Count UP 12345 NOT down 54321

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Count UP 12345 NOT down 54321.

If you want to improve your marks in the real exam, that seems to be the message from your ACCA F8 examiner Alan Lewin.

Requirement (a) of Question 1 of the June 2009 F8 exam required candidates to ‘list and explain the purpose of the main sections of an audit strategy document’.

You are reminded that the examination consists of 5 compulsory questions, with total marks allocated to each question being as follows:
Q1 – 30 marks
Q2 – 10 marks
Q3 – 20 marks
Q4 – 20 marks

Q5 20 marks

In his specific comments on the performance of candidates on Q1(a) the examiner stated “A significant number of candidates did not appear to be aware of what an audit strategy is.”

This comment is in itself quite worrying, but perhaps of even more concern is that it would appear that many candidates do not have any strategy for tackling the paper as a whole!

If we look at the examiner’s general comments he has this to say:

“Many candidates presented their answer to question 1 first, indicating appropriate use of reading time to prepare for the main scenario. A significant number of candidates answered questions in reverse order in this sitting (i.e. 5,4,3,2 and finally 1) or attempted question 2 first, leaving question 1 to the end of the examination, with question 1 rarely being completed. The pass rate for these candidates was also lower than those where question 1 was attempted first.”

The format of the paper on all subjects is known in advance and as part of developing a successful exam technique, it is clearly vital that you have a clear strategy (which you have practised beforehand) on what your approach to the paper is going to be.

Proper planning is vital to quality control of an audit engagement.

Proper planning is vital to quality control of your examination answers!

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