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In this guide we introduce some tips for success to help you master the Business, Technology and Finance exam.

Study advice

Before starting this module it is important to review your diary and have an end date in mind. You will never feel 100% confident for an exam, so it is important to book your exam to give you a deadline to complete the work.

The Business, Technology and Finance syllabus has a lot of volume and questions can be asked about anything in your ICAEW workbook.

For each chapter:

  • Review the ICAEW workbook and read the syllabus areas along with the scenarios to put the learning into perspective. 
  • Make summary notes of the specific facts, theorists and models.
  • Read the news to identify how real businesses can apply these facts and models.

Revision advice

To learn the volume of material, it is important to revisit your summary notes in a variety of different ways. Having a variety of methods will help you to remember / retain the facts more effectively.

Examples include:

  • Re-write the facts on different coloured cards.
  • Sort the facts into different categories, such as alphabetically.
  • Pick a topic and explain out loud everything you remember about the topic.
  • Create a mnemonic to help you remember the key facts.
  • Draw pictures to represent the key facts.

A key tool for revision is to practise the questions in the ICAEW question bank. - attempt them all at least twice. Tougher subject areas should be attempted a third time.

For each attempted question, ensure you understand the reason behind the answer – even if you answered correctly. If there is a similar question worded in a different way, you want to understand what the correct answer should be.

On the day of your exam

Having a clear mind is therefore really important.

Some people can retain information short-term and so it may help to read over your summary notes again before you start the exam.

Otherwise start the day in a positive way, with a nice breakfast, hydration and do what you find helps you to relax.

If you know of other students who are attempting this exam at the same time, don't let other student's concerns panic you. They may find different information important for them to remember. Focus on believing in the work you have completed and learned, and that this is a chance to show what you know.do not talk to them. 

In the exam itself, read each question and answer fully before selecting an option. Make sure you understand what the question is asking. If you are unsure about an answer, then try to eliminate some of the options. Always ensure you have answered every question – there is no negative marking and you may guess correctly.

Think about timing as you progress through the exam. Aim to answer 10 questions in each 18-minute section, so that you have chance to answer every question set.

Common mistakes

Students generally fail this exam for two common reasons.

Firstly, students may underestimate the syllabus. They may choose the more interesting topics to learn and forget about other topics. Therefore when questions appear on these forgotten areas, the knowledge isn’t available to answer correctly.

Secondly, students forget to read the whole question and answer before selecting an option.  Negative wording may change a question, for example, ‘Which of these is NOT an example of the 9M’s?’ Students focus on the named model and pick an example of something that is an example instead.

Some questions will have more than one correct answer within the options. One answer will be more correct for that scenario than the others. If students read a correct answer and immediately select it, they may have missed the better answer.