How to Pass ACCA Strategic Business Leader Paper - Webriology

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How to Pass ACCA Strategic Business Leader Paper

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How to Pass ACCA Strategic Business Leader Paper - Webriology
How to Pass ACCA Strategic Business Leader Paper 

This is probably one of the most common questions that people ask about the Strategic Business Leader paper, how to pass it when this is a relatively newer addition to ACCA papers and not many tutors or students have had a chance to sit for this paper.

So let's look at first of all what makes this paper slightly trickier. We won't say the paper is difficult, because difficult is a relative term. For one student who has put in all the efforts before the exams will find any paper relative easier compared to someone who hasn’t put in any efforts, they will definitely find it difficult. So coming back to the point, what makes it tricky. Well for starters, the paper is 4 hours long, which is the longest for any ACCA paper. Secondly the paper was only introduced about a couple of years ago in September 2018, therefore there isn’t much precedent or a lot of prior papers for students to get a good feel of the real deal. Though ACCA does try its best to come up with the required content, it can never be enough. Lastly, the paper is very subjective and case study based. Therefore even if you aren’t fully well versed with the textbook but you do have good business and consulting knowledge, then the chances are you’ll clear the paper. On the other hand, someone who has really dug deep into the books, may not clear the exam because the paper is all about deep understanding of the concepts.

So the above were some of the key challenges that make clearing the Strategic Business Leader paper slightly tricky, so what can one do? For starters, do definitely go through the approved content text books like Kaplan or BPP so that you understand the kind of models etc. covered. Make sure you understand if there are any new syllabus areas that have been added, ACCA is known to update the syllabus on a regular basis. Therefore newer concepts like Initial Coin Offer (ICO), Crypto currency, Cloud computing etc. were recently added to the syllabus. So make sure you know these bits, as chances are that these would be picked up first in the exam sitting.

Next is the knowledge of the multiple models that are referred to when answering the question. You should know that these models are not prescriptions but a general guide, and can be used for answering the questions. We would also suggest that you try and stick to these models as they are relatively easier to implement. Therefore models like Porters PESTEL model, or Ansoff's strategy Matrix, or the Heatmap of probability and likelihood would all be very good to use in the answers. These models are recognisable by the examiner therefore make good use of them. We would suggest creating a table of models and scenarios where they are used so that it's easier for you to recollect and even revise.

Next and probably the most important is the professional marks equalling 20% of the paper. You need to ensure that you look at the EPSM (Ethics and Professional Skills Module) before you do this exam. It is probably a suicide if you don’t look at this Module before you sit the exam. Along with this, practice as much as possible the professional bits like Communication, Commercial Acumen, Analysis, Evaluation and Scepticism. All of these skills are examined therefore you should know what to exhibit in your answer to get full professional marks. Remember these are the hardest to get, therefore please to practice these bits before sitting the exam if you really want to clear it. All the best!

About Author:

Zaheer Sayed, is one of the oldest ACCA members in India having passed out ACCA exams in December 2007 from London. Has vast work experience of over 14 years, having worked with Ernst and Young in Stat Audits to working as Associate Director at the UBS Bank, has in-depth knowledge of the finance and accounting world. On the academic side, he has been teaching for almost 10 years, with ACCA teaching experience of over 6 years specialising in Reporting, Tax and Audits. Has also co-authored over 20 titles for a leading publication house in Pune on varied topics like Economics, Audit, Accounting, etc.


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