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December 2019 – Cheat Sheet

SBR – Cheat Sheet

Strategic Business Reporting


Key study techniques to passing your SBR exam:

● Plan your study - make sure you have a detailed study plan and stick to it
● Study regularly - 60-90 a day for 5 days is much better than one long day
● Practice questions - build the knowledge and practice relevant questions as you go
● Complete a mock exam - don’t let the first time you attempt the exam be the day of
your exam - no 2 subjects are the same
● Examiner reports and articles - vital information and guaranteed marks available if
you take the advice on offer

Exam Tips for passing the exam


The exam is all compulsory questions, therefore planning is vital. From a planning
perspective, I would recommend splitting the requirements into smaller sections, especially
for question 1. Read the question carefully. Take your time in thinking about an approach
and solution. If you start writing too quickly you will miss key points and marks, so take time
to ensure that you have understood the context of the question and don’t fail to apply the
correct knowledge. Remember, always answer the question asked.

Layout and Structure (incl. professional marks)

Firstly, you must be organized and have a systematic approach to answering the question.
Frameworks need to be learned and written responses practiced, so that replicating this
format is possible in the exam. An answer that is neat, tidy and non-crowded makes it easier
for the examiner to identify the areas that deserve marks. The best way to structure your
answer to earn professional marks is to assume the role of the character in the scenario and
replicate the deliverable in your answer (i.e if the questions requires you to prepare briefing
notes, this should be the format of your answer). Planning will enable you to produce logical,
well thought out and organised answers that hits all the key points. Your answer should be
concise with value adding statements, and you should not waste time on lengthy general
introductions and conclusions.

Technical Knowledge

You need to cover the whole syllabus, as well as having a good understanding of the
assumed knowledge from the Financial Reporting and other related modules.
Section A will consist of two scenario-based questions that will total 50 marks. The first
question will be based on the financial statements of group entities, or extracts thereof), and
is also likely to require consideration of some financial reporting issues. The second
question in will require candidates to consider the reporting implications and the ethical
implications of specific events in a given scenario.
SBR – Cheat Sheet

Section B could deal with any aspect of the syllabus but will always include either a full
question, or part of a question, that requires the appraisal of financial and/or non-financial
information from either the preparer’s or another stakeholder’s perspective.
The current issues element of the paper may be examined in Section A or B but will not be a
full question; it is more likely to form part of another question.

Application to the scenario (incl. Recommendations and conclusions)

The expectation at this stage is synthesis and evaluation. Make sure you are linking your
analysis to the scenario. Regurgitation of IFRS leads to poor exam technique, make sure
you use information from the scenario to support any recommendations and conclusions you
make as this will allow the examiner to see the justification you have for your comments. The
evaluation of alternative accounting practices and the identification and prioritisation of
issues will be a key element of the exam. Professional and ethical judgement will need to be
exercised, together with the integration of technical knowledge when addressing business
reporting issues in a business context, so make sure that you do this with suitable
application to the scenario.

Time management

SBR is a 3-hour 15-min exam with all compulsory questions. Planning and time
management is vital so allocate the first 15 minutes to this without starting to write an exam
answer. This leaves 3 hours (or 180 minutes) for the remainder of the exam, as such you
should allow 1.8 minutes per mark for all questions you attempt (i.e. if completing a 10-mark
question, you should spend 18 minutes). Be strict with your time and don’t allow a negative
impact on one question by spending too long on another.

Learnsignal resources available to improve exam technique

Here are some resources available for learnsignal members to help you improve your exam

Tutor Exam Report Debriefs:

Watch our tutor review of the most recent examiner report, which highlights the common
mistakes of students in the last sitting. If you can avoid these, you'll have a much higher
chance of passing your exam.

Study & Exam Support Webinars:

You can attend our weekly study webinar every Friday leading right up to the exam week,
where we provide guidance for your study and answer any questions you have. The webinar
also serves as a forum for students to talk and offer advice to each other. We also run
individual subject webinars with each of our subject tutors during our Webinar Week,
allowing you face to face time to ask technical questions and get feedback on the required
exam approach.
SBR – Cheat Sheet

5 Minutes to Pass videos:

Watch our 5-minute to pass video which covers the key topics and required exam approach
for the subject. This video provides concise guidance you should follow to ensure you get
over 50% in the exam.

Exam Bootcamp

It’s never too late to try our Exam Bootcamp, which is a 21-day program for each subject
leading up to exam week, providing you daily with a topic to study, an exam standard
question, a time limit to complete this in, and our tutor solution. This allows you to cover a
large range of exam standard questions to perfect your exam technique before the real