(CMR) Aspiring accounting professionals can now obtain the much sought after ACCA qualification by sitting on demand computer-based exams (CBEs) in the Cayman Islands at Micro Matrix.
Founded in 1904, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global professional accounting body offering the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification.
Micro Matrix joined the ACCA family as a computer-based exam (CBEs) centre late last year after an increasing demand for an additional option in Grand Cayman. Micro Matrix is the second CBE in the Cayman Islands along with eight other Caribbean countries offering these exams.
Micro Matrix representative Sandra Hill explained why they became an exam centre:
“We were actually approached by students who wanted an alternative option for sitting their exams because there was no longer anyone offering the exam only option. Many students self-study or do so online and don’t wish to be tied down to a centre where they are compelled to also take courses.”
The response and demand have steadily been growing Hill explains. In order to be qualified as a licensed CBE a rigorous process was undertaken which included a site visit from the regional office in Trinidad. She explains that the standards are high both in terms of the setup of the site itself and many technical requirements.
“ACCA maintains extremely high standards so that students can rest assured that they will be able to sit exams in the most comfortable environments the deploy proper security and proctoring so that their exam results are never compromised.”
After several months and implementation of various technical requirements Micro Matrix was awarded their license in November 2017.
ACCA has offered CBEs since 1998. The launch of the Foundation level awards saw an increased number of papers being assessed via CBE and this provides the next step in the move towards ACCA’s vision to deliver all exams via e-assessment.
She explains that CBEs offers a number of benefits of paper-based exams including flexible exam times.
“Here at Micro Matrix we focus on flexibility by offering several scheduled exam dates per month. In addition, if someone is unable to make any of those dates we can often accommodates other times as well.”
Students also have the CBE benefit of being able to get instant results as they finish the exam. The ability to know in real time if they have successfully passed an exam allows them to plan future exam sittings.
A very rigorous approach is taken when developing ACCA exams, whether for CBE or the paper-based format. All questions for CBEs are written by experienced writers and reviewed several times before they make it to a live exam. By having such rigorous systems in place, we can ensure we maintain the same standards for paper-based exams and CBEs.
The key difference between CBEs and paper-based exams is that all live CBEs have different questions as they are automatically constructed from a question bank. It means two people sitting the exam at the same time will get a different version of the exam. It also means if someone sits an on-demand CBE on a Tuesday, they will get a different version of the exam if they resit the same subject later that week. There are systems in place to ensure that all exams are of an equivalent level of difficulty but having different questions means we can ensure our rigorous standards are met while offering exams on demand.
It is important for you to take time to familiarise yourself with CBEs before you actually take a live exam.
The ACCA website provides access to materials that will help you to prepare for your CBE, including syllabus and study guides. In addition, the ACCA website contains information on CBEs and full pilot exams for each subject, to help you prepare for the live exam.
By practising exam technique using computer-based pilot exams, you will be able to gain a better understanding of how the system works and the questions types that you may be presented with so that in the live exam you can concentrate on answering the questions.
Whilst there are no immediate plans to offer any ACCA courses Micro Matrix has indicated there if there is sufficient demand for those it may be considered at a later date.
Micro Matrix offers other professional development courses such as Microsoft Office, management/supervisory, paralegal and Quickbooks courses.