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Introduction to the Assurance exam


Published: 21 Oct 2021 Update History

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In this guide we will introduce you to the Assurance exam. We will cover what to expect when sitting this exam, what to look out for and how to prepare for the exam.

The Assurance exam introduces you to the concept, process, and need for assurance in the finance world. You will be introduced to many forms of assurance, although the focus of this exam is statutory audits. As well as understanding why assurance is important, you will also learn about internal controls, how to gather evidence during an assurance engagement, as well as considering how professional ethics apply to the assurance profession.

What to expect when sitting this exam

The Assurance exam is 90 minutes line and has 50 multiple-choice, multi-part multiple-choice, or multiple-response questions, each worth 2% of your exam. The pass mark is 55%, so you need to achieve 28/50 to succeed. Each question can be from any syllabus area, so it is important to practise jumping between different topic areas too.

What to look out for

It is likely that several of the questions in your exam will be multi-part, which means two or three shorter questions within one. These will all be presented on one screen, and in order to be awarded the 2% available for that question, you will need to answer correctly all of the shorter parts. There are no partial marks on each multi-part question.

Ensure that you read each question carefully. Some questions might ask you which of the options is the best, worst, most likely, or least likely. In exam conditions, it can be easy to misread what the question is asking, and therefore pick the wrong answer(s). 

As well as following the full assurance process from start to finish, you will also consider other types of assurance such as internal audit. Although these are relatively small areas of the syllabus, make sure you do not neglect them as they might give you those valuable extra marks in the exam.

Preparing for the exam

Practising questions from the question bank is crucial for this exam, and it is recommended that you start this early. Until you have seen some examples of how a topic might be tested, it can be difficult to judge whether you have fully grasped a topic. Compare questions as you practise – where two questions seem similar but give different answers, go back and compare the questions – it might be as small a change as one being a listed company and one being an unlisted company, which is the reason for the difference.  

Don’t forget, although you are studying for an exam, this all applies to the real world too! So have a look at some real-world examples – there are some useful ones in the workbook or search online for some recent news stories (always applying professional scepticism – something else you will learn about in this module). 

During this exam, you will learn about the concept, process and need for assurance – what is it, and why is it so important in the finance world. It is likely you will be involved in assurance at some point in your career – either as the assurance provider or as the responsible party, so this exam will prepare you well. This exam is 90 minutes long and has 50 multiple-choice, multi-part multiple-choice or multiple-response questions.

Webinar: Introduction to Assurance exam

In this webinar Kaplan tutor, Philippa Hood, introduces the Assurance exam and provides example questions, highlights common mistakes, and tips on how to pass the exam.

Watch now