ACCA P3 Exam Tips March 2016


ACCA P3 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 P3 Exam Tips March 2016:

ACCA P3 Exam Tips March 2016 Session are given below by famous tuition providers


Embed your knowledge on the core models from Johnson and Scholes (the examiner based this paper on their work).

When answering questions, write answers like you are writing to your senior management. Make it as professional as possible. Marks are allocated to this in section A.

Do not start writing answers straightaway. Take a minute to think about the structure and presentation of the answers.

It is important with this level to remember that writing lots of knowledge and theory will not get you through the exam. The key is application to the material and expanding the relevance to the scenario.

We suggest watching the news / reading the papers, but with a critical eye. For instance when you see that a business has launched a new product or moved into a new market think about the theories you have learnt that may be relevant. In this case it could be:

  • Porter’s generic strategies
  • Ansoff
  • Bowman’s clock

Then apply those theories to the real life situation – understand why they have created this product/why they have gone into this market. With practice you will find it easier to apply the theories to the scenario.

And of course you can do this for other areas of the syllabus.

There is nothing worse for a marker than getting a script which is just a page of writing. Try to think about making your script easier to read for the marker. Headings and Sub-headings along with a bit of space will help. Then use your paragraph to explain the point you are making.

If it is easy for the marker to see the points being made this can make the difference between pass and fail for a borderline script, include application, plus relevance within your statement, avoid listing.

If you use the word ‘and’ in your answer, are you making two separate points? If yes, maybe you need to split your paragraph into two headings / sub-headings.

There are 3 professional marks which will constitute professionalism, presentation and layout.

  • Know the theory and apply it.
  • Create mind maps of the key knowledge, then learn these.
  • Do practice questions under timed conditions and if possible, get them marked.
  • Make sure you’ve read all the current examiner articles, available on the ACCA website.
  • Get good business awareness – read a quality newspaper.
  • Use the reading time to select questions, and get frameworks for answer plans.
  • Do a section B question first.
  • Don’t focus on the numbers – do not spend more than 15 minutes on them per question.
  • Watch the clock – allocate your time efficiently – don’t overrun.
  • Layout your answers in a way that the marker can clearly read and understand.
  • Read the question carefully!


If we look back at the June 2015 P3 exam we can see that the examiner has again required students to have a very good grasp of the syllabus, both breadth and depth, combined with an ability to apply that knowledge (along with a decent amount of commercial common sense) to the specific circumstances of the scenario.

In addition it is clear that the examiner likes to keep students on their toes by including substantial elements within questions that are from areas that could be considered the fringes of the syllabus. For instance in December 2013 there was a 25 mark question which required a detailed knowledge of regression analysis, time series analysis and budgeting.

In December 2012 there was a 25 mark question based largely on decision trees.
It is therefore extremely dangerous for any student to focus on certain elements of the syllabus at the expense of others. To stand the best chance of passing P3 students need to have a good understanding of the entire syllabus. This will enable them to choose the
questions where they believe they will find it easier to pick up marks (for instance because it is easier to understand the requirements, or easier to structure an answer, or easier to pick
up knowledge marks) rather than having to choose questions because of the syllabus area.

In addition if students were to look at the exams in the past couple of years they will see that all of the key areas of the syllabus have been examined over the past four or five sittings which again shows the danger of question spotting or ignoring areas.

Important areas to cover for the September exam include:
It could be argued that the following areas, despite being key syllabus areas that have been regularly examined, have not been examined significantly in the past couple of papers, and therefore may be a little more likely to surface (however remember that this is a very dangerous game to play if it distracts students from other syllabus areas):

‐ Value Chain.
‐ Critical success factors and KPIs.
‐ Role of the corporate parent including BCG matrix/Ashridge.
‐ Managing strategic change including Force Field Analysis.

Finally it is worth pointing out that the June paper contains some compulsory calculations in Section A, as well as in some of the optional Section B questions – a trend we expect to continue throughout 2015.


When you doing external analysis, we are talking about Porter Five Forces Model or perhaps about PESTAL Model. Remember examiner is interested in strategy and strategy is about future. So although it is important to identify what is happening in the outside World at the moment what is more important from examiner point is to identify what will happen in the future.

– Strategic analysis (perhaps with one of the les-used models such Ashridge).
– Strategic choice with numbers (perhaps close or continue or a decision tree)
– IT controls.
– Integrated reporting.
– Improving business processes.

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