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5 tips for passing a numerical paper in an accountancy exam

Here are 5 top tips from a Kaplan tutor on how to pass a numerical paper if you're studying for an Accountancy qualification.

1. Do not re-write the requirement

Or provide introduction paragraphs. You will not be awarded any marks. This is a waste of time. Get straight into your answer and do not waffle.

2. Think about the layout to your answer

Following the requirement, you need to set up your proforma & workings ready to fill in as you work through the question. This will help you to answer set requirement in a logical, structured way. Leave space in your proformas or workings so you can go back and add in any extra points as you work through the question.

3. You must allocate your time

Too often students do not manage their time correctly and end up spending 5 minutes on the final question. You have to be ruthless with time management. Generally you have 1.8 minutes per mark. Work out your time allocation for each part of a question and stick to it. It is difficult to pass an exam when you have only attempted parts of it. Missing out questions will seriously hinder your chances of success.

4. Watch your writing

This is a classic exam hint. It sounds obvious but you would be amazed at the writing markers have to read. If the marker cannot read the script then how can they mark it. To put it simply: think more, write less, and focus on making what you write clear and legible.

5. Show your workings

If you have to calculate a number say depreciation, capital allowance or NPV then show all your workings. You should also cross reference your workings to your answer. If you cross reference your workings into the answer and your final answer is incorrect, then the marker will go and have a look at your working and give you method marks in your working; in this way you can still pick up many of the marks available even if you do not have the right answer. If you do not provide cross referenced workings, then the marker cannot do this and you will not pick up any marks. Workings are vital!