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In this guide we will cover how to prepare to retake the Financial Accounting and Reporting: IFRS exam including reviewing what went wrong and how to prepare your retake.

If you do find yourself unfortunately needing to retake the Financial Accounting and Reporting: IFRS exam, here are a few tips for success next time:

Reviewing what went wrong

With hindsight could you have done anything differently?

  • Did you spend enough time studying Financial Accounting and Reporting: IFRS? If you sat it alongside other exams you may have spent more time focusing on one of the others, neglecting Financial Accounting and Reporting: IFRS.
  • Did you spend too long making notes on the Accounting standards rather than applying the knowledge to practice questions?
  • Did you learn and follow the recommended formats for the workings on the numerical questions?
  • Were there any personal or work issues that had a negative impact on your studies? 
  • Did you run out of time?
  • Did you just have a bad day?

Whatever it is, what are you going to do differently this time? Do not make the same mistakes twice.

Use the ICAEW marks feedback to assess your weakest areas. These are now the areas you will 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 during this revision period.

Since you are allowed a reference book in the Financial Accounting and Reporting: IFRS exam the questions lean away from testing your knowledge of the standards (as you have this with you in the book) and instead, most of the marks are awarded for applying this knowledge. For example, using your knowledge of IAS16 property, plant, and equipment to determine which costs in the scenario should be capitalised.

Thus, for the written questions it is important to ensure that you are not just copying the rules from the open book but applying them to the scenario in the question.

How to prepare to retake your exam

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. Use the 'topic finder' and contents page to decide which questions you are going to practise based on your analysis of your weaker areas. Make sure you build in a good rotation of topics to keep the rest of the syllabus as fresh in your mind as possible. Make a note of any questions you struggled with and go back to those areas to fill in any knowledge gaps if needed.

If you have a mental block on certain topics, ask your tutor to spend some time going through these with you. If you don’t have a tutor perhaps a colleague who has taken the Financial Accounting and Reporting: IFRS exam could help you.

Can you get hold of a new set of mock exams to practise? Ask your tutor and see whether they will mark the mock exams for you and provide feedback.
You may also be able to use the latest real exams from the ICAEW website to give you some additional question practise (depending on how many sittings there have been between your original exam and your retake).

On exam day, start your retake exam by deciding which order you will tackle the questions in (after taking a brief look at them) and stick to this plan. Most importantly, stick to the 1.8 minutes per mark rule for every question to ensure you have time to attempt all four questions. 

Remember it is intended to be challenging but achievable, do your best to prepare fully and manage your time carefully on the day.

Good luck.