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18 October 2018

The essentials of Case Study script presentation

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Our first Bespoke Monogramming Mock Exam was released as part of our Exam Technique Masterclass, and the lucky students in class have submitted their scripts for marking. Mock 2 will be live tomorrow, Friday 19 October. Whether you are on one of our courses that includes marking, working with our Mock Exams as part of Pass Assist, or working with another tutor, make sure you cover these essentials in all your Case Study scripts:

  1. You will write your script pretty much in reverse order, but Markers are expecting to see a report: Disclaimer, Executive Summary, Requirements 1 - 3, then Appendices 1 - 3. Remember, in this exam you have a pad of answer paper, not a booklet. Keeping your pages organised on a small exam desk is a skill in itself.
  2. You are told to number your pages - make sure you do this. If you don't, not only will you lose a bullet but also the marker will have to do it for you, which will immediately put them in a bad mood. Beware - writing on your script, even page numbers, after you've been told to put down your pen will lead to disqualification from the exam. This does happen, ICAEW have a zero tolerance policy.
  3. You must ensure your script is legible. Simple things like double spacing your paragraphs can help if you know your handwriting deteriorates as the exam goes on.
  4. Keep your answer pages in portrait, don't turn them landscape for your appendices. Markers hate this because they can't reference your work properly in the marking key, and also it means you have too many columns in your Appendix - you don't need more than 6.
  5. As you are told on the front of the exam paper, you can only submit work on the ICAEW answer paper. Calculations submitted on the exam itself or pre-prepared sheets will not be marked - so you do need to write out the detail of your Appendix pro-formas.
  6. Make sure you use headings so that the marker can follow your work - but these must be meaningful. DO NOT use headings that you wouldn't see in a professional report, such as "Requirement 1", "Ethics" or "Professional Scepticism". Your conclusions must be under the heading "Conclusions" otherwise they will not be marked.
  7. Your language must be appropriate for a professional report and your target audience. Don't overtly blame the BM Board for any failings, and don't use casual phrases.
  8. Don't neglect your Executive Summary - failing this element means you fail overall. Your ES is the "key story" - the overall position, including key numbers and conclusions and recommendations. As tempting as it may be, the Examiner has specifically stated that you should not copy conclusions and recommendations in from your main report.

Finally, ICAEW's Instructions to Candidates are available on their website. Make sure you read these as the Case Study arrangements are different to other exams.

Pass Assist

Our Pass Assist material is available to all now and includes:

  • AI Analysis material
    • FSA, AI notes, Business Issues, SWOT, Porter's, PESTLE
  • 3 x BM Mock Exams
    • Exam paper, illustrative planning sheets, illustrative answer, marking key
  • 2 x Masterclass videos
    • AI Masterclass - check your AI preparation using our classroom exercises
    • Exam Technique Masterclass - Neil shows you step by step how to answer the Case Study exam, using BM Mock Exam 1