In 2008 SAICA commissioned research into the feasibility of introducing reading time for the Part I of Qualifying Examination.
The research was undertaken 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, the Committee recommended adopting the following model, the details of which are outlined below.
Effective from 2011 the following format is followed for the Part I examination:
- The examiners will set four papers of three hours each. These will be made up of a half-hour (½) reading time of the scenario (with the required section not handed out at this stage) and two and a half hours (2½) writing time at which stage the required section will be handed out (100 marks per paper = 400 marks in total)
- Each 100 mark examination may comprise one or more questions (that is, either one 100 mark integrated question or two discrete questions of different marks adding up to 100 marks in total)
- The current subject disciplines will be covered in the same proportions
- Two papers will be written per day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon with a two-hour break between the two papers)
- 30 minutes’ reading time will be allowed for the question without the required section 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
- 2½ hours’ writing time will be provided for answering the question (to enforce this the exam books as well as the required section will only be handed out after the half-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