01 August 2019

How to tackle your ACCA P5 exam - Top tips from examining team

Submitted by Tiffany Meyer
How to tackle your ACCA P5 exam - Top tips from examining team

At a recent online conference, a team of ACCA experts who are involved in reviewing and marking ACCA exams offered their insights on the Applied Skills, Strategic Professional and Options (UK tax) exams. The conference provided a unique opportunity for Approved Learning Partners like IBTC, tutors and other strategic partners to come together, network, and gain practical insights into ACCA’s examinations.

During the conference they reviewed the 2018 September and December exams to provide students with direction and guidance when writing their exams this year.

According to the examiners, there were no major syllabus changes to Advanced Performance Management. The only minor changes were found in the exam itself. See below,

  • Section A of the exam examined parts A, C and D from the syllabus
  • Section B of the exam was compulsory, meaning that all questions in this section must be attempted. Section B contained question based on Section E as well as other areas of the syllabus

In addition to the above, there was also a change in the exam question style. They have introduced the use of sub-headings within the scenarios, with an aim of making the information more accessible to students. They stress however that despite the sub-headings students still need to read the scenario in full.

“The sub-headings are a great addition to the exam papers as they make things clearer for the student, but they are not to be used as a replacement for the scenario. It’s really important that students still read everything and get an overview of the problem in its entirety,” says IBTC’s Head of Student Services, Karina Coetzee.

According to the examiners, just knowing the material will only get you 20-30% of the marks. The real value lies in being able to apply the knowledge.

When applying their knowledge students are expected to engage with the detail that is contained in the scenario and be able to successfully provide commercial advice.

"A student’s evaluation of the scenario should never be based on whether they think the scenario is good or bad, but rather on the justification of WHY they think the scenario is good or bad. Justify and use supporting evidence not your opinion. This is where you will find your marks,' added the committee

When writing the exams students are advised to do as many calculations as possible. As a result, sufficient question practice is essential to passing. When preparing for your exam IBTC recommends the 60 / 40 principle, 60% studying and 40% question practice.

Get ready for your ACCA exam with IBTC

We can get you ready just in time for the September exam week. Please give Robert a call on 0861 111 411 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out what support we can give you during your exam preparation period.

Published in Science and Education