Some advice on which ICAN papers to take next..

Here is some advice from years of teaching all papers

Now that you are preparing for your ICAN May 2017 diet exam – here’s a little food for thought on which paper to take next..

Wordy and Numbers papers together: QT & Business Finance, AA with FRE, MGE with PM, Case Study with corporate reporting or SFM etc. These are generally wise choices BUT (and its a big BUTT 😉 people who do this have a tendency to over focus on the numbers paper. Avoid this at all costs – generally split your studying 60%-40% (in favour of the numbers paper) but no more than this. The key to the wordy papers is generally past paper / question technique – this takes time.

Do Financial Reporting before Audit and Assurance (or together): Just because you will feel more comfortable with some audit risks.

Do Corporate Reporting as soon as possible after Financial Reporting: There is a lot of common ground, but you will find the groups techniques particularly useful again.

Do Advanced Audit and Assurance as soon as possible after Corporate Reporting: This is really, really helpful as the basic principles of corporate reporting standards (not calculations though) are all vital in Advanced Audit and Assurance.

Do Management, Governance and Ethics as soon as possible after Audit and Assurance (or together): There is a lot of common ground regarding internal audit and corporate governance which will help you.

Don’t do SFM or Case Study alone: Controversial advice this – but I strongly believe in it just because there is a tendency then to “overstudy” these papers. Many students who during the Skill papers relied on hard study and memory work – and did really well with this before – suddenly find this doesn’t work for these papers. The key is not studying everything – the key is understanding principles and then APPLYING them. This means cut back on the overstudying of knowledge and focus on past papers and approach to questions. And all I’m saying is doing 1 of these papers alone – tends to make you overstudy the knowledge and actually start confusing yourself about what the papers actually want.

If taking 3 papers – try and ensure at least 1 is wordy: These are less technical and need less knowledge work – MGE is a good filler paper if you want to take 3 this session

Advanced Audit and Assurance needs a rethink of your technique and thus more time: As mentioned earlier it builds on Corporate reporting (and AA) and needs to be done asap after corporate reporting particularly – however do be aware that the technique for this paper is vastly different. The examiner expects are a far greater range of points and thus knowledge than any of the other papers – so it’s a proper combination of lots of knowledge work and application skills. Therefore be wary of doing this alongside more than 1 other paper.

Whatever you choose I hope this has helped your thinking a little – they’re not meant to be rules, rather just things for you to consider when choosing the paper to write next.

To your exam success,

Alluh Nelson.

P.S:  Our current economy situation won’t last forever and I will really like you to prepare yourself for future opportunities now. You know opportunity and chance is not within your current but what within your control is your preparation to maximize future success. After all, life is predictable so this implies that what you do now will determine where you will be tomorrow and that why we are working very hard to resist the pressure of increasing the prices of our comprehensive video lectures so that you can take advantage of the videos by getting your copy now because early preparation matters a lot and time wait for no man.


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