Students’ Notice Board

The journey to become a qualified finance professional with ACCA requires students to demonstrate relevant skills and experience within a real work environment. Equally important, this journey isn’t complete without students successfully completing the ACCA final exams.

Earlier this year, for the June 2016 exam results, we revealed a pass rate improvement for a number of papers; especially in the Professional Level paper Advanced Performance Management, P5.

140,642 students sat for the June 2016 exams entering 198,144 papers, with 72,238 Computer Based Exam (CBE) sittings. The session saw 6,128 students worldwide complete their final exams, taking a major step to membership with ACCA.

Passing ACCA exams requires dedication. Having a disciplined study plan is very important, and it is essential to include substantial practice of exam style questions under exam conditions.

We aim to make the ACCA Qualification and its papers fair, balanced and relevant. We also want the papers to be appropriately demanding and testing. And that’s because the public, employers and indeed our own candidates want them to be that way.

Thousands of people around the world pass these expert papers every year, and progress to successful careers as professional accountants. Most recently, we increased flexibility of our qualification even further by running exams in March, June, September and December in all 162 countries which usually offer exam sittings, with March 2016 being the first additional session available to all ACCA students.

In the past, students expressed their concern about the pass rates for certain papers of the ACCA qualification, and the relevance of these specialist exams. There are specific exams that need to be taken in Malta to meet the Maltese Accountancy Profession Act. In some countries, the papers in tax and audit are optional, but in Malta they are mandated to meet Maltese requirements. For instance, if someone wants to be certified to work in audit, then they do indeed need to pass the relevant paper – that is a logical requirement demanded by statute.

Becoming an ACCA member is a badge of honour. The ACCA letters after someone’s name denote expertise. The letters are a public sign that someone has passed what we call the three Es – Exams, Experience and Ethics. Employers the world over tell us that this is what they need – qualified individuals, who can grow in their role and who are ethical in their approach.

ACCA is committed to helping people of ability become professionally qualified accountants. Opportunity is one of our core values, a long held value since our creation in 1904.

Students have access to a wide range of resources to support them in preparing for success in their exams. These resources allow them to practise exam-style questions, gain insights from the examining team on how to approach the exams, and broaden their understanding of exam topics. Additionally, ACCA’s Student Accountant magazine publishes regular insights and updates from professional examiners.

We also have an online learning community, using social media to connect ACCA students around the world so they can share their success and questions about their studies and their own progress.

We also review our papers on a regular basis to ensure that they remain relevant. We work with tuition providers, employers, regulators and local institutes such as the Malta Institute of Accountants to ensure that the papers are ahead of the curve.

There are Practice Tests available as an interactive study support resource from ACCA, which allow students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and focus final revision before taking a live exam. Practice Tests replicate the exact experience of a real live computer-based exam (CBE) and offer the same flexibility, instant results and convenience as CBEs.

As well as giving insight into a live exam experience, practice tests also provide students with personalised feedback showcasing how they performed across the different areas of the syllabus, and identify where they need to focus their efforts in revision. They are available for foundation-level exams plus F1-F4.

As we all know, exams, by their very definition, are meant to be challenging. Some exams will be more demanding than others. But ACCA candidates should be reassured that our exams and papers are pitched at the right level to enable the successful candidate to work as a professional accountant. It prepares them for a successful future.

Being an accountant demands expert knowledge, immense responsibility and someone who recognises their own strengths. Being an accountant demands continuous development too, so when someone qualifies, the learning does not stop. Our CPD ensures our members are professionally adept and capable.

Accountancy is a distinguished career choice, and the ACCA qualification offers a passport to success. A qualified professional accountant joins the ranks of peers in other professions too, such as lawyers and doctors. And the public – you and I – all want to be assured that the lawyers, doctors and accountants we rely on for expert advice are tested, trained and developed to their full potential, in a fair, balanced and robust way.

Four sessions a year provide students with more chances to succeed. Four exam sessions a year allow students the flexibility to sit for exams when it most suits them, more quickly, effectively and efficiently. It means they can manage their studies more proactively, leading to a greater chance of success. Regularly practising answering questions across the syllabus is most certainly a step it the right direction.

ACCA is committed to helping students achieve their goal of full ACCA membership.

There are rigorous exams, preparing accountants who meet employers’ requirements, and who are ready for the world of work. Our Professional Accountants – The Future report revealed that the competencies which professional accountants need are being reshaped by trends in digital technologies and their impact on business in particular. Therefore, innovation and relevance are important characteristics of the ACCA Qualification, mirroring how we work in the 21st century – using existing and emerging digital technologies, capabilities, practices and strategies.

This modern and innovative approach is exemplified by ACCA’s ground-breaking CBEs (computer-based exams) for its skills module, available from September 2016. This makes ACCA the first global body to embed spread sheets and word processing skills in their exams.

We want students to pass the exams in this rigorous qualification – the professional level exams are set at Masters level – so the multitude of resources to support them are essential to this process, from the Approved Learning Partners around the world who deliver students’ training, to the wealth of study support resources on ACCA’s website coupled with the students’ own dedication to pass and succeed.

Today’s global business environment relies on trust to function, therefore a professional qualification and membership of a respected body such as ACCA is essential for success.

Dorothy Wood, Head of Education ACCA Europe

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