4 Effective Last-Minute Ways to Pass Your ACCA Exam

4 Effective Last-Minute Ways to Pass Your ACCA Exam

Do you really want to pass your ACCA exams? That may seem like a silly question, but there are key resources that students should be using to ensure they pass. If you’re not them then you’re putting your result on the line. 

Let’s put it his way, it’s not that we think you don’t want to pass. It’s more that you’re looking for an easier way to do it or wanting to pass on your own terms. Unfortunately, that’s not the way ACCA exams work!

The 60/40 Rule

What’s really important in the time leading up to your exams is commitment. 

We always follow a 60/40 rule which is we can help you 60% of the way but after that, the extra 40% is up to you. To use the right resources, focus on a daily basis, using our advice or the examiner’s, get in your study time etc.

We know it can be tempting to skip over a topic that’s proving difficult or not reviewing past exams, but ultimately these are the things that matter if you want to get 51%. 

So, let’s look at 4 key resources you can use to give yourself the best chance of passing this time around. 

1) ACCA Examiner Reports

ACCA Examiner Reports

For some reason, most students don’t take the time to review the Examiner Reports. However, there’s no better starting point than these reports.

What you’ll find in these reports are the reasons that students fail and what you need to do to pass. It tells you the 3 or 4 things to avoid doing if you want to pass or the 3 or 4 things to do if you want to avoid failing. What you have in these reports is the person who’s writing the exam outlining what they are looking for and what not to do to pass!  

These reports are released after each sitting and are the ultimate guide to tips on passing. In fact, we believe these reports are so valuable that our tutors go through them and create short videos with an overview of the key findings and advice. 

Tip: The Examiner Reports are the best list of tips you’re ever going to get for your upcoming exam. It’s everything the examiner wants you to do and avoid! Ignore them at your peril.

2) CBE Tool

As you probably know the Applied Skills exams are now all computer-based and professional exams are going the same way in 2020. 

Sitting an exam online is different from a paper-based one, so practice is required to ensure you know what to expect and can upskill on the tools required. 

What won’t help is getting the exam and printing it off to fill in. You may be practicing questions but not in the right way. So when it comes to exam day you won’t be comfortable with the CBE format and that could cause you to lose time, stress and ultimately fail; not due to your knowledge but due to your lack of experience with the tool.

Remember, people, write and type differently. So you need to teach yourself to type as you write. When you write you get more in the flow while typing  - if you’re not used to it - can be slower and result in more formal writing.

Also, an examiner can tell very quickly between someone who has practiced on a CBE tool and someone who hasn’t.  

Tip: Using a CBE tool is the best way to gain experience and ensure you’re ready when exam time comes. Check out ours if you want to try it out. 


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3) Mock Exams

Mock exams

This next resource is crucial: If you don’t practice, you won’t pass. It really is that simple. 

Many students say that they don’t do a mock because they have no time or they make them nervous or they don’t want to do badly. 

All of those feelings are valid, but if you don’t sit a mock and get it marked, you’ll never find out the areas you can improve on to get those extra marks or the areas you are doing well in.

What we always say to students is that there’s no such thing as a bad mock. Think about your exam like a driving test. How many people pass their test without taking a lesson? You have to be prepared to pass and commit to practicing driving and knowing road signs, the mechanics of a car, etc. Your ACCA exams are the same. 

If you’re worried about a mock, don’t treat it like an exam. Instead, treat it as a learning experience and replicating the experience you’ll have in the real exam. The more times you can practice, the more likely you are to be comfortable and confident so you pass on the day.

Tip: Don’t leave it until your exam to learn where you’re going wrong. Do mocks in advance so you have the experience, know the issues and have time to fix them. Give yourself the opportunity to have a plan of attack in the exam e.g. do the big questions first or focus on the OTs. 

4) Technical articles

Students find these very easy to ignore but just like the Examiner report, these can help you pass!

If there’s a technical article released it is an indicator that it’s an area that an examiner may focus on or a topic that students need to know more about as it may come up in the exam. 

For example in the last SBR examiner’s report linked to a technical article that was released a few months before that subsequently came up in the exam. So, if students had read that article they would have been familiar with the question and had no issue with answering it well. 

Tip: Examiners write these technical articles because the subject is on their mind and they’ve written for clarification! Pay attention to these articles as they can be a great indicator of a question. 


So that’s it; 4 effective ways to help you pass your exam with only a few weeks to go! 

They may all be resources you know about but the key is actually taking action and using them. Build them into your revision timetable to ensure that you are armed with everything possible come exam time. You’ll end up feeling more confident and prepared when it really counts.

If you’re looking for a helping hand in your study we run ACCA Revision Bootcamp - an intensive study program in the lead up to your exam. It provides you with an introductory webinar, daily study topics and practice questions. Register for free to find out more. 

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Topics: ACCA