Examiners commented in recent ACCA reports that a number of students appeared to be guessing answers. It is strongly recommended that this is avoided, as a process of logic and reasoning can often guide you to the answer even if it’s not immediately apparent.
However, be aware of ‘distractors’ in ACCA Objective Test/Multiple Choice exams! These are answers that are incorrect but can often fool students as they are in some way related to the question.
Here are what the examiners had to say on this issue and some key advice on how to avoid guessing:
“A minority of submissions suggested that some answers were pure guesswork, and this is supported by the fact that some candidates chose option D for questions where there was no such option. For example, single mark questions can only have A, B or C as a correct answer.” - ACCA F1 Examiner's Report - December 2015
“It is better to attempt questions on the basis of logic and reasoning than to rely on guesses or even sequences. For example, it is clear that some candidates used the latter based on repeated use of consecutive ‘A. B. C, D’ choices. In a minority of cases, some chose distractor D when there were only three choices available (A, B and C).” - ACCA F1 Examiner's Report – June 2015
“Even if the candidate is not certain of the correct answer, by reading and considering the choices carefully it is often possible to eliminate some of them, enabling an informed decision to be made. Questions should not be left unanswered." - ACCA F1 Examiner's Report – June 2015
A tip for students is to try to generate your own answer before looking at the alternatives available. This will help you not to rely on guesswork, and is the best way to avoid the dangers of distractors! If you are unsure, then a process of elimination should help you to narrow down the choice to the most likely answers. Sometimes you may wish to do a negative check on some of the answers in order to rule them out. This is a useful technique to confirm your initial answer is correct or otherwise. Whatever you do though, never rely on guessing or sequences – it just doesn’t work!
Remember, there are no trick questions in the exam! If you know your stuff there is no reason why you shouldn’t do well.
This is just one of the points addressed in our ACCA F1 Examiners' Guide. See what others issues have been identified by going to - ACCA F1 Examiners' Guides