Hurray!!! You are getting nearer to your target. To complete the ACCA Qualification exams at the Professional level you must complete three Essentials papers (P1, P2 and P3) and then complete two from four Options papers (P4, P5, P6 and P7).
The Options papers are specialized papers. They cover, in depth, the specialist areas of professional accountancy, namely: Financial Management, Performance Management, Tax, and Audit & Assurance.
There are three things which can really help you pass this final hurdle:
- Refreshing yourself on the fundamental concepts of the subject
- Relating your studies to the world of work through your experience and / or wider reading
- Studying with an Approved Learning Partner for student tuition (ALP-st) and using ACCA’s approved learning materials from ALP content providers will increase your chances of passing the Options papers.
1- THE FUNDAMENTALS:
The research proves that if you do well in the underpinning Fundamentals paper, you will have a better chance of passing the Options paper. This is backed up by what students, tutors and examiners tell: if you have a good grasp of the fundamental knowledge of the Options papers you are taking, then you have a better chance of passing the Options paper.
It is important to remember that the Options papers take the subjects covered in the Fundamental papers to a more advanced level. This is set out below:
- Paper F9, Financial Management ➜ Paper P4, Advanced Financial Management
- Paper F5, Performance Management ➜ Paper P5, Advanced Performance Management
- Paper F6, Taxation ➜ Paper P6, Advanced Taxation
- Paper F8, Audit and Assurance ➜ Paper P7, Advanced Audit and Assurance
When you choose which Options papers to take, think about how well you did in the Fundamentals level papers. If there was a subject you excelled at or felt most comfortable with, then that would be a good choice to take as your option.
2- APPLYING YOUR EXPERIENCE:
Most students, tutors and examiners say about the Options papers is that you may perform better if you have gained work experience relevant to the Options papers you are aiming to take. One of the benefits of matching the experience performance requirements to the Options papers you are taking is that it may assist your workplace mentor or supervisor in giving you the experience to help your studies. It may also help your workplace mentor or supervisor answer questions you have about particular areas of the Options paper syllabuses which you are struggling with.
It is a great idea to be thinking about how your studies can be applied to your future career prospects. Whether you have gained relevant experience or not, wider reading will also help you relate your studies to real-life situations which will, in turn, help you in the exams.
3- How you will Prepare for Options papers:
There are a number of ways the ACCA Qualification can be studied such as via a taught course or by self-study. Research has found that if you study with one of ACCA ALPs, you will stand a better chance of passing the Options papers. The English and Professional Skills modules available on the ACCA Global website will also be a real asset if you are interested in improving your communication skills.
The examiner’s reports will really help you understand what the examiner is looking for in your answers. Practice by using past exam papers in the time required and looking at how your answers compare with the solution given, will also really help your preparation and improve your chances of success.
So, in a nutshell… It is important to make the right choice of which two Options papers to take. You will have a greater chance of success if you choose based on what you feel most comfortable with, whether that is because you did well in the Fundamentals paper or because you have gained most work experience in that area. Lastly, you should consider studying with an ALP–st to give yourself the best chance of passing the Options papers.
Best of Luck future ACCAs