ACCA F6 – Discussion with Examiner

Below is my interpretation of what was discussed in today’s meeting with the Examiner.

Generally computation ie. greater than or equal to 60% of total marks.

Question 1
Only 21% has >15 marks based on sample.
There are more parts to this question.
And this change in question structure is apparently the main reason for the generally poor overall performance of F6 students.

Question 2
56% achieved more than 11 marks based on sample.
The peculiar exceptions below were the killers ie.
– spousal transfer
– tax concession on royalty income of an author
– accrued income concept
– unable to compute net rental income

Question 3
less than 1% achieved more than 11 marks (Shocking!!!!)
Limited Liability Partnership is almost a sure thing for the coming exam.
Students unable to appreciate that past relevant deductions > than contributed capital.

Question 4 – GST
Part (a) and (b) were on GST. Part (c) – not GST.
Examiner said at least 10 marks will be assigned to GST in the exam.
Students unable to address pre-commencement expenses.

Question 5
51% scored more than 11 marks.

Other comments
Students did well in June 2008 exam but did very badly for Dec 2008 exam.
Warning to students – Order of set-off must be correctly stated in the utilisation of Capital Allowances/Losses/Donations.
Budget 2009 will not be examined in June 2009 exam.
Try to find out about tax-on-tax, tax reimbursement and tax allowance for the coming exam.

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ACCA P6 Meeting with the Examiner

The following is my interpretation of what was discussed in the meeting the Examiner this afternoon.

What was done well?
– Knowledge – particularly in personal income tax, recent tax changes and withholding tax (but lacking in mitigation of liability under witholding tax).
– Approach & structure – students are observed to be attempting the more “approachable” questions in Part B first, then Part A. (Statistically from a worldwide basis, questions should be attempted in the order as per numbered ==> otherwise perform badly)

What was not done well?
Students failed to plan their time and answers. How?
Massive download of unnecessary info into the answers.
Don’t produce rote answers.
Don’t do unnecessary calculations.
Unable to structure answers to “advisory” questions.
Students should “tailor” their answer to the requirements of each question.
Poor performance on GST in all three sittings under the new syllabus to date. (wink! wink! study harder in this area)

What to focus on?
Need to know the technical details under F6 being foundation knowledge to P6.
Answer all parts of the questions. Address each paragraph in the question.
Focus on command words.
“What you intend to write must be to earn marks”

Other comment
Do the students have enough questions to practice? The old Paper 3.2 is different from current P6.
When the question asked for “a five-year period”, students only need to do one calculation for 5 years and NOT five single-year calculations.
P6 questions are on multi-tax type basis.

In the last sitting, there was someone who scored “zero” mark despite having written pages after pages. Why? The person spent the time copying the exam questions word for word twice into the answer script.

Students do not seem to under the meaning of “business undertaking”.

Tax cases are examinable. But the participants had a very vigorous discussion on where to get the details of the tax cases.