We take a look at the paper-by-paper feedback from AA, AAA, TX, ATX, PM and APM.

We aren’t talking ‘calculator-gate’ here, or the problems with webcams and connectivity here. That will come in the magazine, out on 12 March. Make sure you have your free subscription at

Here’s the feedback from the first three days of the exams:


‘Pretty much straightforward’ and ‘reasonable’ were two comments in the chatrooms post the AA exam. Substantive procedures, preconditions of an audit, and asserts came up.

Time management was an issue for some. The Open Tuition poll has the March exam as 58% OK, and 8% easy!


‘Weird’ and ‘strange’ is how sitters described this one. It was the ethics question that was deemed weird. Some 20% found this paper a ‘disaster’ in the Open Tuition poll.


Not too difficult, although some found the tax planning question a bit tricky, particularly the employer occupational pension donations bit.


In the Open Tuition poll this paper was a disaster for 30% of sitters and hard for another 43%! One PQ went further and called us an ‘absolute disaster’. A resit student explained they had spent too long on the other questions, so failed to answer the one about relocation costs (worth 15 marks). Another admitted that they “didn’t know what hit me!”


This one was described as ‘relatively straightforward’ and ‘fair’, with Q3 seen as the ‘problem’ – it asked students to come up with suggestions to improve efficiency of a product process. Quite a few sitters said their exam froze with 15 minutes to go too.  

Re-sit PQs were pleased that there was less to read this time around: “I spent 30 minutes reading the scenario compared to 70 minutes in December.” However, other said the exhibits were too small – the examiner can’t seem to win!

The worry for many was the answers seemed to ‘appear’ in the in the exhibits and “all we needed to do was extract the relevant bits and slightly tailor our answers”.


Quite pleasant, is how one sitter described this Spring’s sitting. Another found the MCQs “kinda confusing”, a fellow sitter agreed that they “were trickier”.

It would have paid off in the exam to have read the chapter on elasticity, as there was a very easy question on this topic. It wasn’t so easy if you skipped that one! The paper one student sat had zero variance questions. They were upset because it is their favourite topic!


The art of passing APM was to answer the question set not the one you wished to be set! Some PQs also admitted they had to read through the questions a few times to understand what the examiner was asking for; “I had difficulty understanding the question”.