Are the Short Form Questions worth doing?
Audit and Assurance

Are the Short Form Questions worth doing?

April 28, 2021

We always advise our students to be quite careful in relation to the Short Form Questions in A&A.

Okay, so they are presented at the start of the paper so it may seem logical to attempt them first but actually you get very little credit per point made in the Short Form Questions compared to the later parts of the paper.

Additionally, the Short Form Questions can often test quite niche areas compared to the later parts of the paper where there is more scope still to pick up the marks: even though you might not know anything about a specific part of the longer questions, you can score well on other topics and there may be more marks available than can actually be awarded by the marker, meaning that you can still score very highly even if you don't match all the points – on the other hand, in the Short Form Questions, the acceptable points will normally exactly match the marks available so if you miss any of those points, there is no way to score full marks.

Overall, the Short Form Questions require quite a lot of effort relative to the reward obtained so you may well find it better to leave these until the end of your attempt or at least not to do them first.

There doesn’t seem to be much point in doing a tricky and relatively badly rewarded part of the exam first as this can end up leading to a time trap if you invest too much into this first part of the exam, understandably feeling that there is still plenty of time to go because you only just started the paper …

The ACA examinations are horrendously time pressured so there will often be times when you need to think quite “strategically” in terms of the order in which you do things. Annoying but true.

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