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Common questions about studying ACCA

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This year we’ve been running some new virtual events for those who are considering a career in finance and accountancy, as well as those considering ACCA as their qualification of choice. We’ve had some great questions from future members which we’ve collated all in one place to help get you started.

Getting started questions

How do I know which level of the qualification I can start at?

ACCA is open access, meaning there is an entry point for everyone. But sometimes your existing qualifications mean you’ll be able to start further along in the qualification – and gain exemptions from some of our exams. Discover the right entry point for you.

What are exemptions?

Exemptions let you start your studies at a level that is consistent with the knowledge and skills gained from prior learning. They provide you with the quickest route to ACCA membership. Find out more about exemptions.

How do I find out if I qualify for exemptions before I register as a student?

The best place to start is our exemptions calculator. This will give you an idea of the exemptions you may be awarded. However, if you would like your eligibility for exemptions assessed you can submit official copies of your educational documents as attachments to us by email.

When I upload my educational documents during the registration process, will the original certificates be ok or do they need to be issued in English?

We require both original language and English translations of educational documents for registration and exemption purposes. The English translation must be performed and stamped by a licensed translator. Students are not permitted to perform their own translations.

Is there a minimum age at which to start the ACCA journey?

The minimum age to register with ACCA is 13. If between the ages of 13-17 in Kenya or Malaysia, and 13-15 everywhere else, we will also need parental consent to be provided upon registration.

Do you have to pay all fees including exemptions and subscription fees at point of registering as a student?

You need to pay the registration fee at the time of registering. However, if any exemptions are awarded you will be invoiced and these fees will be due within 30 days. Annual subscription fees are due every year by 1 January. If you apply after this date you will be invoiced in June for your annual subscription for the year, and then again in January.

What fees are payable as an ACCA student?

There is an annual subscription fee due each year which may be subject to change and then you’ll also need to factor in the costs for each exam which will vary depending on where you start. And then of course you have tuition fees if you decide to use one of our approved learning providers. Details of all our fees and charges can be found in the fees and charges section of our website.

I’m a CPA Member and interested in getting ACCA Qualified, where do I start?

Accountancy is a truly global profession. To make it easier for you to access membership of other professional bodies, we’ve established member recognition agreements with a number of prestigious global accountancy bodies around the world.


The ACCA Qualification

How long do you have to complete the ACCA qualification once signing up?

There is no time limit for completion of exams at Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills. However, there are time limits for completing the Strategic Professional exams. You will have seven years to complete the Strategic Professional exams.

The time limit starts when you pass your first Professional level exam. If you don't pass all the Strategic Professional exams within seven years, you'll lose any passes achieved more than seven years ago and you'll need to retake the 'expired' exam to complete your qualification.

Is there an order I need to take the ACCA exams in?

The ACCA exams do need to be completed in a certain order, however there is flexibility to choose which exam to complete first in each section. You can find out more in our progression rules.

Where do I find the resources for past papers and exam questions?

There are lots of free study resources available for ACCA students, including past papers. These can be found in the study support resources section of our website.

How many exams can I take at a time?

You can enter for two consecutive exam sessions at the same time and you can book up to 4 exams per session, and up to 8 unique exams per calendar year. It would be up to you to decide how much time you have to study and prepare for examinations and how many you would like to enter for.

With the current COVID situation, how will exams take place? Can you sit them at home?

We’re delighted to announce that we’re taking steps to ensure that ACCA students will be able to take their exams at home or in another location in circumstances where centre-based exam sittings are disrupted. 

Has Covid-19 affected the way people study? Is everything now online?

Depending on where you live access to different study options may vary. However, many of our Approved Learning Partners have moved their tuition online so students can still continue their journeys uninterrupted. 

Where do I find out more on what subjects I will study?

You can find out more information on the which subjects and exams you’ll be taking in our exam support section. If you select the qualification you want to study – it will provide you with a breakdown of the syllabus for each exam.  

For strategic professional level, is it better to do one exam per sitting or will it be good to do two at a time?

The strategic professional exams are quite involved. You may sit more than one in one exam session, but you would need to decide if you feel you would be able to study for and pass more than one. This would depend on how much time you have for studying alongside your other commitments. You can find out more in the exam progression rules section of our website.

What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the term used to describe the learning activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. CPD combines different methodologies to learning, such as training workshops, conferences and events, e-learning programs, best practice techniques and ideas sharing, all focused for an individual to improve and have effective professional development.

How can I become an FCCA member?

When you've been an ACCA member for five consecutive years and completed your CPD for that time, we’ll automatically award you the prestigious title of Fellow. You will receive a letter and a certificate to welcome you to your newly awarded FCCA status.

Read more on common questions around ACCA and employability

Discover how to get started with ACCA

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