Everything you need to know about your exams
All students must register annually with the CGISA and have their registration accepted. Payment is due with the application form.
First time students need to submit the following documents:
- Completed manual registration form
- Proof of payment
- Certified copy of ID document,
- Certified copy of school certificate, or
- Other appropriate documents e.g. valid passport, valid study permit, SAQA verification certificate of foreign results, etc.
Once your registration has been approved, you will receive a student number from the CGISA and can register yourself online in order to enrol for your exams.
If your registration and examination fees are not paid before the cut-off date, you will be liable for any outstanding fees. Furthermore if you don’t supply the correct documentation with your enrolment form the CGISA will block your exam enrollment until such time as the correct documentation is provided.
If you are re-registering with the CGISA you are not required to submit the documentation required for first time students. The CGISA will send you reminders regarding registration fees. Online registration can be done for re-registrations – proof of payment must accompany the registration.
You can only request to postpone an exam if you have paid your fees in full. Please refer to the postponement closing dates on the CGISA website. Postponements requested after those dates will not be permitted and the examination fees will be forfeited. You are allowed only one postponement per module, which is valid for 6 months. Thereafter you must reregister for the subject. A request for a postponement is only applicable for the following examination sitting.
Once registration has closed no cancellation, regardless of the reason, will be accepted. If you cancel your exam before the closing date a 10% cancellation fee will be charged per examination.
Examinations are written in May and October each year. The timetable is available on CGISA’s website: www.chartsec.co.za.
Official examination centres are posted on the CGISA’s website: www.chartsec.co.za. You can request a special examination centre if you are not in a position to write at the official examination centres. You would need to pay the fees for a special centre in addition to the registration and examination fees.
PRE –EXAM CHECKLIST
Sourced from the ACCA website
We provide guidance on preparing for your exams, including what to bring with you on the day, regulations, how to maximise opportunities for earning marks and how to organise your exam answers
Examination Attendance Dockets are dispatched three weeks before your first exam. The Examination Attendance Docket includes a timetable of all the exams you are entered for, and details the desk assigned to you for each paper. Importantly, it also gives the address of your exam centre. If you are not sure where the centre is, how to get there, or how long the journey may take, check out your route before the exam. Make allowances for rush hour traffic or other possible delays if your exam starts at a busy time of day. Try to arrive at the exam centre about 30 minutes before the exam is due to start. This will give you time to relax and prepare yourself.
As well as photographic ID, also bring your Examination Attendance Docket to your exam as it will be used to verify your attendance. You must sit at the desk shown on your docket. The supervisor will collect your Examination Attendance Docket during the exam, so please keep it available on your desk. If you have any other exams during the session, the Examination Attendance Docket will be returned to you. If it is your last (or only) exam, the supervisor will keep the Examination Attendance Docket for ACCA’s records.
The Examination Attendance Docket also details important exam regulations and guidelines that you must abide by during the exams; read these carefully, and make sure you only take permitted equipment into the exam. The exam rules and regulations appear in the Notice board section of Student Accountant.
Duplicate Examination Attendance Dockets can be downloaded via myACCA.
When you arrive at your exam desk
On your exam desk will be:
- a Candidate Answer Booklet
- the Examination Question Paper
- Check that you have the booklet, and the correct version of the exam paper, before the exam begins. If you have any queries, raise your hand and an invigilator will come to you.
Before your exam starts, the supervisor will make any announcements and go through the exam regulations. If you have any queries once the exam starts – for example, if you want additional booklets or need to go to the bathroom – raise your hand. An invigilator will attend to you.
For security reasons, because ACCA holds exams worldwide, you must remain in the exam hall until the end of the exam. All papers –including your Question Paper and Candidate Answer Booklets – will be collected before you are allowed to leave.
How to make points and present answers
It seems obvious, but answers must be appropriate to the requirement in terms of form, length and depth. Ideally, answer questions using clear and relatively short sentences, although answer length does depend on the instructional verbs used in the requirement.
For example, for requirements asking for a ‘list’, or a ‘brief description’, bullet points or brief points will be adequate. If ‘explanation’ is required, then fuller answers should be given; each valid point will normally attract a mark, depending on the mark allocation. If a requirement asks for analysis or evaluation, then develop points logically, relevantly, and coherently, thereby gaining the additional marks available.
Set out answers so that the marker can clearly see the points being made. ACCA does not penalise candidates for poor grammar or style, especially in the Foundation level exams and Fundamentals level exams, as long as points can be understood by the marker. However, by making points succinctly, you can also earn marks more quickly and efficiently.
Avoid numbering the points made within an answer, unless the numbering relates to that used in the question (see above). Additional numbering can be very confusing for markers.
If a diagram, figure or table is needed to illustrate an answer (such as ‘Porter’s five forces’, for example), then support it with a full explanation. This tells the marker that you understand the model, theory or concept being illustrated.
In an exam, effective time management is vital. If you run out of time, then some questions (or parts) will be left unfinished and marks lost.
The key to good time management is to divide the time allowed between the marks available. For example, in a three-hour exam allow 1.8 minutes per mark and in a two-hour exam allow 1.33 minutes per mark. This allocation gives a rough guide as to how long to spend on a question or part. Candidates often waste time by:
- Working on a requirement for longer than necessary because they wish to correct a mistake and amend all related follow-on figures
- Feeling they have so much to say about a certain requirement that they ‘dump’ all their knowledge in the Candidate Answer Booklet
- Persevering for too long with a question even though they are struggling.
Candidates can avoid these problems as follows:
- If you discover an error in a calculation or on a financial statement, only correct the initial error. Don’t waste time making all the follow-through corrections. By leaving the original error uncorrected, the only mark(s) lost are those associated with that particular entry or calculation, as ACCA uses a ‘method’ or ‘own figure’ marking policy. If the method adopted is correct, credit will always be given despite incorrect numbers being used.
- Only make as many points as there are marks available. For example, if five marks are available for discussing a theory, only make five (or possibly six) separate points. If the total mark available is a round number, then the examiner usually awards one mark per relevant point made. So, in this situation, even making 10 relevant points will earn no more than the maximum five marks available, and so writing those additional points wastes time.
- If you are struggling to get to grips with a requirement, move on to the next requirement, or even question, leaving enough blank pages in your Candidate Answer Booklet to complete it later.
The global pass rate for any exam is very sensitive to the performance of marginal candidates. If these candidates gain an extra mark or two, then not only will they pass, but the global pass rate would be significantly higher.
The guidance in this article can really make a difference, so remember the following:
- Find out where your exam centre is, and how to get there, leaving yourself plenty of time.
- Turn up to the exam on time and bring your Examination Attendance Docket with you.
- Bring the right equipment, including an appropriate calculator and pens with black ink.
- Complete the Candidate Answer Booklet properly.
- Keep all answers relating to question requirements together and in order and start each question on a new page.
- Start the answer to a new requirement in a new paragraph.
- Start each answer point on a new line.
- Write points concisely and clearly.
- Relate the length and depth of answers to the instructional verbs used.
- Correct only the original error in calculations or financial statements.
- Make only the number of points required for the marks available.
- Move on to another question if you are stuck.
What is the ICB pass mark?
In order to pass the ICB course you need to achieve an overall mark of 60% or higher. This grade is calculated based on your coursework and the exam. You must get at least 50% for the exam regardless of your overall mark.
The work you do during your course counts for 30% of your overall mark.
Your coursework forms part of your Portfolio of Evidence (PoE). Once you have registered with the ICB for your exam, you will be sent your PoE. During your course you will need to complete the assignments and tests found in your PoE. You must complete all the assignments and tests before your exam and include them in your PoE.
Your exam counts for 70% of your overall mark. You’ll take your PoE with you when you go to write your exam. It is complete once your exam is added to it.
Important: You need to make sure that everything is included in your PoE before you go to write your exam. You cannot send the ICB anything else for your PoE after you have handed it in. Your PoE is then examined by an ICB registered assessor, who uses it to determine whether or not you have passed.
What do I need to do to register for my exams?
Register with the ICB and pay the annual registration fee:
If it is your first time studying with the ICB, you will need to register with them via their Student Portal (see www.icb.org.za) and pay the student registration fee. This fee is due every year that you are studying with them.
Submit an exam entry form and pay the exam fee:
For each subject you have chosen you will need to pay the exam fee and submit an exam entry form. This can be done via the ICB Student Portal. It is important that you register for your exams before the cut off dates. You can view the due dates for exam entries on the ICB website. Your exam will be carried forward to the next exam date if you do not get your entry in on time.
Once you have registered for your exam, the ICB will send you your PoE. If you haven’t registered for an exam, you won’t be sent a PoE and you will not be allowed to write any exams. It takes around 3-4 weeks from submitting your forms and proof of payment to receiving your PoE.
Important: You can only write your exam if you have entered before the closing date, paid the exam fee and your ICB annual student registration fee.
When and where are the ICB exams?
Exams are written on specific dates set by the ICB at approved assessment venues. You can find a list of the exam venues here and the ICB timetable for dates here. Distance learning students can write ICB exams in February, May, July, September and November. Before you attend your exam, make sure that you have read and understood the ICB Exam Assessment Policy.
What if there are no exam centres close to me?
You can apply to the ICB for a private invigilation at an additional cost.
Can I postpone an exam?
If you are unable to write on the date you registered for your exam, you can request to postpone your exam. This needs to be done by the dates stipulated on the ICB timetable and you will need to pay an exam postponement fee. If approved, the ICB will automatically assign your exam to the next exam date on their timetable. You can only postpone your exam once.
You can apply for a medical postponement with a medical certificate. The ICB must receive this no later than two weeks after your original exam date. Medical postponements are given at the discretion of the ICB and no fees are charged. If your postponement is granted, you will automatically be allocated to the next exam date.
What happens if I miss an exam?
If you are absent for a final exam, did not postpone it in time, and don’t have a medical reason, you will forfeit the exam fee and the opportunity to write. You’ll have to start the subject over by re-entering for the exam and getting a new PoE.
What happens if I do not pass my ICB exam?
You can rewrite an exam (get a supplementary exam) once if you don’t pass the first time. You will, however need to rewrite the exam within 12 months of your original exam date and you will need to pay the rewrite fee.
We recommend that rewrites are done as soon as possible, as subject content changes annually. You must get 60% or more to pass your supplementary exam.