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Reading and planning time in ACCA exams

Reading and planning time (RAPT) is an additional 15-minute time allowance given to all students taking three-hour exam papers from December 2007 onwards. It is being introduced for all CAT Advanced level papers (except Paper 5) as well as ACCA Qualification papers in the Skills module at the Fundamentals level and all Professional level exams.


This additional time, to be spent at the beginning of each three-hour exam allows you to familiarise yourself with, and to navigate around, the exam paper. During RAPT you can read and understand the questions on the paper and begin to plan your answers before you start writing in your answer books. You can also use calculators to make some preliminary numerical calculations.

RAPT begins when instruction is received from your centre supervisor. You must not open your question paper until advised to do so, and during RAPT you may only write or make notes on your question paper. You must not write anything in your answer booklets until advised to do so by the supervisor.


RAPT gives you the opportunity to make sure you are clear about what the examiner is assessing. It also allows you valuable extra time for thinking and planning. To use this additional 15 minutes most effectively:

  • carefully read and understand all question requirements, making an informed choice about which optional questions to attempt where applicable

  • read through and highlight relevant information and financial data, noting why it is included

  • take note of the marks awarded for each question and the allocation of marks between different requirements within a question

  • start to plan your answers, particularly for discursive questions

  • think about the order in which to attempt questions

  • make preliminary calculations.


Santosh Puthran
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