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GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR EXAM

PREPARATION
CPA PROGRAM AND PRACTICE MANAGEMENT EXAMS
SEMESTER 2 2015

CONTENTS

PART A: EXAM MARK ALLOCATIONS....2

PART B: GUIDELINES TO ANSWERING EXTENDED RESPONSE QUESTIONS*.4


Overview4
Table of instruction words....6

*Extended response questions may also be referred to as written response questions.

PART A: EXAM MARK ALLOCATIONS

Advanced Audit and Assurance


Exam consists of 90 multiple choice questions (1 mark per question)
Exam total = 90 marks
Advanced Taxation
Exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions (1 mark per question)
Exam total = 60 marks
Contemporary Business Issues
Exam consists of 80 multiple choice questions (1 mark per question)
Exam total = 80 marks
Ethics and Governance
Section A Multiple choice questions totalling 60 marks (1 mark per question)
Section B Extended response questions comprises 2 case studies totalling 25 marks
Exam total = 85 marks
Financial Reporting
Section A Multiple choice questions totalling 45 marks (1 mark per question)
Section B Extended response questions comprises 2 case studies totalling 20 marks
Exam total = 65 marks

Financial Risk Management


Exam consists of 70 multiple choice questions (1 mark per question)
Exam total = 70 marks

Global Strategy and Leadership


Section A Multiple choice questions totalling 16 marks (1 mark per question)
Section B Extended response questions comprises 1 minor case study totalling 30 marks
Section C Extended response questions comprises 1 major case study totalling 34 marks
Exam total = 80 marks
Malaysia Taxation
Section A Multiple choice questions totalling 20 marks (1 mark per question)
Section B Extended response questions comprises 4 cases studies totalling 60 marks
Exam total = 80 marks
Practice Management
Section A Multiple choice questions totalling 50 marks (1 mark per question)
Section B Extended response questions comprises 2 case studies totalling 30 marks
Exam total = 80 marks

Singapore Taxation
Extended response questions comprises 5 case studies totalling 100 marks
Exam total = 100 marks

Strategic Management Accounting


Section A Multiple choice questions totalling 60 marks (1 mark per question)
Section B Extended response questions comprises 2 case studies totalling 25 marks
Exam total = 85 marks

PART B: GUIDELINES TO ANSWERING EXTENDED RESPONSE QUESTIONS


Overview
The exams for the following subjects include a combination of multiple choice questions and extended response
questions (extended response questions may also be referred to as written response questions):
Ethics and Governance
Financial Reporting
Global Strategy and Leadership
Malaysia Taxation
Practice Management
Singapore Taxation (extended response questions only)
Strategic Management Accounting
Extended response exam questions are designed to assess your knowledge and understanding of key concepts,
and your ability to apply these concepts to a set of case facts and scenarios.
Provided in this section are guidelines to assist you in answering extended response exam questions.
Allow sufficient time to answer the questions
The exam outlines the suggested time allocation for the multiple choice and extended response sections. Check
your exam structure document for the marks allocated to extended response questions.
You can use the information in Part A of this document to calculate how much time to spend on the exam
questions. For example, if the extended response questions are worth 60 marks out of 80, you would spend 75 per
cent of the exams total time of three hours and 15 minutes on the extended response questions, or approximately
two hours and 30 minutes.
Ensure you do not spend more than the allocated time on the extended response questions. For the
multiple-choice questions, if you dont know the answer to a question, move on. If you have time left at the end of
the exam, you can come back to finish any incomplete questions or to select an answer for a multiple choice
question.

Read the questions carefully to gain a clear understanding of what is expected in your answers
You should ensure you answer the question that has been asked. If, for example, you are asked to explain two
items but you explain more than two, only your first two items will be marked.
The question will include an important instruction word which tells you what you have to do. The table on pages 6
and 7 lists some of the most commonly used words and their meanings.

Use a logical structure in your answer. Consider the issues involved and apply them to the facts of the
case.
Marks will be given for a well-explained and logical argument that identifies relevant issues. It may help to prepare
an outline of your answer first.
You should support your argument with appropriate references to the facts of the case study. Marks are not
deducted for incorrect answers.

Keep to the point


Marks are awarded for the content of your answer. Your response should include sufficient detail to
cover the relevant issues and to clearly answer the question. Marks will not be awarded for quoting sections of the
study guide, for repeating the question or for providing information that is not related to answering the question.
You can use the number of marks allocated to each question as a guide to the appropriate length of your response.
For example, the answer to a question worth four marks would be expected to be significantly shorter than the
answer for a 10 mark question.

Use a clear layout for your answers


Consider using headings and sub-headings
You may wish to present your answer in point form where this is sufficient to answer the question.

Table of instruction words


Instruction word

What you are required to do

Analyse

Look further into an issue than simply describing or explaining it.

Break the issue down into its parts, highlighting the structure and relationships.

Examine each part of the issue in detail and interpret it in terms of its effects.

Apply

Use a theoretical concept or a principle and relate it to the case facts or to the information
provided.

Argue

Present the case for or against a particular opinion, idea or view and come to a conclusion.

Compare/contrast

Note the similarities and differences between an opinion, idea or view.

Critically examine /
explore

Give your view about the merit of theories or opinions.

Support your view by a discussion of the evidence or facts.

Define

Set down or clarify the precise meaning of a word or phrase.

Describe

Give a detailed account of the term or issue.

Discuss

Describe the various parts of the issue or problem.

Look at the issue from a number of different aspects.

Consider various parts of the issue or problem.

Investigate or examine by argument or debate, giving reasons for and against.

Provide a conclusion based on your arguments.

Determine the importance of the issue when compared to other issues.

Assess the validity of an argument or conclusion.

Include your personal opinion and come to a conclusion supported by appropriate facts,
evidence or reasoning.

Define the issue or concept and break it down into its parts.

Describe each part in depth.

Describe the implications.

In a step-by-step manner, give the reasons for how or why something is the way it is.

Make plain, interpret, and make your points in detail.

Identify

State or give the information asked for, with reference to its characteristics or features if
applicable.

Illustrate

Use an example to explain and make clear.

Interpret

Explore the meaning of, and make clear.

Usually give your own judgment or come to a conclusion as well.

Explain the reasons and basis for decisions or conclusions.

Provide evidence to support your arguments.

Name or identify a number of factors.

Evaluate

Examine

Explain/Show

Justify

List

Instruction word

What you are required to do

Outline

Describe the main features or general principles.

Briefly describe the structure and relationship of the points made.

Describe how things are connected to each other.

Describe to what extent they are alike or affect each other.

Review

Consider, investigate, analyse or explain, examining the subject critically.

State

Specify fully and clearly.

Summarise

Give a concise account of the main points, omitting unnecessary details and examples.

Relate

[Adapted from Marshall, L. & Rowland, F. (1998) A guide to learning independently, third edition, Longman:
Personal Education Australia]