Exam Tips and Techniques
Currently, ACCA CBEs comprise of four main question types:
MCQs are the most commonly used question type and feature in all of ACCA’s CBEs. You are required to choose one answer from a list of options by clicking on the appropriate ‘radio button’
In a multiple-response question, you are required to select more than one response from the options provided by clicking the appropriate tick boxes. Questions typically have four answer options, two of which are correct. However, sometimes the number of options presented and the number of options you should select as your answer will differ. You will be awarded marks only if you have selected all of the correct options, so it is therefore important that you read the question carefully to see how many options you should select.
Multiple response matching
A matching question is two adjacent lists of related words or symbols.
Each item in one list is paired with at least one item in the other list. Matching may be considered to be a variant of multiple-choice in which more than one choice is correct.
This is the only question type in an on-demand CBE where you need to enter the correct answer yourself, rather than choose from a list of options. Numerical answers must be submitted without commas and, where relevant, using the full stop as a decimal point and/or the minus sign as a negative symbol.
All questions are worth two marks. Some questions will include background information, which is needed to help you answer the question. The table shows the question types included in each paper available by CBE.
In order to get a good score in exam, some techniques need to be followed.
- Read the question- CAREFULLY!
Every question is subjected to a number of rigorous reviews as it progresses from an idea in the writer’s mind to the exam paper. These reviews mean that you need to read the question extremely carefully, remembering that the wording has been chosen deliberately. Every word is important, so make sure you read and understand the question very VERY clearly!
- Mark the important issues
While reading a question, make sure to mark or identify the key points or key wordings of that specific question. Identifying these things will help you to focus on the main facts at the time of answering the question.
It is a common fallacy that MCQs are easy. This is based on the fact that one of the options is the correct answer. Therefore, the argument goes, all you have to do is make the correct selection. While it is fair to say that some questions may be easy, that is usually because you have prepared thoroughly. Hopefully, this will happen in some questions, but it is more likely that the answer will not be obvious.
- Eliminate incorrect answers
This approach is likely to be most effective in discursive questions that require the correct combination of statements to be selected. The ideal way to answer this is to consider each statement in turn, and decide if it is correct or not. Often, candidates will find that they can quickly identify one incorrect statement. On that basis, it is possible to eliminate the options that include that statement.
- Don’t get stuck
Above all else, remember that you should not allow yourself to become so stuck on a question that you run out of time. With MCQs, however, it may be that some candidates will find some questions are more straightforward than others, and can therefore be answered more quickly. For that reason, it may be better to consider the time allocation for a group of, say, five MCQs, rather than for each question individually.
- Do not leave any questions blank!
If there is no penalty for an incorrect answer in ACCA exams, there is nothing to be gained by leaving an MCQ unanswered. If you are stuck on a question, as a last resort, it is worth selecting the option you consider most likely to be correct, and moving on. Make a note of the question, so if you have time after you have answered the rest of the questions, you can revisit it.