ACCA ‘first-day exam blues’ return

The first day of ACCA exams have again been hit by massive technical issues, with some UK students waiting hours to sit their exams, while others saw them cancelled altogether!

Monday’s sitting of AA and AAA at UK exam centres is being described as a “car crash” and “bit of a shambles” by some sitters.

The exam at Viglen House in London was cancelled after candidates waited five hours to sit the test. One AA PQ explained: “The servers kept crashing and at 5.37pm we were all timed out.”

We have also heard stories of students having to wait three hours to start their exams. Here’s what an AA sitter said: “Did anyone else have technical issues? Our exam (in Bristol, UK) was over three hours late starting. Some of us went from 6.30am to 4pm without any food or water. It was awful.”

There were similar problems in Southampton: “We were in the exam room from about 8.30am and didn’t leave until 2.45pm!” And, the 9am exam at Glasgow Cardonald College didn’t start until 1pm.

The delays at other centres were less severe. In Cardiff it was 40 minutes. There was also a bit of a delay in Manchester too, but as one sitter said: “Overall the whole thing went really well, felt very safe and organised.” Another PQ explained her exam began at 9.30 rather than 9am, but “it was good”. At Norwich Holiday Inn the AAA exam was delayed by 45 minutes.

Students are now being advised to take snacks with them. The banana and even a Twix became the real students’ friend for Monday’s exam wait!

An additional concern is that some candidates had to leave exam centres before the end of the exam because of childcare and work commitments. In future anyone sitting ACCA exams on a Monday may need to block off the whole day.

Meanwhile, students have also reported that their remote exam would not ‘launch’ either. One sitter said they waited over an hour after their appointed time, and still nothing was happening.

Early feedback on Open Tuition shows the AA exam itself was deemed ‘OK’ or ‘easy’ by 69% of September sitters. As one student said: “Predictable content but tested a lot of the syllabus, MCQs were tough in my opinion, more difficult than BPP practice kit.”

Another agreed with those comments and revealed in the long questions they got audit risk, control deficiencies and recommendations, and substantive testing of revenue, bank loan and NCA.

Yet another sitter thought AA was “a sneaky one” this time around.

The AAA exam was judged as generally good and fair. There was a tricky question on leases and a discounted operation for Q2 (for some), but overall, it was felt to be a fair test. Time pressure is always there though.

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