The ACCA AA F8 exams can be difficult to pass, but with the right preparation it is possible to achieve a good score. In this blog post, we will provide some tips on how to study for and pass these exams. Follow these steps and you should be able to achieve the results you desire. Good luck!
Keep scrolling below to read the full blog or jump to the important parts
- Skills required for the exams
- Why are the pass rates for F8 low
- How to approach Audit risk questions
- Best resources to use for the exams
How to pass ACCA F8 Audit and Assurance exam?
Most of the students taking this exam have not seen much about Audit and Assurance in their prior papers. You need to know the basics of a set of Financial Statements, as the objective of an Auditor is to review a client's financial statements and form an opinion on them.
Students can leverage their knowledge from the ACCA FA knowledge paper.
What is the structure and setup of the Audit and Assurance Exam, and how is it different from Applied knowledge level exams?
There is a difference in how these papers are presented compared to the other applied skills papers. Most of them have three sections, whereas Audit and Assurance only have two sections. Section A and B.
Section A is 30% of the paper and consists of objective test questions. There are three short scenarios that you will get in section A, and there will be objective test questions attached to those scenarios. 30% is made up of 3 banks of 5 small questions; each question carries two marks. Hence, for every scenario, you get ten marks.
Section B has constructive response questions, three questions, three significant areas, and three scenarios. You get one 30 marks question and two 20 marks, which will be further broken down into sub-requirements.
Each scenario will be attached to a significant area of the syllabus. The three extensive areas in Section B are Audit Risk and Panning, Controls and Systems and Substantive Audit Procedures.
There may be other elements also which may be included in Section B. Mixture of knowledge-based questions. Still, predominantly there will be constructive response-based questions to check whether you can apply what you know to the scenario.
What skills do you think are necessary to answer Section B styles questions?
To answer Constructive response questions, you have to rely on the scenario information which is being given to you. If you ignore the scenario, marks will not be provided.
There are two things that you need to have in place right to get ready for that particular section:
- Application Skills: Can you apply what you have learned from your studies to that specific scenario? For Example, the examiner will give you a scenario, an audit team, and the client you're reviewing, and then you will have to pick out the relevant information to answer that question.
- Disciplined Learner: To develop the application skills, you need to practice every day, as this will not be developed overnight. Ensure that you practice questions, review them and make sure you time yourself and try not to use nights when you're looking at the question to see if you can try all the things on your mind.
Why are the ACCA Audit and Assurance pass rates so low?
Historically, the Audit and Assurance is the lowest of the applied skill papers in nearly every sitting. For Example, Audit and Assurance was 39% as a global pass rate on June 21 vis a vis Financial Management which was 53%.
- The main issue is that students look at it as a theoretical paper, which needs a lot of writing and reading. The Audit and Assurance syllabus predominantly outlines what an Auditor does. This is how an Auditor works through that job; they carry out their role to form an opinion on the set of financial statements. And, it is like looking at all the critical things they must complete during that process.
- Many students read the study text and do not practice questions. And those that do tend not to be successful for this particular exam because, as mentioned before, it is essential to develop the application skills when answering exam questions, particularly for this paper.
- Those who practice questions often do it in an open book environment; checking the notes and reviewing the suggested answers helps answer the examination questions. It also helps understand what's going on in the question and benefits your knowledge—testing yourself, if you can answer this question on your own?
- Another reason is a Lack of Confidence. Most students do not work in Audit and possess very little or NIL Audit experience. They may feel a bit intimidated by the topic itself. But, when you take it as the role of Auditor, it will become much more enjoyable. So, students should not feel intimidated by it. See it as a way to change the mindset and think about the exam slightly differently.
How to approach Audit and Risk Questions?
Audit & Risk tends to cause a lot of headaches with Audit and Assurance candidates because it is a functional area, a specific thing that the Auditor will review and look at in the planning stage of Audit.
- The Examiner team will ask questions based on Audit and Risk in Section B, which will be scenario driven. You couldn't possibly answer it unless you use the scenario. Read the requirement, and ensure you know what the examiner asks you to do. Describe or explain and do Audit risks and then provide an Auditor's response to that Risk.
- Thoroughly read the scenario, know what you're doing and try to find anything that could have an impact on the financial statements or if there's anything that could cause a headache for the audit team.
- While going through that scenario, assess it entirely and try to find out if there is anything they have mentioned that could make the audit team's job difficult. Is there anything in there, for example, are there any changes like change in accounting treatments or any system introduced, or if ever there is something that is being changed or introduced at client's end, then, Auditor has to investigate and make sure that it does not impact to what could happen in the financial statements.
- You have to look out for all these issues and one of these potential problems throughout the scenario. If you find any, put them on to your answer areas in your exam. You will have a table, which will be on the right-hand side of your screen. This will help develop the ideas, which will further help build your confidence to answer your question correctly.
- But what students find most difficult is then explaining why it's an audit risk. What could happen to the financial statements if this is a problem? What could cause issues for the Audit Team if this is not addressed? So, ensure that you enhance your answers in your own words; explaining why you have included them is essential.
- Another part of the Audit Risk question: What is Auditor's response? How is an Auditor going to deal with this Risk? So, they are at the planning stage and how they will do their work. This outlines what the Auditor will be doing next. What is going to happen after the planning stage?Explaining a few ideas or audit procedures, some specifics, that they would need to do to help address that Risk.
- Getting the skeleton plan in place and then explaining it further will help you develop enough points and enough marks to pass this question.
Some study tips and ACCA resources to refer to?
Grab whatever resources you can get, particularly as you approach exam day.
- ACCA's Learning Centre is up and running. Search Audit and Assurance, go through the material and attempt some quizzes to prepare for that paper.
- BPP provides training on the entire syllabus. These lectures from BPP UK expert tutors do not only cover the syllabus but do also explain exam techniques in detail. BPP training with BPP books are an ideal combination
- The YouTube channel introduces each subject and gives you a deep brief of questions and various other useful elements for students.
- When you start practising questions, try to attempt it on the system, as the examination will be CBE. Use ACCA Practice Platform to practice your questions whenever you get a chance.
- Read all the ACCA F8 Technical articles. This help in a quick revision prior to exams.
3 top tips for students to maximize their chances of passing:
- Plan your study sessions: Be realistic; plan your sessions. How much time you will dedicate every day/week will help build your confidence.
- Give yourself a revision size: Full reading of the study text manual is not enough. Allow yourself some dedicated time to practice questions. One whole week is recommended if you can.
- Attempt Mock Exam: Though managing all questions in one go is a challenge, try to attempt the complete mock examination in one go covering sections A and B. This would be a kind of an eye opener that will give you an idea of how you are jumping from different style questions and from knowledge questions to application questions and how you can manage your time in between.
In order to pass the ACCA AA F8 exams, it is important to have a solid understanding of the material. BPP Training can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. Additionally, using original BPP books will help reinforce the information learned in class. Follow these tips and you should be able to clear the Audit and Assurance Exam with flying colors!
There are several ways to prepare for the ACCA exams, including studying the exam syllabus and practicing past exam questions. You can also attend review courses or hire a tutor to help you prepare. It's also a good idea to create a study schedule and stick to it, and to take breaks and pace yourself during your studies.
If you fail an ACCA exam, you will need to re-register and pay the exam fees again. You may also want to consider reviewing the exam syllabus and studying more before attempting the exam again. It's also a good idea to talk to your tutor or mentor for guidance and to get feedback on where you may have gone wrong.
There is no limit to the number of times you can attempt the ACCA exams, but you will need to pay the exam fees each time you register. It's a good idea to carefully review the exam syllabus and consider seeking additional help if you are struggling to pass the exams after multiple attempts.
ACCA Exams are held four times a year for skill level and strategic level exams. These are held every quarter
March, June, September and December
The CA (Chartered Accountant) qualification is offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The ACCA qualification is offered by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
The CA qualification has been in existence for over 150 years, and is a globally recognised qualification. The ACCA qualification has been in existence for over 100 years, and is also a globally recognised qualification.
The CA qualification is available in India only, while the ACCA qualification is available in over 180 countries.
The ACCA subjects are assessed on a 100-point scale. The pass mark is 50 points. A score of 60 or more is required to achieve the grades of distinction, credit, and merit.
Yes. Passing all exams with a high percentage is an excellent accomplishment and demonstrates that you have a high level of understanding of the material. Employers will see this as evidence of your competence and be likely to consider you for a position if you are looking for work in the accounting field.
The hardest ACCA paper is the F5 performance management paper. This is because it requires a detailed knowledge of financial accounting and management accounting in order to pass.
Other papers that are difficult include the F7 financial reporting paper and the P2 advanced auditing and assurance paper. However, all of the ACCA papers are challenging, so it is important to thoroughly prepare for each one before sitting the exam.