SBL - It's not an exam you should attempt on your own, says ACCA
"Some things you can do on your own, and this isn't one of them." So says Mike Gora, the ACCA Head of Education and Development for Southern Africa.
IBTC recently met with Mike to discuss the new session-based CBE (SCBE) for the skills papers and the new strategic professional level and how students should approach their exam preparation. Here's what Mike had to say.
Do It Yourself (DIY)
A large proportion of ACCA students engage in self-study to prepare for their exams. Mike calls it the DIY approach to exam preparation. It has worked for students in the past, because there are so many resources available online. With access to great study material, question practice, past exam papers and examiner reports, students are well-equipped to prepare for their ACCA exams without needing professional support. Until the recent syllabus change, that is.
Session-based CBE practice runs
With the introduction of SCBE exams and a new case-study exam, ACCA recommends that students should partner with an approved college for exam preparation. In fact, ACCA strongly recommends that students don't attempt their F5-F9 exam without doing a SCBE practice-run at their local college. "You wouldn't go for your driving test straight after having passed your theory test, now would you? You'll practice by driving around and simulate the driving test before you do the real thing," says Mike Gora. The same principle applies here. Nothing compares to in situ practice to get you exam fit. Try a mock exam at home or look out for a college in your area that offers session-based CBE exam practice sessions and make a point of doing a test drive.
SBL case study exams - time comes at a premium
With the introduction of the new SBL case study exam, Mike warns students that what they've done in the past to prepare for exams, won't work on SBL. "If you are clever, passionate and you work hard, but you don't get support from an expert, you are putting yourself at risk," explains Mike. For SBL and the Ethics and Professional Skills Module (EPSM), students will require structured support in addition to the many resources available for students to draw on. Mike feels that the way the exam has changed makes it compulsory for students to seek professional help. "An accountant will understand the risk-benefit of paying for tuition to pass first time, compared to attempting self-study and failing several times," he says. Time is a valuable and scarce commodity, after all.
IBTC is hosting a free SBL case study session in Pretoria on 7 June and in Sandton and Cape Town on 23 June to discuss the new SBL syllabus and exam requirements, as well as case study question practice and debrief. It is open to all students. Book a seat here.