DFS - Steve's Advice

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Steve Collings
Steve Collings Registered Posts: 997 Epic contributor 🐘
Hi Guys

Over the last couple of weeks I have been lecturing students who are preparing for DFS June 2010. These sessions have revealed some alarming instances of tutors who are, in my opinion, teaching students simply how to pass the exam, rather than developing knowledge which can be applied in the workplace.

Two students have mentioned that their tutors have gone straight into working past exam papers. This is not appropriate for new students of DFS. In my opinion, tutors who do this are going about their lectures completely wrong. These tutors are more concerned about their pass rates than developing students knowledge in a complex and technical subject area. Would you expect your driving instructor to take you on the M6 on your first lesson? Absolutely not!

In order to pass DFS you need to go back to basics. You need to dust off your old FRA books and revise double-entry concepts if this is a weaker area for you. You also need to print off the Guidance Notes by going to the homepage, type in 'DFS Guidance' and print off the notes for February 2009. This details the syllabus, the examinable IFRS/IAS and the 'need to know' parts of DFS.

You should also use the contents page of your textbook as a guide for study. Ordinarily text books are structured in a logical format and the contents page can offer a good grounding for your studies. It can also help you in structuring your timetable - but remember a timetable is only effective if you stick to it!!

Students of DFS at this early stage in studies should not be looking at past exam papers yet. They should be doing introductory level studies, introductory level questions and should then build up the complexities as their studies progress. By the end of April, student should be starting question practise.

I would implore all students who tuition providers are diving straight into past exam papers to challenge their tutors because the phrase 'running before you can walk' is appropriate where you go straight into exam standard questions before working your way logically and methodically through the syllabus.

Best wishes
Steve

Comments

  • AK002
    AK002 Registered Posts: 2,492 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Cheers Steve.

    We're on Cashflows atm :)
  • Steve Collings
    Steve Collings Registered Posts: 997 Epic contributor 🐘
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    AK002 wrote: »
    We're on Cashflows atm

    No you are not! You are on the "Statement of Cash Flows"!!!! :)

    Remember the new terminology!!

    Best wishes
    Steve
  • AK002
    AK002 Registered Posts: 2,492 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Lol! Damn :( you got me :P
  • jewels.p
    jewels.p Registered Posts: 1,774 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Slap on the wrist for AK002! :lol:
  • jewels.p
    jewels.p Registered Posts: 1,774 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I am so glad you have said that we shouldn't be attempting past exam papers yet Steve as I had a look at one last week and there is no way I could pass DFS yet. I didnt attempt it as I knew from just having read it I have a lot more in depth studying to do. I am concentrating on Consolidated Accounts at the minute and think I will need another week on that alone. Thanks for putting my mind at rest once again.
  • SandyHood
    SandyHood Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034 mod
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    Steve
    DFS is not alone.
    I get the impression on revision days that some tutors are put under pressure from students looking for any easy route to the qualification rather than genuine understanding.

    Tutor's need to stand firm, and examiners can help too. The recent PCR exams in particular have moved away from a very predictable format. This means the candidate must understand the subject and be able to answer questions on it, not merely learn what to do when a question asks this, or that.

    If students want a qualification that makes them stand out from the crowd, then they need to prove they know the standards. So build up from the basics.
    There are courses, many of which you and I have never heard of. Students turn up for the classes and are given a certificate. But they don't prove they can do something.
    "Just tell me what I need to know to pass" sounds like a request for a short-cut to success. My answer is that the first thing everyone needs to know is that they build up from the basics. Once they are secure, the more complex aspects can be built on top of them.
    Sandy
    sandy@sandyhood.com
    www.sandyhood.com
  • Rinske
    Rinske Registered Posts: 2,453 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Thanks very much!

    I had the feeling I needed to rush my DFS studies of the book now, so I could start on the practice papers and felt like I was behind as I am working my way through the book, but only came to chapter 5 so far.

    But I like the advice to understand the concept rather than what's required on the exam, but when I asked my tutor something that fell outside the scope of the auditing skill test, purely out of interest, I got a useless reply and was told that it wasn't something I needed to know.

    Thank you Steve and Sandy for explaining me again that understanding is a bigger part of my study and not just the need to memorize my textbooks!
  • kel524uk
    kel524uk Registered Posts: 27 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Im quite pleased with this cus i thought i was well behind but i am working through each chapter in the osbourne tutorial then the workbook thought iw as going to struggle unless i started on the past papers but i think i will stick with my original plan now and aim for past papers towards middle of april

    Many thanks :)

    Kelly
  • sdv
    sdv Registered Posts: 585 Epic contributor 🐘
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    we were not allowed to work on the past exam papers until 4 weeks before the exams. and then we were set targets on how many past exam papers we had to do each week.

    In 4 weeks we had done 10 to 12 past exam papers.

    What I found useful was to go back and read / re-do past small activities on a topoic and then attempt only that topic's question in the past exam paper.

    Once I had sucessfully completed exam question. then go on to attempt that same topic questions for the next 5 - 6 past exam papers.

    I found the when I started it would have taken me any thing between 60 to 80 minutes to do first question. But as I continues to do the same topic questions my time to complete the questions dropped from 80 minutes to 35-40 minutes.

    I would set myself a target of 30 minutes to do a questiion but I was satisfied to complete in 35 minutes. This would still give me a safety margin of 10 minutes.

    In actual exams you never know! I actually managed to complete my exams 30 minutes before time.
  • NO BUSINESS CASE
    NO BUSINESS CASE Registered Posts: 85 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Have to be honest as a home study student what I enjoy is that I go at my own pace and do it the way that is best for me personally.

    I have had the BPP books for a month (no study leave for me so w/ends and evenings) and am around chapter 6 of 11 so far and have completed the companion questions and have selected a few revision questions for the chapters I have completed.

    It seems to be going well but like many others I am nowhere near looking at past papers and bearing in mind the exam is 3 months away I do not want to 'peak too soon'
  • sunshine2010
    sunshine2010 Registered Posts: 45 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Hi Guys

    Over the last couple of weeks I have been lecturing students who are preparing for DFS June 2010. These sessions have revealed some alarming instances of tutors who are, in my opinion, teaching students simply how to pass the exam, rather than developing knowledge which can be applied in the workplace.

    Two students have mentioned that their tutors have gone straight into working past exam papers. This is not appropriate for new students of DFS. In my opinion, tutors who do this are going about their lectures completely wrong. These tutors are more concerned about their pass rates than developing students knowledge in a complex and technical subject area. Would you expect your driving instructor to take you on the M6 on your first lesson? Absolutely not!

    In order to pass DFS you need to go back to basics. You need to dust off your old FRA books and revise double-entry concepts if this is a weaker area for you. You also need to print off the Guidance Notes by going to the homepage, type in 'DFS Guidance' and print off the notes for February 2009. This details the syllabus, the examinable IFRS/IAS and the 'need to know' parts of DFS.

    You should also use the contents page of your textbook as a guide for study. Ordinarily text books are structured in a logical format and the contents page can offer a good grounding for your studies. It can also help you in structuring your timetable - but remember a timetable is only effective if you stick to it!!

    Students of DFS at this early stage in studies should not be looking at past exam papers yet. They should be doing introductory level studies, introductory level questions and should then build up the complexities as their studies progress. By the end of April, student should be starting question practise.

    I would implore all students who tuition providers are diving straight into past exam papers to challenge their tutors because the phrase 'running before you can walk' is appropriate where you go straight into exam standard questions before working your way logically and methodically through the syllabus.

    Best wishes
    Steve
    I am glad that you have mentioned this as my tutor seems to think all we need to know is how to answer the question to get marks and not fully understand saying you dont need 100%, i havent did any past papers and thought i maybe should have so thanks for the advice.
  • A-Vic
    A-Vic Registered Posts: 6,970 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    SandyHood wrote: »
    Steve
    DFS is not alone.
    I get the impression on revision days that some tutors are put under pressure from students looking for any easy route to the qualification rather than genuine understanding.

    Tutor's need to stand firm, and examiners can help too. The recent PCR exams in particular have moved away from a very predictable format. This means the candidate must understand the subject and be able to answer questions on it, not merely learn what to do when a question asks this, or that.

    If students want a qualification that makes them stand out from the crowd, then they need to prove they know the standards. So build up from the basics.
    There are courses, many of which you and I have never heard of. Students turn up for the classes and are given a certificate. But they don't prove they can do something.
    "Just tell me what I need to know to pass" sounds like a request for a short-cut to success. My answer is that the first thing everyone needs to know is that they build up from the basics. Once they are secure, the more complex aspects can be built on top of them.

    Well after the class ive had today i can say am a little worried 8 weeks learning and doing past papers for 12 weeks from now to exams as been told the mac sylabus has been completed and still none the wiser
  • Primble
    Primble Registered Posts: 734 Epic contributor 🐘
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    i've gone and downloaded all the guidance notes :)
  • mrspnut
    mrspnut Registered Posts: 70 Regular contributor ⭐
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    We started the DFS, PEV and PCR syllabus in January and have just about finished them all now (just this week to do as a finishing off). We do loads of extra questions and will be starting past papers during and after easter. We also get lots of extra questions designed to stretch us including a stinker that had 2 or 3 given pieces of information and you had to work backwards using ratios to find all the other items in the balance sheet.

    I do attend college one day a week though so we have plenty of time for expanding our study.
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