Convenient e-assessments are coming your way

Mar 02, 2020
The CAP 1 Management Accounting interim assessment can now be taken online in your home, but that doesn’t mean your preparation has changed. Philip Nicolls explains how you should approach your upcoming e-assessment.

April 2020 brings the transition of the CAP 1 Management Accounting interim assessment to our e-assessment platform. Hopefully, you will find that moving the assessment out of the exam hall is more convenient and less stressful. As you prepare for the interim assessment, it is important to remember that good exam technique is largely unchanged by the move to e-assessment and just as important as before.

Preparation

As ever, practising exam standard questions in exam conditions is the best possible preparation for the assessment. The examinations department has provided two mock interim assessments. These will allow you to familiarise yourself with the e-assessment platform, as well as test your knowledge and practice your exam technique. 

Unsurprisingly, the Double-entry Bookkeeping (DEBK) and Law assessments earlier in the year showed a high correlation between performance on the mock assessments and performance on the actual assessment. Many of the poorest performances were from candidates who didn’t attempt the mock assessments at all.

It’s important to remember that the scope of the assessment hasn’t changed for 2020 and so, the past papers from 2018 and 2019 are also a great resource. Be sure to read the examiner’s comments, too.
On a practical note, you should use the ‘test my equipment’ functionality on the ProctorU homepage well in advance of the assessment to validate your hardware, software and internet connection.

Assessment tips

Here are some top tips to remember on the day of your assessment:

Make sure that you are set up in good time. Twenty minutes before the assessment is not the time to realise that you have lost your power cable or that someone has changed the WiFi password.

Read the requirement carefully. For the multiple-choice questions in Section A, make sure that you carefully read all of the available answers – don’t just choose the first one that sounds right.

Include your work. Just like on a paper assessment, most of the available marks in a quantitative requirement are for following the correct method, not for having perfect arithmetic. Some of the e-assessment will include a box for you to show your work. Make sure that you input that work in the same amount of detail you would for a paper exam. This allows the examiner to award you marks for method, even if your final answer is not fully correct.

Provide enough detail. For the qualitative requirements, avoid using overly brief bullet points. Be sure to include as much detail as you would on a paper assessment.
Manage your time and prioritise your answers. As ever, the amount of time that you spend on a requirement should be proportional to the number of marks available. The Management Accounting interim assessment has 100 available marks and lasts for 75 minutes. For example, you should spend no more than six minutes on an eight-mark question. If you reach a question that you know you are going to struggle with, it might be better to skip it and come back at the end. To see which questions you have not completed in your e-assessment, click the overview button on the screen. This allows you to quickly navigate back to any unanswered questions. You can also ‘flag’ any questions that you want to highlight for further attention later.

Attempt every requirement. There is no negative marking so give everything an answer, particularly for the multiple-choice questions. Even if you are not completely sure of the correct answer, rule out the answers that you know are wrong and then go with an educated guess! It’s better than not filling it in at all.

Practising good exam technique from the outset will pay huge dividends, not just in your interim assessment, but also in the main exams, CAP 2 and all the way to FAE.

Philip Nicolls is the Examinations Executive at Chartered Accountants Ireland.