If I were to do a performance evaluation, using The Building Blocks (Dimensions - Determinants) model, I would conclude that ACCA is performing rather poorly. Please consider my following arguments:
Innovation – ACCA got stuck in the 1990’s, still having people taking pen & paper exams. Hello, ACCA, please wake up! It’s the 2016 and everybody is using computers/smartphones/tablets nowadays, with pen & paper probably being used only for grocery lists. When are planning to innovate and introduce CBEs for P level papers?!
Service quality – Consequently, I’m very dissatisfied with the service quality provided by ACCA in terms of exams options. Basically I’m fed up of failing professional level exams, and having to resit them again and again (incurring all the relevant costs: examination fees, including traveling, accommodation and special exam centre fees; days off taken from work for study; lost family time and the stress created as a result) due to not having enough time to write my answer in full. Because I have prepared intensively for this exam (and others in the past) and if I were allowed more time or the same 3 hours time, but using a computer instead of pen and paper, I would definitely get a pass. It’s very frustrating to know the answer but not having time to put it down on paper. Maybe for native English speaking students it’s ok, but this creates an unfair advantage over international students.
Resource utilization - Another issue is that, because I almost don’t use handwriting in my professional and personal life, my handwriting is horrible (I even have to take painkillers after each exam to calm my sore hand after writing without stopping for 3 hours) and I assume that I’m being penalized also for this as markers are having difficulties sometimes in understanding what I wrote down on the answer booklet. By introducing CBEs this will eliminate the need for scanning all the answer booklets, improve the marking times (markers being able to understand the computer writing much faster than thousands different hand written answers), making better use of resources, optimizing costs and making possible the release of results even faster (cycle time!).
Flexibility – Currently, with paper based option only, ACCA is very inflexible, and as I mentioned before, stuck in the past. There should be possibility for selecting the preferred exam method between paper based and computer based. If organizing CBEs for P level paper it’s a problem of costs, I’ll be willing to pay the extra cost for doing computer instead of paper based exams.
So, am I the only one that feels this way?!
I sincerely support your position for the CBE exam as much of the accountant work are now computer base.
Hoping to see the ACCA exam P's in CBE
No my fellow student, you are definitely not alone!
And gotta say that painkiller idea is Great! Personally, I avoid eating painkillers because it's unnatural and I've a good pain threshold, eating maximum three painkillers a year, but if it gets me the 15 extra minutes in the exam that I waste due to my sore hand (considering breaks and slowed down writing) I'll do it...
So my question to you is, when do you eat it? During the exam or right before the exam?
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Handwriting is a big problem and especially with international students, who are not familiar with English writing as those native students. For P5 I think, it's becoming more of an English writing test. Despite all the syllabus related knowledge,case study and analytical skills we have, we are still at a great disadvantage to write fluently as native students. At least I find it difficult to write flat out without any revision. Writing with a computer is more reasonable.
But anyway, I think you need to practise your writing skills. Practise as many questions as possible under time stress. And you'll find it easier with the learning curve.
P5 is really a killer. Good luck.