Planning your answers may seem like an obvious piece of advice from the ACCA P6 examiner, but it is surprising just how many students launch straight into answering a question without taking time to think about how they are going to approach it. This has resulted in poorly structured answers which make it difficult for the examiner to identify the key points provided in the answer and therefore whether the requirements of the question have been met.
Here are some of the examiners’ remarks on this issue:
“Candidates should pause and think before they start writing. Dealing fully with the implications of one of the loans first, and then the other, tended to provide a much clearer answer than those who adopted something of a random approach, apparently writing points as they occurred to them.” - ACCA P6 Examiner’s Report – March 2016
“This was not a difficult requirement, but most candidates did not perform as well as they could have done because they started to write before they had identified the two exemptions.” - ACCA P6 Examiner’s Report – December 2015
“They did not spend sufficient time carefully reading the question and thinking before they started writing.” - ACCA P6 Examiner’s Report – September 2015
“It appeared that many candidates would have benefited from pausing and thinking more before they started to write.” - ACCA P6 Examiner’s Report – September 2015
“It is always worth thinking about how to do a calculation in an efficient manner rather than to just immediately start it.” - ACCA P6 Examiner’s Report – June 2014
It is therefore recommended that you allocate yourself some planning time at the start of each question to think about the issues and identify the points you intend to address. This is even more important for questions that involve carrying out complex calculations. By taking just a few minutes to think about how you are going to tackle the answer, you will avoid muddled workings which the examiner cannot follow.
Sometimes students are reluctant to do this due to the time pressure in an exam situation, but the feedback from the examiners emphasises that typically the best answers are well structured and show signs of a plan.
This is just some of the points addressed in our ACCA P6 Examiners' Guide. See what others issues have been identified by going to - ACCA P6 Examiners' Guides