ACCA F6: Exam advice for Taxation (UK)

As the ACCA F6 exam is fast approaching I felt it would be helpful to provide some tips on how to successfully complete this exam.

Use of the 15 minutes reading and planning time

Like this or hate this you are given 15 minutes reading and planning time at the beginning of the exam where you are not allowed to write anything in your answer booklet. So what should you do with this time?

Firstly make sure you know where to find the tax tables – these should be on the first few pages of the paper so you can quickly refer to these if needed.

Next I would look through the paper with the aim to identify what each question is testing with the objective of picking which question to start with. The best way of doing this is to look at the requirements of each question to see which topics areas are being covered and whether you like the sound of these.  Remember you don’t have to start with Question 1; you simply need to begin each new question on a new page.

Having made your selection if any time remains you should start reading the question you have identified as your strongest so you will be ready to start you answer when told to.

During the exam

Make sure you keep a careful watch on your time. Poor time management is often the reason many fail this paper.  Remember its 1.8 minutes a mark. Therefore you need to make a note at the start of each question how long you need to spend and stick to it. It is also a good idea to calculate how long you should spend on each part as often students do a great job answering part a) of a question and run out of time for part b).

Answer the requirement – pay particular attention to the requirements and how many elements there are.  You only get marks for answering what the examiner wanted and not for any extras.

Use proformas for any calculations and try to make these as clear as possible. It is always a good idea to give yourself plenty of space when setting up say an income tax computation so if you do make any mistakes they can be clearly corrected. Use workings for any detailed calculations you need to do and make sure you reference these workings so the markers can find their way around your script.

If you get stuck or are unsure about anything – move on to something else. You can always return later if necessary when maybe you will be clearer about what to do. You only need to get 50% to pass so a few omissions and errors will be okay. If performing a calculation you can always insert a figure so you can then carry on with any further calculations.

Read the question – a fairly obvious point but it’s amazing how few students do. You should read the question at least twice so that you are clear about the scenario given and can complete your answer as accurately as possible. Often careless errors are made due to failing to undertake this task.

After the exam

Don’t dwell on what might have been just enjoy some well deserved time off from studying.

View further details on studying ACCA with BPP.

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