Wednesday, 24 January 2018

How To Pass P5 Exam

Yup, still haven't move on 😻

With the latest passing rate of 29% [crazy!],  I'm compelled to share some tips on passing P5.
At least these are the things I did ...

Find a Good Lecturer
You can read the text book inside out, but it still won't guarantee your success. Exam technique is super critical for this paper which you can only learn from your experienced lecturers. And of course! Try to attend every single one of the class to reap maximum benefit.

Don't Spot Questions
You know how we tend to spot questions for exam? It will never work for this paper. Some topic came out two sittings in a row. So the best bet is to cover all of the syllabus. 

Utilized the Exam Kit
Here in KDU, we use BPP text book and exam kit. To be honest, I found the text book to be such a bore and long winding (sorry to say). The summary notes by my lecturer is more than enough. Actually, his summary is very compact but his explanation during class is very very valuable. The most important thing though is the Exam Kit! Practice all the questions in the exam kit for higher chance of passing!

Time Yourself
You can be as prepared as you can, have all the knowledge at your fingertips but if you failed to complete all questions, your probability to pass the exam just went downhill. To prevent this, make it a habit to time yourself during question practices. This helps to familiarize you with the time pressure during exam.
What I did was I allocate 1.6 minutes for every marks. So if it's a Part A question, I'll have 80 minutes or 1 hour 20 minutes to answer the question and I take another 15-20 minutes to fully understand the requirements and do the planning of my answers.
By the end of the 3 hours 15 minutes, all questions should have been answered [even in parts].

Past Year Exam Questions
Another integral part of passing the paper, doing the past year questions (from December 2010 onwards) because the current examiner, Alex Watt joined since then. If you really understand the previous questions structure, you'll realize SOME of the questions are recycled. Familiarize yourself with the exam questions and again, timed yourself while doing 'em. Also remember that the answers scheme shows only one of the possible answers. You can come up with your own answer as long as it make sense and you can back it up with facts, but make sure that you get your answers marked by your lecturer. And make the latest exam paper a priority, working yourself backwards.

Understand the Requirement
P5 papers can be like English Comprehension paper. You will need to really focus and understand the requirement of the question. It may sound trivial, but this is one the most commonly made mistake by students. Question asked for 2 requirements, students answered 1. Question wanted the impact of A on B, students answered impact of B on A. You get the gist. So really really understand the requirements. The tips I got by my lecturer is to circle every verb in the question to ensure you did not miss out anything.
Example; Evaluate the use of Porter 5 Forces analysis at company A. It does not mean evaluate the company using Porter 5 Forces but whether the tool is useful or not for company A.

Read The Articles
I have to be honest. This is the first paper ever which I read through most of the articles (95%) [you can get them from ACCA website] and make notes. Trust me when I say you'll need to read the old articles too, ones from the 90s as well. Don't assume that latest articles bear more importance.

Make sure you have proper heading, sub heading and format. Heading, heading, heading! It's important. The 4 professional marks could make or break you in the final exam.

Question Sequence
Other than timing myself to ensure I complete all the questions, the sequence is also of particular importance. Different people have different approach but mine is to do Part B, Part A, Part B. Logic being when you are fresh, that's when you are the most productive. Tackling one of the optional questions is helpful because the requirement and case study are shorter, usually it is not as complicated as Question 1 and in turn, it will be easier for you to score marks here. And you'll be confident to do other questions afterwards.

Own Notes
This has always been my go-to study tips. Do your own notes even though you got the summarized compact notes. It helps you to remember better and easier for you to comb through when you need information.

That's it!

Good luck!!

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