AA Section B – Plan, Prepare, Perform

I am not going to dance around this fact. The AA exam is tough. On the one hand, you MUST absorb and understand the knowledge in the syllabus. In the other, you must develop the skills to apply this knowledge to any scenario the examining team may throw at you.

Constructive response questions can make many students feel apprehensive. When approaching these long, scenario driven questions, it is best to have a strategy. Here is mine…


R        Requirement – Read the requirement first. Before you get side-tracked with all the detailed information in the scenario. It gives you focus.

S        Scenario – THEN actively read the scenario. You know from reading the requirement what you are now looking for. Is it deficiencies in control systems? Is it audit risks? Is it evidence you could use to create a good audit procedure? Highlight as you go.

P        Plan – How many points do you need to generate for maximum marks? 16-mark audit risk question needs 8 audit risks from the scenario. How many do you have? Do you have at least 4 or 5. That could push to you a pass if you answer those well.

C        Create – Create a skeleton answer. Copy and paste ideas from the scenario into your answer area. Or type the ideas you have, briefly, with gaps so you are forming the structure of your answer.

A        Attack – You are on the home straight. Type until there is steam coming off the keyboard. Fill in the gaps with the detail needed to form the full answer. Leave gaps between every point you have raised, to ensure the marker can clearly see the points you have made…and how many!

How does this approach help you? You will get the most out of the time you have. You are not wasting time thinking of each point in detail. You are setting a clear structure which will help you AND the marker who has the joy of marking your answer. Finally, if you are running out of time, you are scoring some half marks for the points you were unable to elaborate.

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