Record passes for ACCA students

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Its not just A-level students who have achieved record results this year. The ACCAs final examinations this June saw more successful passes than ever. The exams also attracted a record number of entrants, with 164,646 candidates taking a total of 335,566 papers.

The exam results, issued today (18 August), revealed that 6,174 new global ACCA affiliates have now completed their final examinations.

The Association said that student performance at the Professional Level was in line with expectations, but described results for the Fundamentals papers as disappointing. The Fundamentals papers introduce students to the core areas of financial and management accounting, as well as six other key knowledge areas such as law, auditing and taxation. The module which saw more passes than any other was th...

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By Anonymous
01st Sep 2008 12:03

ACCA now easy?
For those of you who say the exams have been dumbed down, I would like to see you take the papers I just have (with Corporate Reporting based on IFRS, and a taxation paper that gives me exemption from the final CTA case study) and see how you get on.

The decision to remove the '3 or out' rule (as it was called on here), was made following consultation with all of the affected stakeholders. Out of the various groups asked (employers, tuition partners, students, members, etc), the only group where the majority were in favour of the status quo was the affiliates i.e. those who have just passed under the existing regime. Employers especially were greatly in favour of the change, mainly due to the amount of study time students required when sitting 3 demanding papers together.

As a result of the change, ACCA expanded the syllabus for the Professional (old part 3) level papers, and exam questions now have greater coverage of that syllabus, both in breadth and depth.

Another change was to make the Fundamentals exam papers 100% compulsory (i.e. no optional questions), and to reduce the optional element of the Professional exams. This does not sound like dumbing down to me.

I personally, as a mum, wife, full-time employee (assistant tax manager for the UK in a global financial services company) and part-time student, saw the change to the final papers as an opportunity to study the subjects in more depth, and not just enough to get me the pass mark. This would benefit not only my career, but also my employer.

By the way, ACCA were not the first professional financial body to make this change in light of stakeholders needs, and those that haven't yet changed, and are not planning to change, are few and far between.

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01st Sep 2008 08:29

Others Guilty of Dumbing Down Too!
This dumbing down is a trend you see with all the chartered accountancy bodies.

I believe the ICAEW has now eased the time barring rules.

I guess the intense competition you now see between these bodies for students has led to a fall in standards in much the same way that it did with A Levels as different examining boards tried to woo schools to their syllabus.

Perhaps this is an arguement in itself for mergers between accountancy bodies in an attempt to keep standards high and exams tough?

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31st Aug 2008 10:23

Declining Standards
I am an ACCA member and I am not surprised that record pass rates have been posted. In allowing students to sit one exam at a time has removed a significant barrier to entry. The ACCA is focussing on membership numbers rather than quality of accountant.

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By Anonymous
28th Aug 2008 13:24

C Williams

I think if you compare how many standards were examined a few years ago and now you will see why.

I have just taken and passed corporate reporting and believe me the sheer size of the syllabus makes taking two other exams extremely difficult especially with work as well.

This was backed up by my tutor who took his exams 15-20 years ago and couldn't believe how much students are expected to know now.

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19th Aug 2008 13:31

Celebrate success
I have my differences with the ACCA, but the comments here, especially about those passing their final exams, might be a little churlish.

A family friend was amongst those who just passed their final exams. She didn't go to university. She got AAT first. She has worked hard for 6 years with considerable dedication and only one fail on the way to get her professional accounting qualification.

She is now the financial controller of a small company in Cambridge, and I'm sure they have a first-rate employee.

More important, ACCA gave her the opportunity for an all round accounting education that no other institute is at present supplying. And if I was that small company in Cambridge I am sure that I would much rather have her on my team than an equivalent ACA: she will know much more.

For all its faults the ACCA is right nowthe future of accounting on the high street and in the small businesses of Britain.

Richard Murphy

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