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Has anyone here done/in the process of doing the ACA

(17 Posts)
KristinaKringle Fri 19-Feb-16 18:54:32

Coming up to advanced exams and I'm struggling - any hints or tips please?

Would be forever grateful..!

KristinaKringle Fri 19-Feb-16 20:54:59


MrsChrisPratt Fri 19-Feb-16 20:59:48

Work your tits off.

Are you being tutored? Attending classes? Home study?

flyinghighinthesky Fri 19-Feb-16 21:02:04

Practice questions again and again and again.

Also practice writing. The exam is so long and you have to write so much I felt like my arm was about to fall off towards the end

Whatdoidohelp Fri 19-Feb-16 21:02:28

Do lots and lots of past paper questions. It's the only way to practise time keeping and practising questions of the correct difficulty. Good luck.

MrsChrisPratt Fri 19-Feb-16 21:05:50

I second repeating practice Qs as much as possible for Corporate reporting/Business strategy but you can't really do that for case study. For case study make sure you know the pre-released material really well. Have all your books marked up and organised.

KristinaKringle Fri 19-Feb-16 21:06:50

Great, thanks all.

Yes, I'm being tutored.

Have been trying to learn the basic facts (bought some good simplified revision books) but timing is tough!

KristinaKringle Fri 19-Feb-16 21:07:39

*re-learn the basic facts that should say

MrsSparkles Fri 19-Feb-16 21:20:54

Lots of practice where you can, especially the timing (I'm assuming you're about to do case) and how to order your thoughts.

The writing is a killer. Don't panic, take time to read everything properly and make sure you've understood exactly what they want. I think (it was a while ago) I tried to break it down and allocate time to each section and moved on without finishing if necessary.

Good luck - its all worth it!

trilbydoll Fri 19-Feb-16 21:33:23

I never did many practice Qs, I hate doing it so much. I had a beautiful exam file that I could find anything in at speed. I took my books in but only opened the IFRS one once I think, my file was pretty complete!

You need to be able to write fast but legibly. Being concise helps, waffle is a waste of time. Remember, you'll pick up marks quickly and easily at first but there's no point spending ages trying to get the last few marks on a Q, move on to the next Q and pick up the easy ones.

If you're with BPP / Kaplan, your tutor will mark any practice Qs you send them. Take advantage of this, it really helps. One of our tutors gave us model answers she had done in the time allowed, so useful.

Good luck, it's awesome being study-free grin

carrie74 Sat 20-Feb-16 16:17:49

It's been a long time since I did my ACA, but practice papers, and most importantly, get the easy marks, work out how long to spend on each question based on marks and be prepared to move on.

Underlining key points, using different colours, bullet points. Basically make it easy for the marker to see where you've got the point. I seem to recall they've got something like 90 seconds to mark each paper. Think about how your presentation can help them find your marks.

Stickerrocks Sat 20-Feb-16 17:07:56

SBM has a lot more BS in it than FM, even though the tuition tends to focus on FM, so please don't despair if you find the numbers tricky. The question bank answers are unachievable so don't be put off.

Build up your exam files now even though the exams aren't until July. Put in worked examples for all the hedging questions and business valuation models for example, with arrows & notes showing where each number comes from. Do the same with CR.

Take ACS seriously and do all the exercises properly that you are set in class. Write down all your class mates ideas for things like ethics, industry knowledge etc as well. If your college offers MMM as an extra marked case study, please do it. Set up pro formats again for the financial analysis but be prepared for something quirky on the day. No technical knowledge is needed to pass ACS!

Please ask your tutors before you bombard them with extra Qs. We try to help, but can't always do everything, especially in April & May when we're dealing with ACCA, CIMA & prof stage exams. We try to help as much as possible though.

Don't forget that the exams are structured to filter you in the early stages. We consistently only have 1 or 2 who fail Advanced papers and you've done brilliantly to get this far. I know it's daunting being so near the end, but keep looking at how much you've achieved so far and use that to give you confidence. If your tutor starts spouting the same things in class, please don't out me as a MNer!

Stickerrocks Sat 20-Feb-16 17:14:02

Just read Carrie's point - please don't use different colours in your answers. A paragraph should be 2-3 sentences with a blank line between it and the next one. Bullet points will only get a half mark per point if you're lucky now (sorry Carrie, I think you may have done your exams around the same time as me, but they hate a shopping list approach these days). I agree with everything about moving on and allocating time in proportion to the marks available.

Guiltypleasures001 Sat 20-Feb-16 20:52:37

Hey op

My dh is fcca

He says

1. Find out who the examiners are and read all of their recent published articles
2. Because it's not uncommon for these articles to form the basis of their questions
3. Keep doing last exam papers answering questions etc
4. Practice question planning and timing, be utterly ruthless about timing he said
5. Don't give up he said thanks

Stickerrocks Sun 21-Feb-16 12:14:11

Guilty Please tell your DH that the ACCA examiners are no longer allowed to publish their names as some of them received death threats a couple of years ago. The ACA examiners have to publish through the ICAEW website anonymously too. Student accountants are a dangerous breed!

71HourAchmed Sun 21-Feb-16 14:29:33

Been a while since I took mine, but would echo most of the points above. Main advice I have is:
Read the question, and make sure you take the time to plan an answer.
Make sure you get the easy marks.
Keep an eye on your time - it's really really easy to run over, so be concise, and be prepared to move on (even if you have more to say).
My best thing was - you know how fast you write at the end of an exam? Write that fast at the beginning.

And good luck!

CaffeineBomb Sun 21-Feb-16 20:18:51

Hi I've done it and recently taught a number of papers for it. The key is question practice, reading your notes isn't likely to help things sink in, get stuck into the question bank, this way you can really apply your knowledge and understand what it is the examiner wants.

If you're struggling at first try practicing some of the questions with your notes there to aid you before practicing exam technique (although this is also crucial as the exams are very time pressured)

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