In this guide we will cover how to prepare to retake the Business Strategy and Technology exams including reviewing what went wrong and how to prepare for your retake.
Review what went wrong
With hindsight, could you have done anything differently?
- Did you dedicate enough time to studying Business Strategy and Technology?
- Have you practised questions to time and used the ACA marking guides to look for ways to improve your work?
- Did you repeat too much theory without applying it to the facts?
- Did you have other things going on in your personal/work life?
- Did you run out of time?
- Did you just have a bad day?
Whatever it is, what are you now going to do differently? Do not make the same mistakes twice.
Use the ICAEW marks feedback to assess your weakest areas. These are the areas you now need to concentrate on (without completely neglecting the rest of the syllabus, of course).
Draw up an action plan to schedule what you are going to do through this revision period. This should cover the technical areas where you need to refresh your knowledge. The following are the most common reasons students lose marks:
- Are you addressing all parts of the question? Eg, consider the reasons for outsourcing and recommend how the contract should be managed, is effectively two requirements in one. You must give both equal weight
- Are you developing your points clearly? For each point aim for three sentences. A good approach may be as follows: sentence one to explain the point you are raising, sentence two to provide evidence to justify the point and sentence three to explain why it is important to the business
- Are you writing enough? Everyone will write at different speeds, but you may need to tailor your style to the speed of your typing. If you do not type quickly practise summarising your answers as you mark them. Could you say the same thing with fewer words?
How to prepare for your retake
The key is going to be question practise. You may or may not have done every question in the question bank but there is nothing wrong with repeating questions
Focus on those questions which scare you the most – these are your weak areas!
If you have a mental block on certain topics, ask your tutor to spend a bit of time going through those topics with you.
If you cannot get tutor feedback, ask a friend to read your answers and to be honest about whether you have explained your answer clearly.
Can you get hold of a new set of mock exams to practise? Check the ICAEW website for the most recent exams and marking guides