Interpreting and building on your Mock Exam Results

22 July 2020

Even with the strange extended period that the Covid pandemic has given us, there is no getting away from the fact that it's ACA Case Study mock exam season!

Everyone sitting the ICAEW Scour Case Study, whether you're studying with us or another tutor, will be sitting multiple mock exams in the run up to the exam on 26 August.

Whether you have undertaken just one mock exam so far, or a number of them, the important thing now is to understand your mark and, more importantly, how to use it to help develop your exam technique. 

Our first piece of advice is don't try to turn your mark into an ICAEW mark. 

We know some other tutors do this using the raw mark out of 240, but it is not accurate and does not help you understand where you need to improve - at worst it can give misplaced confidence. You can watch the 5 minute video on what is a pass, and who better to explain ICAEW Case Study competency marking than the man who led its creation?

To pass the Case Study you need a minimum of 50% competent grades (SC or CC) in each of the Requirements, and the Executive Summary, and the Overall paper. This is the first thing to look for. If you haven't met this criteria you have failed, no matter what your total raw mark is. Then you need to look into the detail of the marking key, see where you have been awarded marks and the areas you need to cover next time.

If you have met the criteria - great, you've beaten the first hurdle. But look carefully at your profile of marks. How many CCs, how many SCs? You should be aiming at a minimum 1:2 ratio. If you have more IDs than ICs this might move you back into the danger zone. There isn't a set number of NA grades that causes an automatic fail, but if you have 3 or more you are not giving yourself enough of a chance to pass - why are you missing whole elements of the question? How can you make sure you cover these in future?

Now you have undertaken the self-analysis you need to hone your skills and look at how you can improve. 

Think about:

Timing: Can you complete each element in the time allowed? If not, what do you need to be quicker at?

Technique: Are you confident in building efficient appendices and concise paragraphs? Do you know how to use your planning to write enough, but not too much?

Content: Is there anything that was in the marking key that you didn't cover? How will you make sure you identify and answer all elements of the question?

Finally, don't underestimate the pressure of exam day. What strategies will put in place to help keep you calm, keep you focused? Practising with these now will make them familiar on exam day and you can get into your process to get the job done.

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