Change in the format of the Part I of the Qualifying Examination - Effective Part I 2011
In 2008 SAICA commissioned research into the feasibility of reading time for the Part I of the Qualifying Examination. This follows the introduction of reading time for the Part II Financial Management exam in 2007.
The objectives of the research were to:
- Determine the appropriateness of reading time for Part I (as this exam differs in nature to the Part II Financial Management exam); and
- (If considered appropriate) Determine a suitable policy for:
- The amount of reading time; and
- The associated structure of the examination; and
- Allowed activities during the reading time.
The research undertaken was completed by way of a literature study followed by consultation with an expert panel as well as experiment groups.
Based on the findings of the research four alternative models were presented to the Education Committee for consideration of which one of the options were recommended to be adopted by the Education Committee. Details of this are outlined below.
The following format will be followed in the 2011 Part I examination:
- The examiners will set four papers of three hours each; made up of a ½ hour reading time of the scenario (with the "required" not handed out at this stage) and two and a half hours (2½) writing time at which stage the "required" will be handed out. (100 marks per paper = 400 marks in total)
- Each 100 mark examination may comprise of one or more questions (i.e. maybe one 100 mark integrated question or maybe two discrete questions of different marks adding up to 100 marks in total)
- The current subject disciplines will be covered in the same proportions, over the four exams in 2011, as is the current case;
- Two papers will be written per day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon with a 2 hour break between the two papers);
- 30 minutes reading time will be provided for the question without the required being provided. The objective of the reading time is to give students time to calm and collect themselves and familiarise themselves with the scenario outlined in the question;
- 2 ½ hours writing time will be provided for the answering of the question (to enforce this the exam books as well as the "Required" section will only be handed out after the ½ hour reading time is up);
- Each examination session will therefore be three hours in total;
- Candidates will be allowed to highlight and make notes on the "scenario" and consult their reference books during and after the 30 minutes reading time.