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Even more great exam tips for June 2018...

01 June 2018

FME Learn Online
Sunil Bhandari, Mustafa Muchhala, Patrick Barr

Do not underestimate P1!!
To prepare: Read the Technical Articles – they’ve come up in last few papers.
P1 is smaller syllabus, but if I had to focus…
* Types of board, leaving, joining – senior roles.
* Rules v principles – & code application.
* Mandatory & voluntary disclosure.
* Evaluate control systems.
* Internal controls and financial reporting.
* Information for good control.
* Strategic / operational risks.
* External risk reporting.
* ALARP & Risk perception.
* Risk manager, Risk awareness & TARA.
* Ethical theories – application.
* Public interest.
* Integrated reporting.

To pass:
* Answer the question asked – really!!
* Focus on the verb – if it says “evaluate” then evaluate! Don’t discuss, explain, assess….
* Plan your answer before you write anything.
* Never “tell me everything you know about…?”
* Do not provide generic text book answers – are your points relevant to the scenario?
* Don’t feel you have to write lots – write to the marks available.
* Good layout and use headings!!
* Manage your time …ruthlessly.

Do not simply learn lists of models!!
To prepare: Read the technical articles & be able to calculate ratios!!
P3 is a large syllabus – so if you have to focus…
* Macro & competitive environments – all models.
* Strategic capability & organisational knowledge.
* International diversification.
* Strategy clock, generic strategies & SFA.
* Org structure – boundary-less & Mintzberg.
* Big data.
* Leadership styles.
* Emergent strategies.
* Buying generic vs bespoke software.
* IT controls & all of e-business.
* Managing & controlling projects.
* Strategic finance options.

To pass:
See P1 points…and also
* The model itself is never the answer!!
* Justify your points.
* If you’re given data, use it!! – but don’t get bogged down in calculations.
* Read March 18 Post exam guide.
* Imagine the marker is your boss and has asked you for the question requirements…
* Quantity is not necessarily quality!

Section A objective test questions in the exam generally cover the full syllabus.
Likely topics to feature in the section B objective test case questions could include mix & yield variances, budgeting, relevant cost decision-making and throughput accounting.
The Section C constructed response questions must be practiced on the ACCA website using the software tools. These questions will be a mix of calculations and discussion questions on performance management, transfer pricing, planning & operational variances, and learning curves.

Although the March 18 exam tested CSF’s & KPI’s this is a key area of the P5 syllabus, and so is likely to be examined again. Applying any of the performance management models to the question-scenario i.e. balanced scorecard, performance pyramid and/or the building blocks model is a strong possibility. There are plenty of past exam questions to practice on these models. Risk and uncertainty techniques & corporate failure models are likely candidates too.

Section A will bes usual mix of objective test questions covering the ENTIRE syllabus. Pay particular attention to the theory/‘wordy’ questions, as they need careful reading. Also double-check your calculations.
Section B’s case study based objective test questions are likely to cover:
* Cost of capital & finance.
* Risk management.
* Ratios & valuation.
Once gain, pay particular attention to the theory/‘wordy’ questions and double check your calculations.
Section C - 2 x constructive response questions. My educated guess are:
* Working capital management - inventory, receivables & cash.
* Investment appraisal - possibly including the asset replacement decision.
Take care great care with the theory/written answers. They can carry up to 10 marks and in the past students have under performed on this style of question.
Make sure you are comfortable with the ACCA software tools.
For more help got to www.SunilBhandari.com

Expect the paper to cover the FIVE core topics:
* Cost of capital, long term finance & dividend policy.
* Advanced investment appraisal.
* Option pricing (BSOP).* Risk management.
* Business valuations & corporate reconstructions.
Don't forget to use my 'football formation' exam timing approach as previously published in PQ.
If you want to know the key questions to attempt along with a specifically created mock email Sunil@sunilbhandari.com

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