the way, anyone has BPP study text and kit P4? Please send me by email: xxxxx
Many thanks!!March 10, 2019 at 11:07 am #508904John MoffatKeymaster
peppabo: You must not ask for copyright material to be sent to you by email. Sharing soft copies of copyright material is illegal and is against ACCA regulations, and is therefore not allowed on this website.
You must either buy soft copies directly BPP, or alternatively ask in the Buy and Sell Accountancy Books forum on this website if anyone is selling hard copies of the books.March 15, 2019 at 1:17 am #509367ilay12
is that possible to pass P4 paper in the first attempt with self-study?
This is my first paper of ACCA.
Guide me if you know the ways.September 15, 2019 at 11:23 pm #546219jome93
Thanks for all the input guys!
So from what I understand I should go for the BPP textbook/OT lecture videos/technical articles before even starting the exam kit to avoid wasted effort?
My only worry here is the textbook might consume too much time to be left for past exam practice. Problem is I’m working full time. So could you also let me know how much time you spent studying this paper?October 11, 2020 at 3:26 pm #588638t20t
Examiner approach and marker mind
Open tution notes for p4 with video lectures and solve some parts within it and make notes of videos important points focus on basics and fundamental of subject
After that 3 to 4 times revision of notes
then past exam papers for question style
Prepare your mind as a financial expert or controller
Then attempt the paper with confidence
You will pass
I have used this approach for many papers and pass ist attempt
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