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Put down the calculator!

29 June 2018

ACCA CBE sitters need to put their calculators away and use the spreadsheet software, says the F5 examiner.

He said a large number of March exam answers had been worked out on a calculator and then typed into the cell. This takes more time and can introduce human error. Using a formula in a cell is not only quicker, he ventured, but it also allows the marker to see what the candidate has done and give more credit in the event of a small error.

The examiner stressed: “It should be much quicker to answer numeric questions using a spreadsheet rather than paper, as the calculations can be automated, and any mistakes quickly corrected.” Unfortunately, in March sitting it was clear that many sitters had not practiced using the software and were unfamiliar with how to use simple functions like SUM to perform their calculations.

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