Acca F9 Examiner Comments Summary
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Acca F9 Examiner Comments Summary



Acca F9 Examiner Comments Summary

Acca F9 Examiner Comments Summary



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Acca F9 Examiner Comments Summary Document Transcript

  • 1. TM F9 EXAMINER’S COMMENTS SUMMARY This summary has been made to assist ACCA students around the world with their forthcoming exams. GTG has tried to summarise important points from discussions with examiners; exam paper analysis and examiner’s comments. We hope this will help you. Please feel free to email us at or visit our website at In addition our GTG forum provides FREE support to students on their ACCA studies – have a look at Format of paper: The three-hour exam consists of four questions, all of which are compulsory and of equal length. Each question is worth 25 marks. An extra 15 minutes of reading and preparation time (RAPT) is given at the start of the exam. allows you to familiarise yourself with, and to navigate around, the exam paper. you can read and understand the questions on the paper and begin to plan your answers before you start writing in your answer books. you can also use calculators to make some preliminary numerical calculations. you can make notes and plan answers. This may only be done on the question paper and not on the answer booklet. The answer booklet cannot be used until the exam begins. How to use the 15 minutes reading and planning time efficiently? RAPT gives you the opportunity to make sure you are clear about what the examiner is assessing. It also allows you valuable extra time for thinking and planning. To use this additional 15 minutes most effectively: • carefully read and understand all question requirements, making an informed choice about which optional questions to attempt where applicable • read through and highlight relevant information and financial data, noting why it is included • take note of the marks awarded for each question and the allocation of marks between different requirements within a question • start to plan your answers, particularly for discursive questions • think about the order in which to attempt questions • make preliminary calculations. For more details on how to use reading time effectively, follow the link: © Get Through Guides
  • 2. TM Examiner interview 2009 (general points): Most common Explanation Suggested techniques pitfalls (not in order of the pitfalls) Some students lose focus in the exam and their answer drifts into discussing a topic they know a Answers given should relate to great deal about, but which is not being the question actually asked, assessed. not the one that a candidate Irrelevant discussion would have liked to answer. Their answer gains low marks and precious time Understand the question is wasted which could make the difference requirements properly, between a pass and a fail. Assess exactly what the examiner is really looking for in Check regularly that your answer is meeting the each question part, and requirements of the question Be fully aware of the marks . available for each requirement. Bullet points Do not produce lists of points when answering Use a bullet point list to plan discursive questions, with little or no discussion. your answer and then write a well-organised If the question asks for discussion, simply a list discussion that might gain high of bullet points or phrases would not gain marks! marks. Unfamiliarity with the Some candidates showed that they were not formulae sheet familiar with the formula or its variables. Always read the question insufficient discussion Some candidates in some geographical areas carefully, identifying clearly the regularly produce answers that are based on instructional verbs (such as calculation, with little or no discussion (and vice Discuss, Explain, etc) contained versa) within each requirement. Question spotting Question spotting was evidenced by the many The whole syllabus is students who answered the question about the examinable. level of investment in current assets by Question spotting is not a discussing funding policies. Question spotting is substitute for thorough a bad idea and is likely to make passing more preparation and revision difficult. Presentation There were some reports of scripts with poor Use black or blue pen when presentation (including use of pencil), confusing writing their answers, presentation, missing workings and poor organise your work in a clear handwriting. and sensible manner, label all workings and write legibly. © Get Through Guides
  • 3. TM QUESTION SPECIFIC EXAMINATION COMMENTS Weak areas Strong areas (not linked to the weak areas) In general, ratios are often handled poorly or used Working capital management and investment appraisal inappropriately. are two areas where students often do well, perhaps because they are large areas of the syllabus and so In the context of working capital management, each has several chapters in the official workbooks. time is lost if irrelevant ratios are calculated and discussed. Students often confuse working capital Many students are able to bring their own practical policies on level of investment, and financing mix. understanding of working capital and its management into the exam room, perhaps from regular involvement with receivables, payables and cash management. Inflation is sometimes applied incorrectly. Successful students tend to be able to apply investment appraisal methods, such as net present value and internal rate of return, while also understanding something of the underlying theory and the range of factors linking these methods to real-life applications. Rights issues continue to cause problems, either Topics such as the choice between equity and debt because the form of the issue is misinterpreted or were done quite well in June 2008. because students are unfamiliar with the terminology involved. WACC calculations were done poorly in June WACC calculations have improved in general and were 2008, although as we just saw this is now being done well in December 2008, a comment which is also done well by candidates. Calculating the cost of true of the dividend growth model. debt, however, tends to give more errors than calculating the cost of equity. In section E (business finance), the closely linked The syllabus area of cost of capital is one in which topics of gearing, financial risk and ratio analysis students have been making progress. are often poorly understood and not discussed well. It may help here to link gearing with capital structure theory. While cost of equity calculations using the The CAPM was covered in three articles in student dividend growth model and the capital asset accountant, and the comparative approaches of using pricing model are getting better, a significant WACC and using a CAPM-based project specific number of students show uncertainty in identifying cost of capital are becoming more understood. and applying the relevant variables in these models. © Get Through Guides
  • 4. TM The last diet indicates that applying the CAPM in investment appraisal is an area where candidates need to improve. While many were able to list the limitations of the CAPM, few were able to describe the ungearing and re-gearing process. Valuation methods continue to be challenging for candidates, with the price/earnings ratio method, the dividend growth model and bond valuation leading to errors. Unclear understanding of how hedging was achieved or how different hedges might be evaluated. The first main area of misunderstanding was hedging techniques for foreign currency risk. Calculating a price/earnings ratio is not the same as calculating the value of a company. Note that the price/earnings ratio is a multiple and neither a percentage nor a monetary amount. . Focus Points: Master the techniques that you will need in the exam Ensure that you study theory Link theory to techniques where possible Reflect in your answers what a financial manager would do. Make sure you understand the theory and concepts behind any calculations you have carried out. Ask yourself why financial managers make calculations like these. Study the pilot paper and the December 2007 paper. Note the style and structure of the questions, and how suggested answers relate to each question asked. Practice as many exam-standard questions as you can, so that you are thoroughly prepared. Revise wherever you find uncertainty. Study relevant articles in student accountant. It is essential to develop a methodical approach to financial analysis and financial calculations in answering questions. The ability to see the implications and uses of financial information within the context of a question’s requirement will usually suggest an appropriate answer, or at least the direction in which an answer might be found. The reading time can help here. Key exam presentation tips • Start each point on a new line. © Get Through Guides • Start a new question on a new page. • Try and keep related question parts together under one question heading - do not spread them around your script.
  • 5. TM • Leave a line between each new point to help markers work out where each point starts and stops. Professional level - and some Fundamentals level - exams test intellectual levels 2 and 3 so you will need to provide developed and analysed answers. • It is vital to label clearly the part of the question you are answering. • You don’t have to answer the questions in any particular order, but all parts of a question should be answered together. • If you attempt different parts of a question at different times, leave enough space and time to complete the remaining parts of the question. Produces world class learning materials at affordable prices A full range of ACCA and CAT materials Books 40% cheaper than other ACCA publishers Gold Approved by ACCA Books approved by ACCA and on their reading list The only books that follow ALL the ACCA learning outcomes and syllabus Visually appealing and easy to learn form Used by many prestigious institutes and colleges in the UK, Singapore, Germany, Middle East, the Caribbean and South Asia GTG's materials include: Study Text: GTG's study text exactly follows the syllabus prescribed by ACCA and covers ALL learning outcomes. They are rich in examples, diagrammatic representations, illustrations and mind maps. We follow the principles of instructional design so that concepts are explained in the easiest possible way for students to understand and master. An added benefit is a comprehensive glossary at the end. Question Bank: Exam standard questions have been put together in this book. Detailed explanations have been given for right and wrong answers, to enhance students' awareness. Key Notes: These pocket size revision aids help ensure students have understood the most important parts of the syllabus. Being full colour and more detailed than others on the market, they are diagrammatic, concise and memorable! For free downloadable samples please visit Quality + Cost effectiveness = GTG! © Get Through Guides