Monday, 23 August 2010

Well, well you passed. Well done. Now say sorry.

So the P4 results are out. My final paper passes into history and yet again 1000's of students are waking up to the fact that they survived P4. For a rich sample of student views take a look at OpenTuition.com. Some of it is strong stuff but now the results are out disbelief is rampant - 'how did I do it?' 'I don't believe it I got 53/60/76 - or whatever score the grossly underpaid marker handed out. For those who passed and didn't contribute to the hate mail - well done and congratulations. For those who failed - tough luck and better fortune next time. Remember, it cannot be so difficult - plenty have passed and so can you. To those who failed and whined anonymously - maybe it wasn't the exam, maybe you were just not up to handling the rather trivial problems that P4 throws up compared with the real world.
For those who whined on about my mental health, incompetence, lack of ethical principals, parentage etc and passed. Maybe you were just lucky punk!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I failed with 44. First attempt after passing F9 in December 09 with challanging full time job, young family and home study.. going to pick myself up and hope for better results next time and feel the odds were against me! I did my very best and studied like I didnt know.. however, if I had really studied your article on BSM valuation then outcome may have been different and kicking myself for this. If I had also known what I became to learn about this paper would have given myself longer to prepare than three months. I wish my future pass would have been from one of your papers and thank you for getting me this far. Grateful student.

Anonymous said...

I passed with 72%. Thanks for being open with us on your blog, no other examiner has been prepared to give guidance. The exam was hard but really useful.
Ps: love the reference to Dirty Harry.

Devastated said...

Sir,

I was quite confident that i would pass P4 as i found the paper easy and thought that i had done a good job. But i have failed, got 45. I am perplexed and disappointed. I dont understand why. I have seen the offical answers. Obviously my points were different from the offical answer but then alternate relevant points are accepted. Some people told me that if you write too much, it is not looked at positively by the marker, is that true? can you kindly shed some light on what could be the problem. I would be very much obliged.

Anonymous said...

Regards the use of BSM to value equity it was odd that the question asked students to set exercise price as the present value of debt, as opposed to the future value i.e. redemption value (as per your article and texts such as Damodaran). I think the exercise price should be 3000 X 1.08(power 5), not 3000 X 1.08 (power -5) as per model answer.

Anonymous said...

Regards the use of BSM to value equity it was odd that the question asked students to set exercise price as the present value of debt, as opposed to the future value i.e. redemption value (as per your article and texts such as Damodaran). I think the exercise price should be 3000 X 1.08(power 5), not 3000 X 1.08 (power -5) as per model answer.

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Devastated - no idea why you failed, and you may wish to ask ACCA for a review. However, whatever the outcome you will do much better next time I'm sure. Writing too much is impossble - you only have three hours and there is a physical limit to what you can put on paper. My advice is read the MA's, reflect and seek advice if possible. Find a teacher (who knows the subject) who you can talk to about how you attempted the questions. Keep going and you will get through.

Devastated said...

Sir,

I was thinking of an administrative review but then i read that they will not recheck the paper. Do you think it will help? would you advise me to get the review done or get my head down and prepare for december?

Thankyou for your promt reply.

Anonymous said...

Im a Credit Risk analyst in a commercial bank and i want to pursue a specialisation. What do u recommend? I was thinking of registering for FRM after P4. Any suggestions?

I do hold a Bsc Applied Accounting from oxford Brookes. Should i pursue MBA first or FRM?

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Anonymous: comment on BSM. This is a point you would need to take up with the new examiner via ACCA as the exam paper and particularly the MA do have changes to them that I don't recognise so it would not be fair for me to comment.

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Credit risk analyst: well done on passing your ACCA exams. The answer to your question really does depend on where you want to go with your career. With an MBA much depends on how you plan to study - but the general principle is go to the best university either you or your firm will pay for. If you want to study and work the three best blended learning schemes are MBS, Durham and Warwick and Strathclyde. MBS offer a shortened route for professionally qualified people and more advanced options in finance including risk management. An MBA at these universities is a route to a senior position. FRM exam is tough but very worthwhile if you plan to stay on your current career track. It is an order of difficulty above P4 and ACCA generally by a very long way - but that should not put you off.

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Devastated: it may be worth checking the marking process through an AR but as you say you cannot get a remark. Whatever you do I would get your head down for the next paper - it's not long. Also don't forget to get some advice. I have had hundreds of students over the years in your position and without exception they pick themselves up, dust themselves down and have another go. They do even better next time around and so will you!

Credit Risk Analyst said...

MBA programmes are very expensive, furthermore i do not want to take a break from my career. I am working in a top Islamic Bank and this is where i wanna make my career i.e. Credit Risk in an Islamic Bank.

I know it it way beyond the level of ACCA but thats fine with me....the worst that could happen is i will fail but im sure even that will be a learning experience. Considering my situation, what would you recommend?

Credit Risk Analyst said...

How do you rate the IFS? (which was Institute of Bankers London previously)

Professor Bob Ryan said...

Credit Risk Analyst: MBAs are expensive and you would need your companies support. The ones I mentioned involve study through distance learning and workshops. If you wanted a good MBA with a strong international flavour which is heavily oriented towards distance learning and with a low contact requirement you might try Robert Kennedy College Zurich.

The IFS has a good reputation and undertakes a variety of programmes. They used to do an MSc validated by the university of surrey but I am not sure what has happened to them.

Tough but exciting choices ahead.

Credit Risk Analyst said...

Thankyou so much for your help. Did not expect that you would take out the time to reply to my queries. Really grateful PROFESSOR:-)

Credit Risk Analyst said...

One last question.
I have been told that for strategic management positions, MBA is a must. Is that true?? Can a CRO ever become lets say a President or Group head?

Professor Bob Ryan said...

There is no formal educational requirements for the top jobs but an MBA from a very good school is as close as you can get. Many recruiters/head-hunters look for the MBA qualification as part of the must-haves on a CV - but, and this is more an dmore important it must be from a top class school. Combining the latter with the requirement for distance learning really does narrow the field to half a dozen worldwide. Because of the UK's traditions we still are the global leaders in taht form of education.
As for the CRO making it - yes of course, if they have the right qualities. Many of my MBA students do the more technical qualifications as they proceed through the degree but that is really tough work.

Anonymous said...

How important do you feel practical exposure to financial management is, with regards to passing P4?

Credit Risk Analyst said...

Which do you recommend more...FRM or PRM?

Anonymous said...

it was a pleasure studying this paper....i passed it...but even if i failed it i would have looked at it as the best course that i have ever done....you sir were a great examiner.....and students like me will always have the highest respect for you...........

Karrar said...

Hi Mr Ryan,

Ever since I was in the Fundamentals, I had heard that June 2010 would be your last attempt as ACCA Examiner. I cleared all ACCA papers first time, four at a time to make P4 in June 2010.

I sat P2, P3, P4 and P7 and I failed P4 on 43. And I am brave enough to admit that it was my nervy wreck in the NPV question that threw me off.

While December would hopefully be my last ACCA attempt, I would like to keep up with your updates. Maybe if you had a bank of self-prepared questions, it would be awesome.

You have been one of the most exciting examiners, sir, and thus respect comes from within.

Karrar

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous post by anonymous. In the BSM question (question 2 of the paper), the exercise price should have been the grossed up value of the debt as opposed to the discounted value. The exercise price is discounted (on a continuous basis) when multiplied by e^(x) so to discount it initially is double counting. These basic errors make it very difficult for students who are trying to study the subject on their own at home!

Professor Bob Ryan said...

I have had a look at the published paper and it looks as though the new examining team have made some changes to the paper as originally drafted by me and I do not recognise certain elements of this answer. You may wish to take this up with the ACCA directly. On the more general point when working out the equivalent zero coupon bond value you can either compound forward as you suggest in which case its important to use the duration of the bond as the term to exercise or, calculate the repayment value on a ZCB of the same term to maturity and MV as the debt in issue. Using the 2nd method means you should use the term to maturity as the term to exercise. I hope that helps and best of luck with the exam if you are taking it this time.