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Study Zone

CIPFA’s ace exam results

CIPFA’s June results are out and they all look great – except for the Public Service Financial Reporting (PSFR) paper.

October 2017

There were some really good paper pass rates in June, particularly at the Strategic (final) Level. Those sitting Audit & Assurance achieved the top pass rate in the summer exams – 94.3%. The Corporate Governance & Law paper pass rate was also healthy, at 89.5%.
However, the institute quickly acknowledged the pass rate of PSFR at 40.5% “is significantly below that of previous sittings and is also significantly below that of the subject prior to candidates sitting their exams online”.
The examiner said that answers to the exam highlighted that many candidates were not able to complete basic, non-sector specific financial accounting adjustments, or able to demonstrate the level of evaluation and application of knowledge expected at this level of exam.
In order to assist future candidates CIPFA has released the June 2017 exam questions from the live exam question bank. The examiner has also provided more guidance on how to best approach the PSFR exam questions with seven webinars.
Two other factors were identified:
• The June 2017 exam did not include a 15-mark question covering local government financial statements. Many students tend to focus their revision in this area and perhaps this explains in part why the pass rate is so low this sitting.
• Students who hold exemptions from other financial exams achieved a pass rate of 33.3%, compared with non-relevant undergraduates of 83.3%.


Financial Accounting 69.0%
Management Accounting 86.7%
Company Financial Reporting 82.3%
Audit & Assurance 94.3%
Professional Diploma
Public Service Financial Reporting 40.5%
Taxation 88.6%
Corporate Governance & Law 89.5%
Business & Change Management 88.6%
Strategic & Policy Development 81.3%
Financial Management 65.9%

Strategic Public Finance 69.2%
Strategic Case Study 79.4%

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