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3 ACCA FM Exam Techniques Drive You From Fail to Pass

Although ACCA FM (was ACCA F9) examiner recently said students performance are improved, the pass rate is still around 50% or slightly lower. It means half or more than half of students cannot pass the exam and are required to retake.

Based on my teaching experience as well as examiner’s comments, I try to find the possible issues for fail and suggest on what to focus in next few weeks study.

First of all, you are better to know why you failed in last attempt. Probably you are fully aware of it. But if you are not sure, here are the possible reasons based on your marks.

45 – 49: Also known as marginal fail, it’s likely the fail is because of poor exam technique;

35 – 44: It’s likely you demonstrate good knowledge in some areas, e.g. calculation questions (NPV / cash operating cycle), but that’s not enough for you to pass as you are weak in other areas;

26 – 34: It’s likely only 1 or 2 areas you are good at;

Below 25: Likely lack of knowledge on ACCA FM syllabus.

If you lack knowledge in certain areas, your study plan should prioritize those areas. However, if you are confident in your knowledge but still fail, it may indicate a weakness in exam technique. Here are some suggestions to help you improve your exam technique and enhance your study approach.

Exam Technique

Time Management: Managing your time efficiently in the exam hall is crucial to ensure you complete all questions within the allotted time. However, achieving this requires good preparation in exam technique.

One effective way to prepare is by practicing past exam questions, simulating a mock exam with the time limit and reviewing your performance. Being disciplined and strict with yourself during preparation is key to effectively managing your time on the actual exam day.

Reading requirements: Always answer the question that is asked, rather than the question you wish had been asked. Pay close attention to the verb used in the question, as it provides guidance on the expected type of response.

If the question asks you to 'Identify' or 'Define,' it requires knowledge-based answers that can be listed. However, when the question includes verbs like 'Evaluate' or 'Comment,' you must provide your own explanation using supporting theories or evidence.

Application: ACCA exams are designed to assess your ability to apply knowledge effectively. It is essential to maximize your learning from each question you attempt. When practicing past exam questions, carefully compare your answers with the suggested solutions, focusing on both the application of knowledge and exam techniques. Viewing every practice question as a valuable learning opportunity is crucial to your preparation.

Final tips to you is Focus on the quality of your revision rather than quantity. Do less questions well is better than doing a lot of questions badly in your revision. Wish you all good luck and pass ACCA FM exam in your next attempt!

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