5 Differences between Paper Exam and CBE You Can’t Miss

April 13, 2022

ACCA Computer-based questions are all pulled from a question bank pre-generated by a group of professional writers. The question set is inspected multiple times before being distributed among the examinee. Additionally, each question set of CBE might differ from one another, which means when you sit for CBE, your question set might differ from another person’s question set who is taking the CBE at the same time as you are.

Unlike computer-based questions, paper-based questions will be similar from one examinee to another. Besides, there are considerable differences between CBE and paper-based exams. Following are the 5 Significant Differences

1. Section A (Objective Test Questions)

Starting from the first section of questions, the CBE will have multiple types of objective questions called Objective test (OT) questions. OT questions in CBE will have multiple choice questions, multiple response questions, fill in the blanks, drag and drop questions, drop-down lists, hot spot, and desirable area questions.
If you have never faced such kinds of questions, you might wonder what these questions mean.

Well, here is an explanation.

The multiple-choice questions will have one question and a few answer options, among which you will have to pick one. Multiple-choice questions are also present in the paper-based question set.

Likewise, OT questions will also have multiple response questions, which means you will be provided with a question with various options, and you will have to pick more than one option as your answer. Additionally, while answering CBE objective questions, be careful. There is no hard and fast rule that you must choose your answer; however, not choosing any will completely deduct your marks for that particular question.

You will have to fill the blank space for the third type of question by typing your answer. This question type is fill-in-the-blanks.

Next is a drag and drop question type where you have to drag your answer or answers to the question asked.

Similarly, for the drop-down list question type, you will be provided with multiple possible answers in a drop-down list, and you have to select the correct one from the list.

Next is the hot spot question type, where there will be a box in an image. You have to pick an answer and fill that box with your answer.

The last question type is called the hot area. Here the boxes will be filled already, and you will have to identify if the answers are placed correctly or not and then re-arrange.

As mentioned earlier, the paper-based questions will have only one type of objective question: multiple-choice questions.

2. Section B (Objective Test Case Questions)

Objective Test Case Questions will have 15 questions equally divided into three cases. All these questions will be marked independently of one another, and in case of a wrong answer, you get zero marks. Talking about paper-based questions, just like in section A, section B of the paper-based questions will only have multiple-choice questions.

3. Section C (Constructed Response Questions)

For this section, both CBE and paper-based question set is similar. ACCA provides a list of picked formulas for the examinee to use. You can solve the questions in the spreadsheet and other word processing tools using those formulas. Generally, the procedures will have the formulas of the log, power, sum, count, square root, average, and round.

4. Number of timeslots in each exam session

As an examinee, you have two options, one in the morning and the other in the evening. There is no particular benefit in choosing one option over the other. You can select the right time to give your exam as you wish. However, in the paper-based exam, you need to strictly be present at the given time.

5. Exam Duration

For CBE, the exam goes on for 3 hours; however, the paper-based exam is only for 3 hours 15 minutes. This exam duration was updated in 2019 after ACCA declared no need for seeded questions anymore. Before, the exam duration for CBE used to be 3 hours and 20 minutes. So, Seeded question? What were they? And why were they removed?

6. ACCA Seeded Questions

Seeded questions refer to those questions which were asked yet not marked like other questions in the CBE before June 2019. The computer is used to distribute seeded questions along with the usual questions without letting the examinees know if the questions are seeded.
As mentioned above, ACCA conducts CBE in two different time slots and multiple venues. Hence ACCA developed the idea of seeded questions to confirm the security and maintain the standard of exams.
Moreover, after the announcement to terminate seeded CBE questions, ACCA no longer includes seeded questions in the CBE question set. Likewise, ACCA informed about this after it was confident it delivered the same level of exam planning, justice, efficiency, and outcomes even after excluding seeded questions.