How to Pass Your Professional Exams

An Update on the Assessment of the New Professional Qualification 

AIA is pleased to provide an update on the new Professional Qualification (PQ), online exams and new Achieve Academy Course. 

This has been an exciting time for AIA – the development of the AIA's online learning and examination platform allows students a unique opportunity to complete the professional exams entirely online. 

The online exams are conducted in multiple formats, including text documents. For the first time we are offering objective test style questions in the form of multiple-choice questions covering each of the four components of the syllabus in the Foundation Unit.  

You can see a sample assessment by logging in to My AIA – take time to try out the ‘Business and Financial Management’ paper. Your responses ae not marked so you are free to access the sample paper as many times as you like. 

Practice, practice, practice 

Take time to try out practice questions using different methods: 

  • Self-review responses – type your response and review it against a model answer. You can attempt these questions as many times as you like, which allows for further studying should you need it 
  • Tutor marked questions – you type your response onscreen in the AIA platform, receiving feedback on your performance from the tutor 
  • Automated responses – you will receive immediate feedback for the practice questions in the Foundation unit. 
  • Practising questions onscreen allows you to become familiar with the functionality of the online exam, which uses both word and excel in a split screen format.
  • Tables, formulae, case studies, and other supplementary material is viewed in a pop-out exhibit tab – take time to view these and become familiar with how you can access this information. 

Take time to check your knowledge as you progress through the course. Every course offers two checkpoint tests – these tests are available at key stages in the study periods. Once you have completed a checkpoint test you will receive an automatic response within the learning platform. 

Active participation in the Achieve Academy Course is your key to success

AIA Achieve Academy brings together a range of learning tools to offer you the best chance of exam success. For each paper there are 20 hours of recorded lectures which you can access on demand and expert tutors are able to offer technical assistance and feedback. 

Study Tip!

Read the chapter in the ‘Learning & Practice Workbook’ before you listen to the lecture – this will help to build your understanding of the subject. You can then revisit the ‘in chapter’ practice questions – make notes and attempt these questions. The summary answer is also included in the chapter, so you can self-review your performance. 

Understanding the command words

You will see a list of the command words in the ‘Learning & Practice Workbooks’. Command words like ‘explain’ or ‘identify’ are often used in exam questions. These command words are instructions for how to answer a question, so it is important you know the meanings of these words. So, ‘discuss’ will require you to write about a topic in details, taking into account different ideas, and where appropriate different opinions.

The following definitions will help you understand what the words are asking you to do. These words are specific to the level in the syllabus. 

Cognitive levels of learning 

Command words 

Definition 

Foundation Level 

Knowledge and Comprehension 90% 

Application and Analysis 10% 

Calculate 

Compute 

Select the appropriate method 

and techniques and apply your knowledge and understanding to work out and show how  figures were arrived at 

 

Explain 

To make clear giving reasons 

 

Describe 

To give an account of in words or formula including key features 

 

Identify 

Recognise and select 

 

Plan 

Present a method or argument for doing or achieving a task 

 

Select 

To choose in preference to another 

 

State 

Express fully the details/facts 

 

Tabulate 

Arrange in a table 

 

List 

Present a number of connected items 

 

Recognise 

Identify as already known 

 

Name 

To identify by title an object or concept 

 

Compare 

To explain the similarities and differences between things in order to interpret them 

 

Discuss 

To examine in detail by argument 

 

Distinguish 

See or point out the differences between 

 

Relate 

To have reference or relation to 

Professional 1 

Application and Analysis 50% 

Knowledge and Comprehension 50% 

Advise 

To inform or notify 

 

Analyse 

Examine in detail in order to interpret its meaning or essential features 

 

Calculate 

Compute 

Select the appropriate method and techniques and apply your knowledge and understandings to work out and show how figures were arrived at 

 

Demonstrate 

To show or prove by reasoning or evidence 

 

Determine 

Find out or establish 

 

Perform 

Carry out into effect 

 

Prepare 

To make or get ready for use 

 

Record 

Document the information 

 

Estimate 

Make an approximate judgement/calculation 

 

Journalise 

Produce a double entry of events 

Professional 2 

Synthesis and Evaluation 20% 

Application and Analysis 70% 

Knowledge and Comprehension 10% 

Evaluate 

Determine the value in light of arguments for and against 

 

Recommend 

Advise the appropriate action in terms the recipient will understand 

 

Assess 

Determine the strength, weakness and significance 

 

Calculate 

Compute 

Select the appropriate method and techniques and apply your knowledge and understandings to work out and show how figures were arrived at 

 

Critically Analyse 

Examine in detail using arguments for and against, and develop a view 

 

Justify 

Demonstrate the correctness of an action, claim or conduct 

 

Appraise 

Assess the worth, value, or quality of 

 

Develop 

Elaborate or expand in detail 

How will the November 2021 Online exams be conducted? 

All AIA exams are now conducted as computer-based assessments. 

FAQs

How will the assessment be conducted?
More Details
What are the rules for the Proctors conducting the exams
More Details
When and how should I ask for assistance during the tests?
More Details
How will the tests be scored?
More Details
What is the best practice in relation to completing the tests?
More Details
How will I know how to navigate the screens in the AIA online exam?
More Details