How to pass Strategic Professional papers

Richard Clarke

Passing a Strategic Professional paper (P paper)

Needs a different approach to passing an F paper (Applied Knowledge and Skills )

You've heard it a million times before, but as a full time tutor for all my working life I am here to tell you absolutely, you NEED to understand why ACCA split F and P papers

Then you need to apply that in your exams

P stands for PROFESSIONAL - meaning people come to you for advice, as a professional

So let's say that someone asks for your advice regarding an Investment property they have in USA - and they want to know the accounting implications..

In response you tell them how it would be recorded if it was leased (it's not) and if it was serviced by themselves (it's not) and if they only owned 60% of the building (they don't)... 

They would think you're slightly crazy but more to the point they're paying you for your time. They don't care about anything else except their SPECIFIC SCENARIO - and your advice would be not only useless, it would cost them money.. 

So the answer in real life is the same as in the exam, BE SPECIFIC TO THE SCENARIO or fail the exam... your choice

So you're thinking - "Yeah, yeah Richard, if it's that easy then why did I (and so many others fail)..

Well there's 3 reasons for that

  1. You have got used to regurgitating textbooks and showing off knowledge only in previous F papers (and it working)

  2. You spent all your time studying from a textbook and not DOING questions

  3. You didn't read the examiners comments or see enough questions tackled by an expert

How should I prepare for a P (wordy) papers?

Learn the basic principles of all areas (Knowledge) - 15% of your time

Practice questions and see experts approach these papers - 85% of your time

  1. So get the basic knowledge (e.g. SBL learn the models and theories - BASICS!)

  2. Then start to understand that the ANSWER IS IN THE SCENARIO

  3. This means you must USE ALL THE SCENARIO

  4. Do not be scared - or be too clever - let the SCENARIO LEAD YOUR ANSWERS

  5. Get used to noticing "Unnecessary" words or phrases which is the examiner trying to help you

  6. Read Examiners Reports (use exam centre and these are right next to the answer on acowtancy)

Use classroom if you can afford it - it follows this approach entirely
If you can't afford it - get in touch with me - these P papers are very very passable

As for the P (numbers) papers - these are different

They still need the same SCENARIO SPECIFIC methods

However you also need to learn and practice techniques - that takes time and repetition - again get in touch with me and I can help

Overall though - please follow this advice as much as you can and there's still plenty of time left to revise and PASS these P papers

All the very best


Need inspiration for your studying? Check our Online classrooms: