What are Challenge Questions and How to Answer Them?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 Print Email

While recording and reporting their experience, the ACCA trainees have to answer challenge questions related to performance objectives. They are designed to help the trainees to describe how they gained experience and to show that they considered the quality of their work and reflected on their performance.

For each performance objective, there are three challenge questions. The trainees have to answer these challenge questions and provide information about their achievement of relevant experience. Each answer should range from 100 to 500 words. Answers longer than 500 words are discouraged.

There are no right or wrong answers to these challenge questions. Each answer is unique and particular to the individual experience of individual trainees. Situation and experience of each trainee is unique, therefore, duplication in answers is not expected by the ACCA. The answers should neither be duplicated from question to question nor from other trainees. If duplication is found, the answers may be referred to the Disciplinary Committee of ACCA.

A trainee should start answering to challenge questions related to a particular performance objective ones it has been agreed with the workplace mentor that the required level of experience has been achieved. Although the trainees can discuss with the workplace mentor what to put in the answers, the trainees must answer the questions themselves. The workplace mentor or any person other than the trainees is not allowed to answer the questions for the trainee.

Tips for Answering Challenge Questions

While answering the challenge questions, the trainees should keep in mind the following tips.

  • The answers should be kept concise but not too brief. They should be elaborate enough to allow the workplace mentor to assess and appreciate what has been recorded. As a rule of thumb, they should be elaborate enough to allow a person who has no knowledge of the trainee's work to be able to understand and appreciate the work done by the trainee.
  • Abbreviations and jargons should be avoided but if their use is necessary, they should be explained
  • The information or answers should not be repeated and references to other answers should be avoided
  • If reference to clients or particular confidential documents is needed, it is preferable to use some codes. If codes are used, it should be ensured that the workplace mentor understands them.
  • Information from existing documents, such as performance appraisal forms, can be used if appropriate.
  • If cutting and pasting from other documents is done, it should be ensured that the answer has been properly saved in My Experience.
  • Since the questions are unique, the answers must also be unique.
  • The word limit of 100 to 500 words should always be kept in mind while answering.

Any format can be used to answer the challenge questions because content is important, not the format. The trainees can use bullet points, essay style, or any other structure they are easy with. They can present the answer in any format as long as the answer addresses the question set.

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