Q. If there’s a linear programming question and I need to draw a graph, will I be given graph paper?
Q: Are there any guaranteed topics?
A: No, although you can expect a question from each of the 5 sections of the syllabus – that’s what has happened so far since the exam moved from 4 questions to 5, and it seems reasonable to assume that will continue given that, in this way, the exam will have tested as broad a range of skills as it can.
Q: Will we be examined on a topic which appeared in the previous exam?
A: Yes, it is possible, although maybe in a different context: e.g.: in one paper a question asked for pricing strategies relevant for an established brand, whereas in the exam 6 months later the question asked for pricing strategies which would be relevant for the launch of a new product.
Q. What is the percentage breakdown of the paper between written and numbers?
Q. Why are some of the past paper questions 25 marks and some 20 marks?
A. ACCA changed the exam format in 2009.
Q. If I get a calculation wrong at the beginning of a question will I lose all the marks for my subsequent answer?
A. No. Each mistake is penalised only once; then follow through marks are given based on your incorrect answer.
Q. If I get to the exam late will the ACCA give me extra time?
A. No the exam finish time will not be extended for late comers.
Q. Where will I write my answers to the questions?
A. ACCA provide exam booklets to each student and additional booklets are provided if required.
Q. Do I need to show my workings?
A. Yes, definitely! There are many calculations in F5 and it is very easy to make an error on one calculation and then carry that mistake forward through the rest of your answer. If no workings are shown then the marker has no scope to award any marks at all. If workings are shown then you will simply lose the marks for the one initial calculation error.
Q. Can I pass by just learning the calculations?
A. No, the F5 exam can sometimes be as much as a 50:50 split with regards marks available for both the calculations and discussion aspects. Being able to write around the numbers calculated is vitally important. The good news is, the situations you will find in the questions, and the questions tend to be quite similar. For example, a question on variances and assessing the performance of a production director will usually centre around them having made very poor/good decisions so the discussion of this shouldn’t be too difficult.