The ACCA June exam feedback – your paper-by-paper guide

Here’s the June 2021 feedback sitters sent us:


The first comment we saw was “it wasn’t very difficult”, let’s hope the pass rate reflects that. Among the questions were transfer pricing, budgeting, ABC, linear programming and variances, and financial and non-financial and ZBB. There was also CVP, CRM software, PM of a trust, performance pyramid and league tables, VFM, and the decision tree. So, lots of syllabus coverage there.


“Tough, especially section C,” was one comment. Another sitter admitted they had a panic attack: “Worst exam I have written in my life.” Lots of stuff on PPE and consolidation. Goodwill was there too and ratios and analysis of performance. Sitters found the P&L question hard, and the ratio one “not bad”.


Sitters found June a hard test, especially section C. Others struggled with the OTs. As one student said you sit in a hot and stuffy room with a mask on and the internet is slow. Then the examiner throws a curved ball to trick you! Another just said: “So over ACCA.”


An “OK” exam this time around. Some however found MCQs hard. Among the questions were NPV with analysis and CAPM. There was even something on Islamic finance.


MCQs a bit tricky and “nothing like the mocks”. The long questions were felt to be generally ‘OK’ and ‘fine’. Some sitters found it hard, and admitted not being ready for the valuation of inventory question. The length of the scenarios meant some PQs ran out of time. “They were all sooo long!” One sitter felt that the questions were similar to previous exam papers, so doing past papers helped. Particularly audit risks, deficiencies in internal control and substantive procedures. But time management was still key to success. Overall sitters felt this one was passable. When we looked at the Open Tuition the poll the June exam at 49% ‘OK’ and 28% ‘hard’.


A fair exam, said many. One sitter said there was nothing difficult but they didn’t study charities enough. Another said: “Exam wasn’t really hard, no slides, no models, questions were fair, but it was too long. Eight exhibits is too many.” Yet another was worried that an IT project manager could sit the exam and probably pass it!


A very timed pressured test, with not enough time to think. Sitters were worried about the ‘bizarre’ nature of some of the questions. Where, asked one PQ, are pollutants emissions and intangible assets in the past papers? The Open Tuition poll found this to be the hardest paper paper in June. Some 42% of June’s sitters said it was ‘hard’ and a further 26% said it was a ‘disaster’.


There was too much reading for some. Using the allocated time to answer all the questions was also a challenge. One PQ said: “The questions surrounding brand awareness and brand loyalty threw me from the outset. The question in the final section about budget setting and variance, I found difficult to answer and time consuming.” Questions included budgeting and ABM, big data, the performance pyramid, evaluation of indicators, VFM and league tables, and VBM and NPV. Sitters told us they found section A tricky and C “quite straightforward”.


June sitters struggled to finish this one. One had nothing on groups, which they found just too weird. Some candidates had to wait over 3 hours to sit and just didn’t feel right when it finally started.


An exam “between easy and hard”! Time pressure was a big complaint. Question included appraisal with NPV and real options, exchange rate hedging. OTC and trade options, and shareholder values and reverse takeovers. There were also questions on WACC and APV and foreign investment appraisal.


Many sitters ran out of time. “I finished three quarters of it and run out of time – it’s going to be a tough one to pass”. People who got the due diligence and ethics questions seemed happiest. Overall, though this was deemed both difficult and lengthy. Weird was another word used for the June sitting. Yet another said: “the exam feels like a lottery with a £150 entrance ticket.” In chatrooms many students were looking to the resit already! There was also a call to reduce the number of exhibits. Having one small screen really prevents students doing the best with them. As one PQ pointed out they haven’t worked on one screen at work since 2010! “That’s the real world.” Worryingly, the Open Tuition poll had this exam as a ‘disaster’ for 19% and was hard for another 40%.