Answer weaknesses – find out how to fix them!

Examiners will often feedback the same points after every exam sitting on what students have done wrong – we have collated some of the most common answer weaknesses and given you some advice on how to overcome them.

Remember what you’ve been taught during revision about how to construct answers. A good model is to:

  • Make the point
  • Explain the point (show why it’s important)
  • Illustrate the point (with scenario material or a real-life example)

Answer weaknesses

  1. Failing to spend enough time on the question with the highest marks – Often this happens when the question is done last and time runs out at the end of the exam. Avoid doing it last and consider doing it first
  2. Failing to answer enough questions – At the start of the exam, note down all the questions you’re answering and ensure that your list includes all compulsory questions and enough optional questions. Then allocate time between questions and stick to the time allocation
  3. Not commenting on the results of calculations – You need to comment on what the calculations show and the reasons for the results, also the results’ limitations (lack of available data, unrealistic assumptions, need to use additional techniques)
  4. Failing to use the details in the scenario – When analysing the details, mark against them to which part of the answer they relate; refer in your plan to the detail you’ll use
  5. Copying out chunks of the scenario which don’t add value to the answer – Ask yourself when planning your answer whether the scenario detail you intend to include illustrates the points you intend to make.
  6. Including theories that aren’t relevant to the organisation – For each theory you intend to use ask yourself what insights it will give you and only include it if it gives you significant insights
  7. Repeating material in different parts of the same answer – Review your plan before you start writing to ensure there’s no overlap between the material used in each part of the question
  8. Reproducing old answers as answers to different questions – Remember that old questions are in the past; what matters is the present and answering this question

To sum this list up: Not providing what the question requires!

Remember BPP revision courses are designed to help you focus on the exam skills and technique you need as well recapping key topics to enable you to interpret exam requirements, answer questions efficiently and effectively.

You can still join our award winning Online Classroom Live revision courses and catch up with the recordings of the live sessions if you want to prepare for success. Contact BPP on 0845 075 1100 or visit www.bpp.com/acca for details

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