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CBEs 'are here to stay'

Editor Graham Hambly reports from the global learning conference

June 2017

ACCA’s Global Learning Providers’ Conference took place recently in London’s Shaw Theatre. Executive director Alan Hatfield told the audience that he wasn’t expecting any drama over the next two days but admitted he has always wanted to be on the stage! He then turned the words of the bard on their head: “To be or not to be, or should I say CBE or not CBE, but there’s not a question about that!”
The CBEs are definitely here to stay, and anyone who attended the conference could not fail to be impressed by how F5–F9 CBEs are transforming the exam process for the better.
Students really are loving them, and the complaints about hand-writing fatigue are gone forever. Markers and examiners love them, too. They can finally read what candidates are trying to say!
The CBEs are the future and a better, more convenient way to take exams, as one PQ said.
There is a problem, however. CBE sitters don’t appear to be using the masses of ACCA resources to get themselves familiar with the way the actual exams work. It was suggested as many as one in four CBE sitters have not looked at specimen papers before sitting the real thing. Even we have to agree that students aren’t helping themselves here.
The first CBE F5-F9 sessions were launched in September 2016 in eight markets, and will be available in 18 countries in June 2017. However, as we have reported in this issue, the paper exams will start to be withdrawn on a market-by-market basis starting next March (see page 10).
Wherever you are in the world, from June 2019 a paper exam will not be available anywhere on the globe.

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