Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three

1. Knowledge Module

2. Skills Module

3. Professional Level

image Level 1
image Level 2
image Level 3

Which verbs are associated with which levels?
Bloom and other academics have suggested the types of verbs associated with each cognitive level, and these are listed in Table 1 below. Some of the verbs Bloom lists are not relevant to a professional accountancy qualification, so only relevant verbs are included.
Please note that certain verbs (such as describe, explain, calculate) and other verbs found within the Study Guides, may be designated at different levels. This recognises that these verbs need to reflect the varying intellectual demands these requirements may make on students in different situations. For example, under one subject area, a sub-objective might be ‘Explain the structure of a T account[1]’. Another could be: ‘Explain how a warrant works as a derivative financial instrument[2]’. Not all the verbs listed in Table 1 will necessarily be used by examiners in their question requirements, nor is this an
exhaustive list. The verbs given are merely indicative of the capabilities examiners want students to acquire from the Study Guide, in order to meet a range of exam requirements.
The Study Guide will often contain more verbs than an examiner would ever use in an exam. This, however, does not mean that students shouldn’t develop these capabilities. An example is given below.
In Paper F1, Accountant in Business learning outcome A1(b) asks students to describe various organisational structures as follows: ‘Describe the different ways in which organisations may be structured: entrepreneurial, functional, matrix, divisional, departmental, by geographical area, and by product.’
However, an objective test question might be written as follows: ‘Which of the following forms of organisational structure always
requires staff to report to both functional and product managers?
a Divisional
b Departmental
c Matrix (correct answer)
d Entrepreneurial’
To answer the question correctly, the student must understand the nature, scope, and definition of each type of organisational
structure. This would have been taught and learned through reading, and possibly writing, an explanation of each. Therefore,
although this capability would not need explicit demonstration in the examination, the examiner will assume the successful student
has this capability.

Should I refer to the Study Guide and to the intellectual levels when using examinable documents?
It is important that students should refer closely to both the Study Guide and the designated intellectual level of each capability when looking at examinable documents. This helps in two ways:
- If a document such as an accounting standard or a statute is listed, then students can refer to the area in the Study Guide relating to the content of that document, to identify the specific areas to be covered.
- By noting the intellectual levels and the verbs used, better guidance is given about the breadth and depth of knowledge required for each aspect.

Should I be worried about the inclusion of intellectual levels?
No one should worry about the inclusion of references to intellectual levels within the Study Guides. This new feature is intended to help students and tuition providers tailor their learning and determine the depth required to study various aspects of the syllabus.
The inclusion of intellectual levels is not intended to be prescriptive, and examiners have the freedom to assess the syllabus as they decide. However, they will need to refer to the Study Guide when setting their exams.
It is hoped that the inclusion of intellectual levels within the Study Guides will help examiners and students match each other’s expectations more closely when setting and taking ACCA examinations.

Level 1: List, define, describe, explain, select, calculate, identify, compare
Level 2: Apply, compare, analyse, compute, derive, reconcile, prepare, interpret, value, contrast, relate, classify, solve, implement
Level 3: Formulate, modify, rearrange, create, compose, design, develop, highlight, summarise, assess, evaluate, justify, decide, infer, advise, recommend, discuss, report