If you’re wondering how to pass ACCA Corporate and Business Law exam, this comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know to pass the first time.
Before we start, it is important to know that there are many variants of ACCA Corporate and Business Law – English (ENG), Ireland (IRL), Malaysia (MLY) etc.
These relate to the country in which you are studying in and the relevant legislation in place. In this guide we will be referring to the LW-ENG Paper, however, the advice given is relevant to all Corporate and Business Law Students.
You can choose the exam which you will be sitting, depending on the national laws that are most relevant to your career. Read more about the ACCA variant exams.
Whether you’ve got ACCA Corporate and Business Law (LW) coming up, are considering enrolling, or want to resit, you should keep reading.
Here’s a list of our guide’s contents:
- Exam Format
- Syllabus Guide
- Study Tips
- Exam Technique
- What the Examiners Say
The LW syllabus is designed to develop knowledge and skills in the understanding of the general legal framework and of specific legal areas relating to business, recognising the need to seek further specialist legal advice where necessary.
Remember, the aim of LW is not to turn you into a lawyer but rather to focus on the legal areas that an accountant must be aware of when practising.
The syllabus covers a range of legal areas that an accountant needs to have knowledge of to assist in their careers, such as contract law, employment law, and understanding of the formation, financing, and administration of companies, as well as corporate fraud among other things.
Corporate and Business Law is one of the Applied Skills subjects within ACCA, and the knowledge learned here is relevant in other applied skill subjects like Financial Reporting (FR) and Audit and Assurance (AA), as well as underpinning the later Strategic Professional Essential subject Strategic Business Reporting (SBR). Therefore it is essential to build a strong foundation of knowledge while studying for the LW course.
LW Exam Format
This exam follows a unique format for an Applied Skills course, as it is more similar to the Applied Knowledge exams you will have been used to or had exemptions from.
The syllabus is assessed by two-hour Computer Based Exams (CBE), which can be booked on-demand, rather than sat in the normal ACCA sittings like other Applied Skills exams. The pass mark, like all other exams in the ACCA qualification, is 50%.
The LW exam consists of two sections with all compulsory questions. The breakdown of these is as follows:
Section A comprises 25 Objective Test (OT) questions worth 2 marks each, for a total of 50 marks, and 20 Objective Test (OT) questions worth 1 marks each, for a total of 20 marks.
This section of the exam is therefore worth 70%. These can come from any syllabus area.
Section B contains 5 Multi Task Questions, each worth 6 marks each, for a total of 30 marks. Once again these can come from any syllabus area. These are analysis and application questions, and the format is a series of tasks that relate to a problem scenario.
This means that every question on the exam can come from any topic on the syllabus, so failing to cover the full course will no doubt prove very costly in the exam.
LW Syllabus Guide
The aim of the LW syllabus is to develop an understanding of the general legal framework and of specific legal areas relating to businesses.
In order to achieve this goal, ACCA outline 8 main capabilities that candidates should be able to do upon completion of this exam:
- Identify the essential elements of the legal system, including the main sources of law
- Recognise and apply the appropriate legal rules relating to the law of obligations
- Explain and apply the law relating to employment relationships
- Distinguish between alternative forms and constitutions of business organisations
- Recognise and compare types of capital and the financing of companies
- Describe and explain how companies are managed, administered and regulated
- Recognise the legal implications relating to insolvency law
- Demonstrate an understanding of corporate fraudulent and criminal behaviour.
Here’s the relational diagram showing how those areas tie together:
Download the complete ACCA LW study and syllabus guide from ACCA Global to review in-depth.
You might also want to read the ACCA’s bank of technical articles addressing syllabus areas for LW.
LW Study Tips
1. Cover the full syllabus
As you may have picked up earlier, to be successful in this paper you need to cover the full syllabus. A broad knowledge of all syllabus areas will help you on the day, as the exam is designed to test the full spectrum of legal knowledge that an accountant is expected to have a basic understanding of.
The sheer number of questions in the exam, mixed with the randomization of topic areas means that covering the full syllabus is unavoidable and students who attempt to question spot ahead of their exam won’t be successful on the day.
To give yourself the best chance of passing, you need to practice questions from the full range of different topic areas, as this will give you the strongest foundation of knowledge to tackle whatever exam you are faced with.
2. Give yourself sufficient time to prepare
At Applied Skill level the exams require a deeper understanding of the content, particularly to enable you to tailor your knowledge to different scenarios in Section B. This requires not just a good grasp of the theory but also a huge amount of question practice to develop your analysis skills, therefore we recommend using our 8-week study plan to prepare for this.
This allows you to follow our recommended study plan which includes 6 weeks of reviewing the content and testing yourself with practice tests. This will help you get through the full syllabus as noted above. The plan also includes 2 weeks of our exam technique phase which focuses on exam and question practice through our Mock Exams and our Revision Bootcamp.
Having this structured study in place will give you both a strong foundation of knowledge and good exam technique to give you the best chance of passing.
3. Practice makes perfect
There is no escaping the fact that the only way you will get a grasp of the concepts of the full LW syllabus is through question practice. Therefore this should be the cornerstone of your study – practice, practice, practice – and it’s why we suggest giving yourself sufficient time to prepare. It’s the only way you will understand the underlying principles and application of different laws, and be able to apply them using the information in scenarios.
Don’t get disheartened if this is difficult at the start – remember, you learn more from your failures than your successes, so even if you struggled with a question, review the solution, go back and review the content as needed, and then try that questions again to see if you’ve made sense of what was required. If you can keep working through questions in that manner, you will start to develop a very good understanding of both the content and how it is examined.
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LW Exam Technique
1. Practice time management
The exam is all compulsory questions therefore planning for the paper as a whole is vital, and you need a time management system in place throughout.
With a 2 hour paper, you have 120 minutes to complete the 100 mark paper – so you should spend 1.2 minutes for every mark. You should apply this system to every question you work on, including the OT’s, and break down longer questions by the marks available for each task.
This will ensure you spend a proportionate amount of time on a question relative to its value. Doing this it makes sure you don’t leave behind the easy marks in each question and can make a good attempt at all questions before your time is up.
2. Read the requirements carefully before jumping in to your answer
The most essential step in determining your answer is reading the requirement carefully and making sure you understand exactly what is being asked. Take your time in thinking about the suitable solution, then re-read the requirement to reinforce that your planned answer hit’s all the key points.
This is particularly important for OT questions where the incorrect answers are designed to mislead you. If you input your answer too quickly, you may miss key points and marks, so take time to ensure that you have understood the context of the question and apply the correct knowledge. Remember, always answer the question asked.
3. Get used to using the CBE tool
To perform well on the exam you need to be comfortable using the CBE tool, so you should practice as much as possible using the CBE practice area on the learnsignal website and attempt learnsignal’s CBE Mock. You can also practice specimen CBE exam papers on the ACCA website.
The more comfortable you are with the format of CBE exams and the different ways that you required to give your answer, the better you will perform in the real exam.
What the Examiners Say
To finish let’s look at some points from the person who you need to please the most on the day of the exam – the examiner!
The key points which they identified were:
“It is pleasing to note how the level of complexity and subtlety in some of the questions still allows for the very best candidates to distinguish themselves and to be recognised and rewarded.
All aspects of the syllabus can be examined in one exam and therefore it remains imperative that candidates study all topics in the syllabus in order to be successful in the exam.”
If you can take on board the advice given in this blog, you’ll give yourself the best chance of passing your LW exam!