ACCA F5 Exam Tips March 2016


ACCA F5 Exam Tips March 2016 session given below are just intelligent guesses from exam point of view provided by famous tuition providers. These exam tips must not be relied on totally. To increase chances of success in Exams you must prepare full breadth of syllabus and topics

ACCA F5 Exam Tips March 2016:

ACCA F5 Exam Tips March 2016 Session are given below by famous tuition providers


MCQ’s can come up from any syllabus area so cover the breadth of every topic.

Section A:

ABC, Life Cycle costing, Target Costing and Throughput Costing are very commonly tested topics while Environmental costing is rarely tested.

Section B:

Usually there are two questions from this area. Commonly tested topics are
– Relevant Costing
– Pricing
– Cost Volume Profit Analysis
– Limiting Factor
– Make or Buy or Shutdown Decisions and other Short term decisions
– Dealing with Risk and Uncertainty

Section C: 

There are two questions from this area. Variances analysis is more commonly tested topics while Budgeting is also tested off and on. Every exam has some variances in it and could be basic or advanced variances.

Section D:

Performance evaluations is another area where questions always come up – very hard to learn a set method as each one is different. The important thing is to read the question carefully and make sure you link your analysis to the scenario. Commonly tested areas are

  • Transfer Pricing
  • Balance scorecard

The examiner does not like students who simply quote from the textbook, writing information that is not relevant to the question. The examiner also likes you to have an opinion – has the company done well or not? Clearly state your opinion and reasons why it is so.


Section A
20 multiple choice questions which are worth 2 marks. The MCQs will largely be knowledge based and will balance out the questions in Section B to make sure that all aspects of the syllabus are examined. There will also be calculation questions.

Section B
Q1 – Q3: Three 10 mark questions. These questions can test any of the four syllabus areas. The questions could be broken down into sub requirements and will usually be based on a short scenario.

Any syllabus area could be tested here – it is best to study all areas of the syllabus.

Q4, Q5: Two 15 mark questions which will usually be broken down into sub requirements and be scenario based. The examiner has stated that these questions can only test syllabus areas B, C and/or D.

Areas expected to be tested in questions 4 and 5 include planning and operational variances, mix and yield variances and evaluation of the company performance (either as a whole, or on a divisional basis).

General advice:
Where questions are based on a scenario it is essential that you use the information in the scenario to make your answers relevant.

At the beginning of the exam you are given 15 minutes “reading and planning” time. During this time you can read and annotate your question paper and so this is a perfect chance to make notes next to the information in the scenarios of things to include in your answer.

During this time you could also make a start on the section A MCQs – you are allowed to use your calculator during the reading time and as there is no credit for workings you will only need to copy across the correct letter once the exam starts.

Finally the examiner has repeatedly stated that she expects students to study broadly for all of the syllabus areas meaning that question spotting is not a good idea, instead students should expect the unexpected. Since the introduction of section A questions this advice is even more critical because more topics can be tested.


General Tips:

Remember there are five core topics in the exam and there are also 5 questions in the exam paper therefore you can reasonably expect to have 1 question from each area.

When it comes to F5 paper there are very few areas that you can guarantee to come up in exam and variances are one of them. Therefore make sure you know the basics and you are able to deal with planning and operational variances, mix and yield variances and idle time variances

Make sure you answer the question in set format. When we look at F5 questions, they are highly specific as to what they do and do not want you to do. Don’t just write everything about subject instead interpret carefully the requirement before you even think of putting your pen on the paper.

Manage your time very carefully indeed. At the simple level it simply means 35 minutes per question but more than that break down the question into its components parts and make sure you spend appropriate amount of time on each part of the question. Utilize the reading time to slot time to every part of the question.

Make sure you have good subject coverage that means you have covered all core topics areas before going into exams. Question spotting is very foolish exercise. Remember there is no choice in the exam, if you don’t cover something before exam than you could suffer disappointment.

Key Examinable Areas:

Section A
MCQ’s from Entire syllabus!

Section B
– ABC or Throughput Accounting.
– Relevant costing/decision trees.
– Budgeting theory/flexed budgets.
– Mix and yield/sales mix and quantity variances.
– Divisional performance (ROI, RI).

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