The ACA professional level Financial Management (FM) exam is generally one of the final professional level exams sat by ACA candidates.
There is no direct understudy to the FM exam, however it does build on some of the content which is learnt in the Certificate level Management Information exam. This paper plays a big role in the Advanced level Strategic Business Management exam, and therefore spending the time to understand this syllabus will pay dividends at the advanced stage.
For many people, the FM exam can be an enjoyable and interesting exam to sit. This is because the syllabus is quite technical and examines areas such as investment appraisal and risk management – areas which I would say are the more interesting topics within finance.
Overview of Financial Management Exam
|Managing financial risk||30%|
|Investment decisions and valuation||35%|
Method of assessment
The Financial Management 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 questions. Two of the three questions will assess financing options and investment decisions and valuation, whilst the other question will assess managing financial risk.
How to pass ACA Financial Management Exam
Put simply, the key to passing this exam is question practice.
As you will discover from the question bank, the FM exam is very formulaic, and therefore a solid understanding of question bank questions will be a huge help for the actual exam.
Unlike the Business Strategy and Technology exam which most candidates sit at the same time as FM, the syllabus is really quite limited in size. This means that you are able to quickly get through the bulk of the syllabus content and move onto practice questions from a relatively early stage.
From completing the practice questions, you will find that many of the answers follow the same pattern at which the answers are written. My biggest tip for passing this exam is to spend the time to really understand the answers to past questions and be confident that you are able to secure most of the marks in a short space of time.
From experience, I found the topics which were examined during this exam very interesting and therefore studying didn’t feel like too much of a chore – which should come as good news!
How hard is the ACA Financial Management Exam?
I would say that this is middle of the road in terms of difficulty when compared to the other ACA exams.
The questions and the content may appear difficult at first viewing, but with sufficient past paper questions, you will be able to become confident that you will pass the exam. I know many people that were able to ace this exam and score really highly.
I would give this exam a 3 out of 5 for difficulty.
The pass rate for this exam is 84.38%