I got a lot of useful comments from my first post on the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG) especially from people who were considering taking the examinations. Based on those comments I’ve decided to give out some tips for passing an ICAG paper.
1. Get the official ICAG textbooks. ICAG textbooks are essential to pass the examination. For each paper there is a textbook which contains the syllabus and the marks that will likely be allotted to each topic in the exam. The books are also rich in trial questions with answers so that you can practise. You can get the textbooks from the ICAG offices nationwide.
2. Get Tuition. There are many places you can go for ICAG tuition. You can go to UPSA or the ICAG school at their headquarters at East Legon. But there are several other places where you could find tuition. Tuition is necessary especially if you are unfamiliar with the paper you are going to write.
3. Get and solve past questions. I cannot overemphasize the importance of preparing for the exam by solving past questions. ICAG has a tendency of repeating questions. Also, practising by timing yourself will give you the speed and accuracy that is needed to pass. You can find past ICAG questions and answers on their website.
The first three tips are meant to get you prepared for taking the examination. The next tips will help you pass when you’re actually taking a paper.
4. Read and plan carefully. ICAG papers gives students 15 minutes to read and plan the paper before they are required to start work. In those 15 minutes it is important to read through the whole paper and decide the questions which you will tackle first and finally how much time you will allot to each question.
5. Start with the easiest questions. This is standard exam advice. Starting with the easiest questions saves time, builds confidence and creates a positive impression in the mind of the examiner marking.
6. Tackle every question. It is better to tackle every question decently than answering some brilliantly and leaving some unanswered. ICAG papers are usually demanding of much work in a little time. Do not spend time over impressing on one question. Do what you can on each question and then you can return to impress when you have the time. Remember you only need 50% of the marks to pass a paper.
7. Do not let failure discourage you. Failing an ICAG paper is nothing to be ashamed of. It takes determination and getting over disappointment to qualify. Redouble your efforts when you fail and go back to tackle it. You will qualify.