The ACA professional level Business Strategy and Technology (BST) exam is generally one of the final professional level exams sat by ACA candidates.
The BST exam builds on the knowledge developed from the certificate level Business, Technology and Finance exam.
Although much of the concepts are developed from the Certificate level exam, those students that have credit for prior learning or an exemption from the earlier exam need not panic, as this exam is the most straightforward of all the Professional stage exams.
As you are probably aware, the BS(T) exam has the reputation for being BS. Whilst this is partly true, you need to ensure you don’t take this exam too lightly.
On the whole, the syllabus looks to develop students’ understanding of how businesses operate, the challenges that are faced and different methods of overcoming these challenges – drawing on mainstream business literature to support these methods.
Overview of ACA Business Strategy and Technology Exam
|Taxation of owner-managed businesses||20-30%|
|Implementation and monitoring of strategy||25-35%|
Method of assessment
The BST exam itself is 2.5 hours and given it forms part of the Professional level, it can only be sat in one of the quarterly exam periods, which are in March, June, September and December.
As such, in each exam sitting all candidates will be set the same questions.
The exam will consist of 3 scenario based questions which can cover a range of different businesses and industries. Each of these questions will cover one or more areas of the syllabus and each of the questions will have broadly the same mark allocation.
How to pass ACA Business Strategy and Technology Exam
The key to passing this exam is to ensure you have a broad understanding of each of the areas of the syllabus. The syllabus itself is on the large side, however there are a large number of marks available for each question. This means that as long as your answer pulls from the correct area of the syllabus, you are able to apply the theories to the scenario as appropriate.
Given that there is usually no one correct answer to these questions, being able to apply the appropriate theories into a particular scenario and a structured and concise way is the key.
My tip to taking on each question is to make a brief plan before you start to write each answer. This means jotting down a few points as to how you are going to structure an answer and which points you are going to make. It is also very important to add a relevant business theory to each point you are going to make.
As with many of the other exams, the reason many students fail this exam is because they do not read the question, so READ the question.
In my opinion, question practice is less important in this exam, and therefore I do not feel it necessary for students to complete the whole question bank prior to taking the exam. Instead I would focus my efforts in making sure you have a broad understanding of all syllabus areas and have done SOME practice questions under timed conditions. This will ensure you are aware of how to structure your answers to pick up most of the marks.
I would say that this is one of the easier of the 15 ACA exams.
However, that is not to say the exam should not be taken seriously. Some people can and do fail this exam, with the main reason being that they don’t spend enough time learning the content and often spend their time revising for other exams, thinking they can ‘BS’ their way through BS(T).
I would give this exam a 2 out of 5 for difficulty.
The pass rate for this exam is 89.60%