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In this guide we introduce some tips for success to help you master the Financial Accounting and Reporting: UK GAAP exam.

During your studies:

  • Try to avoid writing endless notes on the accounting standards – applying the knowledge to scenarios in questions is much more productive
  • Use the Study Manual to gain an understanding of the topics but be aware that the self test questions may not be exam standard or style
  • Make use of the 'topic finder' at the front of the question bank – this will enable you to see how each topic from the syllabus is commonly examined and will allow you to practise applying your knowledge as you progress through the syllabus
  • Use the exam software to compose your answers from an early stage in your studies so you can get used to it
  • Become familiar with the open book – if you plan to use it in the exam you will need to be able to access the information quickly
  • Practise as many questions from the question bank and past exams as you can. Try not to worry about timings at first, but as your studies progress and your confidence builds you should apply exam timings (1.8 minutes per mark)
  • Try not to look at the model answer until you have completed the question
  • Complete all parts of the practice questions – some questions will be split into several parts and you should aim to attempt all of them, allocating your time accordingly. If you run out of time on a practice question, mark where you got to within the time and go on to finish the requirements
  • Debrief each practice question using the model answers, noting down any knowledge gaps or errors, and focussing your studies to correct these
  • Review the Examiner’s comments on the ICAEW website – these provide some great guidance and advice

On the day of the exam

  • Ensure you have followed the highlighting rules in your open book
  • Work with your strengths – when you first see the exam, decide which order you will tackle the questions in. If one looks particularly tricky, leave it to last
  • Be the marker’s friend – stick to the recommended layouts for workings so that the marker can identify and award marks easily
  • Reference your figures and workings – there are own figure marks available in the exam
  • Add structure to your written answers by using headings and sub-headings
  • When completing the “Explain” question, try to use the correct wording from the standard. This will add professionalism and credibility to your answer
  • Ensure you apply the knowledge from the standard to the scenario in the question – this will be where most of the marks will be gained
  • Be careful in your choice of words, for example, advice stating that a machine can be depreciated implies there is a choice when in fact the machine should be depreciated, as the standard gives no choice
  • Do not over run on a particular question, stick to the 1.8 minutes per mark rule. You will be more likely to gain marks by starting on the next question than by trying to complete the one you are on
  • Apply the 1.8 minutes per mark rule to the individual requirements of each question as well as to the whole question
  • Do not panic! You have got this!