P1 Exam Tips December 2015
P1 Exam Tips December 2015
ACCA P1 Exam Tips:
Sources [Kaplan,BPP,LSBF,Beckers Professional,First Intuition,MM University]
ACCA P1 Governance,Risk and Ethics Paper Exam Tips for December 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)
Corporate social responsibility strategy–check out recently published article.
Ethical and other CSR theories–apply them to the scenarios.
Use of risk and governance–board of directors,remuneration and reporting.
Ethics is most important section of P1.In the ethics section there are number of different ethical theories which you need to learnt off.These are deontological&ontological as well as absolutist and relativist approaches.
In the exam you may be asked to argue from absolutist or relativist point of view so you may be asked to discuss how an individual in the scenario actions will be influenced by their position as absolutist or relativist.
Remember in a question like this the examiner is asking you to explore different courses of action.Examiner does not want you to explain what you believe personally or what you would do in that situation.You can maximize marks by thinking about different course of action from absolutist or relativist point of view and why they would choose these course of action.
Agency is an important aspect of P1 syllabus.Remember you need to learn in detail about this relationship rather than just definitions.You should also know about the agency problems and how they link to agency cost.Agency cost includes monitoring cost so you need to learn why these cost increase in relation to agency problems.
Corporate Governance(CG)is an important part of P1 syllabus.It is important to learn at the professional level papers why each of the provisions of CG is important.It is not enough to just learn of these provisions one by one.So each CG requirement should ensure that company is efficiently managed in some way.
Internal controls is very familiar topic to all students studying P1 paper.In P1 exam question usually focuses on analysing internal controls issues in the company in scenario.As such in this area you need to focus heavily on the application of internal control theory and not just learning the theory itself so you need to be able to recognise the evidence of poor internal control system.
Stakeholder theories,another important area of syllabus,must be linked to other topics in the syllabus while studying.You may be asked to identify the stakeholders in the scenario or categorize them in some way or you may be asked how stakeholders are affected by other issues raised throughout the syllabus.
50-mark scenario question to include:ethics,governance,single v.two-tier board structures,also corporate social responsibility.
Optional questions to include internal controls,governance committees and directors’remuneration,business risks,integrated reporting and environmental reporting.
50 marker compulsory question–90 minutes
● this 90 minutes should be allocated as 25 minutes PLANNING your answers to the various parts of the question and 65 minutes writing your answer to those various parts
● the question will most likely be broken down into 5,6 or 7 sub-questions with the fifth or sixth asking for a report,a draft press release,an address to the members or something similar worth 14–16 marks
● the remainder of the marks will typically ask for generalities about for example corporate governance,the role of a board sub-committee or general comments about ethical standpoints
● it is vital that you stick rigidly to time allocation in this question.There should be no question of you finishing the 3 hours and saying“I didn’t have time to do parts e)and f)of question 1”.There HAS to be a proper attempt at ALL parts of the questions that you elect to attempt
choice of 2 from 3 questions worth 25 marks each–45 minutes each
● planning time here is 12.5 minutes for each of your two chosen questions so use it wisely
● make sure you write something for every part of every question.You are unlikely to be able to finish every part of every question–either because you run out of time or you get stuck–but you can always write something.
● each comment that you make should be within its own sentence and leave a line between your sentences effectively making them into paragraphs
● time yourself copying sentences from a book and stop after 1 minute and 18 seconds.That’s the time that you have available to write one sentence containing just one markable point.
● you’re unlikely to get past the third line and that’s the MAXIMUM length of a sentence/paragraph in the exam
● make sure that your writing is legible.If a marker can’t read your script,he can’t give you credit for your thoughts!
● if you write one long paragraph containing several points,then there is a danger that the marker will miss some of the points.
● start each part of each question on a new page in the answer booklet(if you run out of pages you will be provided a supplementary booklet!).
● that way you can always go back to questions and you will be able to add more to your answer neatly,if you have time left at the end of the exam.
● do make sure you make it clear at the top of the page which part of which question you are answering.
● for a non-numerate exam like P1,be aware of just how many marks are available for each part-question and plan sufficient points to include within your answer to get the majority of those marks.Remember,one correct point earns one mark.