ACCA P1 Exam Tips September 2015 Session


ACCA P1 Exam Tips September 2015 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 P1 Exam Tips:

ACCA P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics Paper Exam Tips for September 2015 Session are given below by famous tuition providers


Each P1 paper offers 4-6 marks for displaying professional skills, which can easily be the difference between a pass and a fail. The marks are available for both format and the tone and style of your answer, where you may have to prepare a speech or write a letter on behalf of the Board addressing specific concerns. Take a look at the Article of 24 August 2009 for more guidance and some great hints on style.

P1 is a very wordy paper, and the examiner wants to ensure that you have a good grasp of the theories behind the questions, but also that you can successfully apply the theories to given scenarios. Therefore, it is very easy to get lost within a question if your layout and approach to a question is poor.

A good approach is to apply 3 rules in your answer:

Introduction – this should be very short, but can help you get over any ‘writers block’. It might include a read back of the question, or a definition of the subject matter (for example, if the question asks for the roles of NED’s, start by very quickly defining what an NED is)

Theory – this section will show the examiner that you actually understand the issue being questioned, again, as with the introduction, this should really be kept short, it can be a section quote from the code, or a reference to an author (Cadbury or Greenbury et al).

Application – This will be the main bulk of your answer and should relate directly to the scenario. This is often the most difficult section of the answer, but should be made easier by the use of the introduction and theory sections.

In addition remember the golden rules of written questions:

  • Plenty of white space
  • Headings as required
  • Short punchy meaningful paragraphs

Following are some of the famous topics that were tested in past

  • Corporate governance critique and improvements.
  • Effective internal control systems, reporting within differing jurisdictions.
  • Influence of and intervention by institutional investors.
  • Diversification of Board
  • Function and importance of internal audit.
  • Risk definition, analysis of risk and the role of the Board of Directors.
  • Risk correlation and strategies for management of such risks.
  • Ethical standpoints and their application to business decisions.
  • Corporate codes of ethics critique and improvements.
  • Tucker’s ethical decision making model.
  • Social and environmental footprint.
  • Sustainability accounting.
  • Integrated Reporting
  • Conflict of interest and independence
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)


Section A
One compulsory question worth 50 marks which uses a lengthy scenario, often based on real-life events, to test all three main syllabus areas. Typically, this consists of four written requirements, some of which may be broken down into smaller sub-requirements where discrete syllabus content will be tested both as knowledge and application.

Within the total of 50 marks, there will be 4 professional marks available for producing some form of written communication (such as a briefing note, press release or letter to shareholders) which tests a candidate’s ability to write logical, structured and appropriate content suitable for a particular purpose, often with the aim of presenting a certain point of view.

Section B
A choice of two from three written questions that are each worth 25 marks and typically test up to two syllabus areas by applying the syllabus to a smaller real-world scenario. Again, candidates will be expected to apply their knowledge to the scenario in order to score well

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

During this time you should also think about how you will produce your answer – pay attention to the verbs used in question requirements as these indicate the number of marks available. For example, the verb “explain” requires a sentence and will score one mark if properly explained whereas the verb “list” simply requires you to present information with no further explanation: this will typically only score ½ mark per point listed.

The June 2015 exam tested content from the examiner’s technical article on strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) so you should ensure you are familiar with any new articles just in case – they can be found here:
ACCA P1 Technical Articles

You can expect to see the use of stakeholder, ethical and other CSR theories applied to scenarios, as well as the use of risk and governance syllabus content – you should be aiming to revisit as many past-paper questions as possible as we are starting to see exam requirements that reflect those we have seen before.


– Unitary/two tier (last examined June 12).
– Chair role/CEO chair split (Dec09, Dec11).
– Reward systems (Dec 13).
– AGM/ Insider dealing (June 11).
– Comply and Explain or rules vs principle (Dec 12).
– COSO failures (Dec 12).
– Board responsibility for control (Dec 12).
– Disclosure/information (Dec10, Dec12).
– Risk committee or risk manager (June12, June9).
– Strategic/operational risk (Dec 12).
– Static and dynamic risk (June 11).
– Risk diversification or ALARP (June 13).
– Absolute/relative (Dec 10).
– AAA model (June 12).
– Tuckers model (Dec 12).

Becker’s Professional

– Corporate governance (CG) concepts, underlying fundamentals and arrangements.
– CG in other organisations (e.g. public sector, NGOs).
– Types and forms of CG (e.g. rules based, principles based, insider, outsider systems, UK Corporate Governance Code, SoX).
– Agency theory, stakeholders, Mendelow.
– Board structures, CEO/chairman, directors, NEDs, committees .
– Internal control and business risk, Turnbull.
– Ethical theories and business codes – Kohlberg, Gray, Owen and Adams, Tucker, AAA.
– Professions and the public interest.
– Corporate social responsibility, corporate citizen, footprints and sustainability.
– Integrated reporting, social and environmental auditing.

First Intuition

– 50 mark scenario question, to include: ethics, Tuckers 5 questions, single v two tier board structures also corporate social responsibility.
– Optional questions to include: Importance of internal controls, governance committees and structure of directors remuneration, business risks, integrated reporting and environmental reporting.

Open Tuition

Coming Soon

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)

Coming Soon