5 Most Common Reasons For Failing The OBU RAP

I am sure every student wants to pass their Research and Analysis Project the first time. To maximise your chance of passing, avoid making the common pitfalls listed below.

1. Poor choice, understanding and application of the accountancy and business models 

When choosing a model, ensure it is applicable to the selected topic and your project objectives. If the model is not considered appropriate, you are likely to fail. You can’t just take the explanations of the models directly from a textbook. You need the explain the models in your own words and include a relevant reference source. In your explanation of the model you also need to include the limitations of the model (and reference it).

2. The analysis is not referenced appropriately

Your ratio and business analysis needs to be researched and supported by other sources; they can’t be all your own opinions. If you fail to do so, it shows the marker that you didn’t conduct broad research. Without sufficient referencing, the marker can’t confirm your findings and conclusions.

3. Insufficient analysis

When analysing the company you need to conduct detailed research of the business but also take into account the influence of others, eg. competitors, industry, and the market. The research you have conducted is then evidenced throughout your report via consistent and regular referencing.

Ensure your analysis is not descriptive, it needs to state what has happened and why. For example, an increase in the Net profit margin ratio can’t be simply justified by an increase in revenue. You need to explain the reason for this increase (internal and/or external) and reference the source. Make sure you use and research a range of sources when conducting your analysis.  

4. Limited use of resources

You need to undertake extensive research in order to pass the RAP. E.g use of academic journals, industry texts, analyst reports, investor websites, etc. You can’t just rely on the Annual reports for evidence. You need to use various external sources to support your analysis as company reports tend to be biased and might not be objective.

5. Bad/inadequate referencing

You can not copy and paste any text from the resource as that will fail you, even if you referenced it! The report needs to be in your own words as it is not academically acceptable to simply copy the text into your report as if they were your own words and analysis.

You need to conduct extensive research first and then interpret the findings and show them with the appropriate referencing. If you want to quote something, you need to put the text in the quotation marks and then reference it. This should be kept to a minimum. When referencing, place the in-text reference after the sentence that contains the statement rather than at the end of the paragraph.

Every graph/table/picture needs to be referenced to indicate where the data came from. If the graph comes from the ratio calculation in your appendices, then reference it to that and then add the original source in your appendices. For more information and tips on referencing, check out my OBU RAP Referencing Tips article.


I know that some of these points might sound too obvious, but trust me, many students failed because of them. Don’t make the same mistake. The list is not exhaustive, there are many other reasons; I just wanted to highlight some key ones.


1 Response

  1. Mashukur Rahman says:

    I wouldn’t be awarded FAILED grade on 28th submission period if I read ‘reason number-4’ earlier.