Friday, 7 June 2013

Exam Week

This week I sat my first two ACCA exams - F6 Tax and F8 Audit.

I arrived at the test centre to find lots of nervous looking people sat in the sunshine with text book in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  I pushed through the pall of cigarette smoke into the building to find lots of nervous people with a textbook in one hand and a marker pen in the other. Really, what are you going to learn in the 20 minutes before the exam.

The desks were little, I mean really little.  There was not enough room to have the question booklet nor the answer booklet open, they had to be folded over.  Much of the exam time was spent corralling pens, pencils, rulers etc back onto the desk.

We weren't allowed to have sweets on our desk or about our person as these could have answers secreted in the wrapping.  All labels had to be cut off any drinks bottles, I am surprised that we were allowed tissues and hankies.  BUT, we were allowed to have our passports on the desk (we needed these as our ID), how much info could you store in a passport?  We could also have our registration paperwork on our desk, the reverse side of this was full of tiny, tightly packed text, an enterprising cheat could have quite easily made their own version with hints and tips included.

Going into the exams I was more confident about the Tax exam, but this seemed much harder than the questions that I had already studied and answered but I managed to answer every one.

The Audit exam I was not looking forward to, but this seemed much more straightforward and common sense, which means I have either done really well or I have missed something major on each question.

Both exams I finished well within the time allowed and then had to amuse myself as much as I could, or try and nap without snoring, dribbling or farting.  

Why can't we leave the exam room once we have finished the exam?  I really can't see that it would cause any disruption to those still writing, after all we have to cope with invigilators walking up and down; students walking in and out from the toilet (with an invigilator with them); rustling of papers; people sneezing and coughing.  And those are just the 'in room' disturbances.

I can't speak for other test centres, but mine is in the city centre.  Within a 5 minutes walk there are at least 3 bars, several takeaways and restaurants plus the main shopping area, several car parks and the dole office.  It's not a quiet area, there is even a cafe right below the exam room.

During my first exam, the next but one building had a fire drill, we could hear the alarm and all the evacuated staff tramping none-too-quietly past the building in which we were all trying to concentrate.

During my second exam there was a lorry blasting its air horn on and off for a good 15 minutes.  I am assuming by the crashes, rattles and bangs shortly after this that it was making a delivery.

So why would leaving an exam early interrupt people?  In previous exams we have not been allowed to leave in the first 15 minutes or the final 30 minutes, why can't the ACCA adopt this policy?

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