ACCA P4 Exam Tips March 2016


ACCA P4 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 P4 Exam Tips March 2016:

ACCA P4 Exam Tips March 2016 Session are given below by famous tuition providers


P4 is a technical paper with some complex calculations sometimes but DO NOT think of the exam as numbers-only. There are plenty of discursive parts which are usually easier than the calculations and easy marks can be picked up by applying commercial awareness and common sense.

Analyse the individual requirements of the question. If you can do the wordy bits first then do so as you will not get bogged down in them like you will with the calculation elements.

Do not expect to finish a question. You must stick to time, especially on the calculations which are very easy to over-run on. The exam is extremely time pressured and the secret to passing is to have a go at every part of every question, not to try and get 100% on every question – to do that you would need about 7 hours!

If you are not sure what to do with a particular figure in a question, ignore it and move on – state assumptions, you haven’t got time to worry about it!

If you get a Black-Scholes question, always list out the input variables as your first stage and assign the relevant values to them – there will be about 2-3 marks usually for doing this.

Practice as many questions as possible but do as many as possible to time. You must get used to doing the questions in the time available and not spending too long on them.

Practice as many questions as possible across the syllabus, and don’t only concentrate on what you consider to be the core areas.

Choose carefully on section B of the paper – it is very limited choice but nonetheless it will be critical.

Do not put down unnecessary workings; because as it will cost you heavily in lost time.

If there is a calculation that you are unable to complete – for e.g. a WACC which prevents you from going on to do the NPV, then just make a reasonable assumption and estimate a WACC which you have been unable to calculate, this will then allow you to progress the calculation and get on to the often more generously rewarded discursive parts of the question.

Look out for examinable articles – two in particular for June 2011:

  • 24 August – The new examiner Shishir Malde gives his approach for the P4 paper
  • 23 September – Another article by the new examiner Shishir Malde on Risk Management January/February article

Two key topics are always NPV appraisal and capital structure, particularly CAPM and Betas. You will not pass if that is all you know but you will struggle to pass if you do not know them!


We would expect section A questions to be mainly based on core syllabus areas such as: project appraisal, business valuations (both are likely to include cost of capital calculations) and risk management (hedging).

– currency risk management
– business re-organisation
– real options

General advice
The 50 mark compulsory question will, inevitably, draw from a number of different syllabus areas. The examiner has said that he does not plan exams by referring to past exams (i.e. checking that the whole syllabus is being tested over the course of a number of exam sittings).

These factors mean that question spotting extremely difficult for this paper. However we would expect section A questions to test core syllabus areas as listed above.

In section B one of the questions may be entirely discussion based (but this is not guaranteed from June 2013), and often involves ethical issues and general financing issues (e.g. dividend

Remember that this paper is not a maths exam – in all exam questions the examiner is as interested in your ability to communicate well and to give good management advice as he is in
your numerical ability.

Keep checking the ACCA website for articles written by the P4 examiner in the lead up to the exam, these are often tested.


– Investment appraisal using adjusted present values/net present values or capital rationing.
– Valuation of business using free cash flows and Price-earnings ratio methods, defensive tactics or cash offer or share exchange.
– Cost of capital using the principles of Modigliani & Miller prepositions or geared and ungeared betas.
– Hedging exchange rate risk using forward contract, futures contract and options contract. Explanation of the Greeks.
– Capital reconstruction schemes – designing a capital reconstruction scheme or assessing the success of a given scheme.
– Real options – option to abandon, expand or delay using the Black-Schole option pricing model.

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