This study examines whether in-course test components requiring stronger critical thinking skills can help explain final examination performance in an advanced undergraduate financial accounting course, conducted in 2003 and 2004 over three continuous semesters at an Australian university. It proposes and validates two levels of dimensions affecting final examination performance: in-course test components and students' previous university academic performance. Analysis of a database of 1,816 students using standardised multiple regression over three continuous semesters suggests that while overall Grade Point Advantage (GPA) is the single best predictor of final examination performance, in-course test components that require more critical thinking are better predictors than others, except for the in-course ethics essay test. Length of stay also had some predictive ability. This study suggests that academics should pay attention to monitoring and providing feedback to students on their in-course performance in tests that examine critical-thinking skills covering a wide range of topics. Such monitoring and feedback may assist in improving the final examination performance of students in this course.