FAQs about changes to exam sessions
When will ACCA introduce four exam sessions per year?
We are pleased to say that from March 2016 we are running four exam sessions a year at all our listed exam centres across all markets.
Why is ACCA introducing four exam sessions a year?
We are increasing the flexibility and choice of when you can sit exams because current students told us this is what they wanted.
Increasing the number of exam sessions available gives you more choice when it comes to fitting exams around your life and working through the qualification at a pace that suits you.
You'll have a better chance of success by spreading your studies over the additional sessions, potentially allowing you to study for additional exams each year and providing the opportunity to take resits earlier.
What exams will be available at each session?
All exams presently offered in paper-based format will be available during the June and December exam sessions. During the March and September exam sessions no FIA, IFRS, F1–F3 and limited variants will be available.
Remember, the majority of these exams are available as on-demand computer based exams, which offer even greater flexibility and convenience.
We will also be reducing the timetable from eight days to five days so we can publish exam results sooner.
This means I can now enter for two exam sessions at the same time. Why should I do this and how does it affect the progression rules?
You can now be entered for two consecutive exam sessions at the same time, meaning you can take advantage of the cheapest exam fees for both sessions and be able to plan your studies in advance.
During exam entry, you'll have the option to enter for one of or both of the next two available sessions. To enter for both exam sessions, you will complete two exam entries.
If you enter for two upcoming exam sessions at the same time, progression rules will look across both exam entries and treat them as one.
For example, you could enter for F8 and F9 for the December session and P1 and P5 for the March session at the same time. Once both entries have been accepted, any subsequent results from the first session will not affect the exam entry for the second session.
If I fail an exam and have already submitted an exam entry for the upcoming session, will I be able to amend my exam entry so I can take the resit at this session?
Yes, you would be able to amend your exam entry right up until the standard entry deadline as you can do currently. Results for the previous session will be published two weeks prior to the standard entry deadline closing, allowing you to amend your exam entry during this period.
What are the important dates for the new exam sessions?
As a result of introducing additional exam sessions a year, we are changing our exam calendar dates. For the early, standard and late exam entry deadlines, and other key dates for the upcoming sessions, please visit the important dates section
How many exams can I take at each exam session?
You will still be allowed to enter a maximum of four exams per exam session and a maximum of eight different exams each calendar year. For more information on these rules and how they impact CBE exam cycles, please visit the exam progression rules section
Will unlisted special centres be available for all the exam sessions?
Unlisted special centres will only be available during the June and December exam sessions.
Will all existing post-exam services still apply for the new exam sessions?
Yes, all existing services will be available. For more information, please visit the exam administration section
FAQs about exam entry
Can I take the ACCA Qualification exams in any order?
For more information on the order you can take the ACCA exams, please visit our exam progression rules page
How long do I have to complete the exams?
For more information on rules relating to how long you have to complete the ACCA exams, please visit our time limit page
Where can I take my exams?
You have the choice of sitting paper-based exams in any one of over 400 exam centres around the world. More information on exam centres can be found in the exam planner.
In many locations you can also now benefit by taking the F5-F9 exams by session CBE. Find out more information on where you can take session CBEs.
How many exams can I take at each exam session under Foundations in Accountancy?
There is no restriction to the number of exams you may attempt, allowing you to choose to sit as many or as few papers as you like at each exam session. You are, however, recommended to attempt a maximum of four papers in a six-month period.
How will I know when to enter for exams?
For information on exam entry closing dates for the upcoming sessions, please visit the exam dates page
How can I enter for exams?
You register for your exams online using myACCA. For more information on entering for exams, please visit our Plan and book exams section
Can I still sit my exams if I miss the standard exam entry closing date?
If you are a registered student and have missed the standard exam entry closing date, you can still use the late entry facility via myACCA.
The late exam entry facility is only available for students who have not already entered for the exam session. During the late exam entry period no exam entries can be amended (irrespective of when the entry was made).
How do I know if I my online exam entry has been successful?
When entering for exams, please ensure that your email address on your myACCA account is the correct one and you have opted in to receive electronic communications so that you receive your confirmation email. You should also check your spam in case the email has been delivered there.
If you do not receive your confirmation email, please check your myACCA account to see if your exam entry has been successful. Retry if your exam entry does not show and funds have not been collected from your bank account.
How do I find out where to go on exam day?
The exam address will be printed on your Exam Docket. For more information please visit our Exam Dockets FAQ page
Will I be able to sit my exams at the centre that I have requested?
In the vast majority of cases, you will be allocated to the centre of your choice. On very rare occasions, when demand exceeds capacity, ACCA may have to allocate you to the nearest alternative centre. You will be told about this on your exam attendance docket.
In some cities, where demand is very high, students may be allocated to one of a number of different halls which make up a centre. As these halls can be in different locations, it is important that you read the venue details on your attendance docket carefully.
The network of available venues changes on a session-by-session basis so never assume that the venue from your last sitting will be the same as the one for any future sessions.
I would like to change my exam entry, is this possible?
Yes. Via the exam planner you can make amendments to existing exam entries up until the standard entry closing date - including withdrawing an entry, changing exam centre, variant papers or entering for more exams.
To view, amend or cancel exams, visit the exam planner and log in using your myACCA username and password.
Please note that the exam planner offers the only way to change exams. Customer Services will be unable to help with requests to change exams as it must be done by you, using your own myACCA login details.
What is the cost to sit at a special centre and how do I pay for this?
Unfortunately we cannot give an indication of the additional fees payable at your centre as the costs of the special centres are dependent upon the number of candidates sitting, the range of papers being taken and local invigilation charges.
If you are sitting at a designated Special Centre, please pay all invigilation and accommodation fees directly to the local supervisor before the date of the examination. If you are unable to sit the examination for which you have entered, please advise the local supervisor in good time and pay whatever cancellation fees may be appropriate.
How do I apply to sit at an unlisted special centre?
If the examination centre you wish to request is not shown in the drop down menu it is not possible for you to enter for examinations using the online entry system. You can apply to sit at an unlisted special centre for the June and December exam sittings.
To request to sit your examination at an unlisted special centre you must submit your request and full examination entry to us by emailing email@example.com with Centre not listed as your subject field by the early entry closing date.
It is only possible for ACCA to arrange special centres if we are satisfied that the same standards of facilities and invigilation that exist at our regular centres will be available. If it is not possible for us to arrange an exam sitting at the location you have requested, you will be offered the opportunity to sit your exams at the nearest exam centre. You will then receive an email confirming your exam entry and any payment instructions that are required from you.
Please note that if you are taking examinations at a special centre you will be required to pay any additional local invigilation and accommodation fees involved which are normally paid directly to the Exam Supervisor in advance of the exam date.
Why can't I sit papers F5 and P5 in the June session?
These papers are on the same day so it is not possible for students to enter for more than one exam in the same day. ACCA exams are operated at the same time across 5 different time zones making it impossible to enter for 2 exams in the same day.
How do I change my tax and law variant entry option?
If you wish to change your tax and law variant papers please remember to do so before the standard entry closing date of the exam session you have entered for. You can change your variant papers through myACCA.
Please note that your choice of tax variant will determine the choice of accounting and auditing standards available to you. For information on any changes to the current variant papers, please visit the Variants section
How do I change my accounting and auditing standards entry option?
If you wish to change your accounting and auditing standards entry option please remember to do so before the standard entry closing date of the exam session you have entered for.
You can change your entry option through myACCA. Please note that your choice of tax variant will determine the choice of accounting and auditing standards available to you.
If I want to achieve UK Registered Auditor status, do I have to take any particular papers?
If you would like to obtain UK or Irish Registered Auditor status then you will need to take the UK/Ireland variants of papers F4 Corporate and Business Law, F6 Taxation, P2 Corporate Reporting and P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance. If you are awarded exemptions from papers F4 and/or F6 but your degree/qualification does not cover UK or Irish tax and law you will need to pass the UK or Irish variants in order to be eligible for a practising certificate and audit qualification.
FAQs about sitting an exam
What happens on the exam day?
An Examination Attendance Docket will be available from myACCA. This includes a timetable of all the exams that you are entered for; details of the desk that has been assigned to you for each paper; and the address of your exam centre. If you are not completely sure of the location of the centre, how to get there or how long it may take you, make sure you rehearse your route before the day of the exam. Please remember that exams may start at peak times so you should allow for rush-hour traffic and possible hold-ups.
You must sit at the desk detailed on your docket. This will ensure that you are registered as being in attendance for that exam.
The docket will be collected by the supervisor during the exam to record your attendance. If you have any other exams during the session, the docket will be returned to you. If it is your last exam of the session, the docket will be retained for our records.
The Examination Attendance Docket also details important exam regulations and guidelines. You should read these carefully to familiarise yourself with the exam procedure and what equipment you are allowed to take with you into the exams. These regulations are reproduced regularly in the notice board section of Student Accountant.
Please take some form of official photographic ID, such as a passport, driving licence or national identity card. This will be checked during the exam together with your Examination Attendance Docket to verify your identity.
You should try to arrive at the exam centre about 30 minutes before the start of the exam. This will give you time to relax and prepare yourself.
The paper based exams for F5 to F9, the Professional level, and Dip IFR are, from September 16 session, all of three hours 15 minutes duration. ACCA has removed the restriction relating to reading and planning time, so that while the time considered necessary to complete these exams remains at 3 hours, candidates may use the additional 15 minutes as they choose. ACCA encourages students to take time to read questions carefully and to plan answers but once the exam time has started, there are no additional restrictions as to when candidates may start writing in their answer books.
Time should be taken to ensure that all the information and exam requirements are properly read and understood.
Where can I find the rules and regulations in relation to sitting an examination?
Full details of the rules and regulations are available on the reverse of your examination attendance docket. Please familiarise yourself with these prior to attending the examination centre.
What happens if I forget my photographic ID on the day of my exam?
You are required to bring an official means of your identity to the exam, such as your passport, driving licence or national ID card. If you forget your ID, you will be required to return to your centre before the end of the exam session with appropriate ID.
What happens if I arrive late for my exam?
If you are up to an hour late for the exam, you will still be allowed to enter the exam hall, although no extra time will be awarded. However, the supervisor will not allow you to enter the hall if you arrive more than an hour late.
Can I change my entry on the day of the exam?
No. Students are not allowed to change their entry on the day of the exam.
Can I change my variant/stream at the centre?
No. Students are not allowed to change their entry at all on the day of the exam.
If something happens at the exam centre that affects my performance, can I make a complaint?
ACCA makes every effort to ensure that you sit the exams in the best conditions possible. However, should you need to make a complaint, please contact the exam supervisor during the exam in order that everything possible can be done to rectify the situation.
If you feel that the situation has affected your performance, please inform ACCA directly by submitting details of your complaint via the Exams section of the myACCA portal
You must contact ACCA with details of any complaint by 16 March 2018 for the March session, in order for the situation to be investigated and taken into account in the results process.
What happens if I have attended my examinations but it has been affected by illness or other factors?
ACCA recognises that some students may experience difficult personal circumstances. If this is the case for you and the circumstances have affected your examinations, please inform ACCA directly by submitting details of your mitigating circumstances via the Exams section of the myACCA portal
It is important for you to provide any documentary evidence you may have in relation to your circumstances. You must contact ACCA with details of any mitigating circumstances you wish to be considered by 16 March 2018 for the March session, in order for the situation to be considered during the results process.
Due to the flexible availability of on-demand computer based exams (CBEs), students affected by personal circumstances likely to impact their exam performance will NOT be eligible to submit a request under this policy. CBE students are advised to re-schedule their exam to a more convenient time. Any problems experienced at an on-demand exam centre should be taken up with the CBE centre personnel directly.
What happens if I enter an exam and then can no longer take it?
You can amend or even withdraw your exam entry up until the standard exam entry closing date for that exam session. We can then either arrange to refund the exam fee to you or hold the money on your account for payment for the next exams you take. After the standard entry deadline, your examination entry fees are not refundable or transferable.
If you cannot sit an exam that you have registered to sit, you will be marked absent. This will not affect the marks of other exams you may have entered to sit and you can sit the exam you missed at the next available paper-based examination session. Alternatively, if the exam you intended to sit is available in computer-based format, you can sit the exam at an approved CBE Licensed centre.
It is not possible for you to withdraw an exam entry after the standard entry closing date.
If you are unable to attend your exam and feel that there are exceptional reasons for this then you can contact ACCA providing details of these reasons. This must be accompanied by relevant supporting documents at which point it may be considered for an exam withdrawal. Exam withdrawals will only be considered under the most extenuating circumstances, minor illnesses or normal expected workloads cannot be considered. Any supporting documents should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 23 March for the March session.
Exam questions were not answered in order. Will this be a problem?
Students are not required to answer the questions in a particular order. All of your answers will be marked.
Can I leave the exam centre if I finish early?
You are not permitted to leave the hall permanently until the end of the examination.
ACCA examinations are operated at the same time across 5 different time zones. The integrity of the examinations can only be protected if all students remain within the centre for the full duration of the examination, thus removing the risk of exam content information being passed to students sitting elsewhere in the world.
Can I re-sit an exam that I have already passed?
Students are not permitted to re-sit examinations which they have already passed with ACCA.
However, once you have achieved Affiliate/Member status, you can apply to re-sit examinations. Please visit the Members FAQs for further information
Can I enter additional exams?
Students are permitted to complete a maximum of 14 examinations (including exemptions) with ACCA.
However, once you have achieved Affiliate/Member status, you can apply to complete additional examinations. Please visit the Members FAQs for further information
FAQs about exam results
When are results issued?
For further information on when exam results will be available and how you can receive them, please visit the Exam results section
Can I receive my results by text message?
You need to opt in to receive results by text. You can opt in using myACCA:
- select 'account administration'
- select 'receiving communications from ACCA'
- under the 'mobile phone number' section, you will be provided with the option to receive your results by text. You must enter a valid mobile number for this option to appear
- tick 'I would like to receive notification of my exam results by text message'.
You must opt in to this service at least seven days before results are released. You only need to opt in once, all future results will then be sent by text.
Will past papers be available after every exam session?
With the introduction of the four exam sessions, we will continue to publish the same number of exams, two per year, and at the same times, after the December and June exam sessions.
These exams will be compiled from questions selected by the examining team from the two preceding sessions. That is, they will not reflect the entire September or December exam, for example, but will contain questions most appropriate for students to practice. The question banks published by our Approved Content Providers will contain these questions and suggested solutions, updated as necessary as noted above.
What can I do if I think that my results are incorrect?
ACCA has a range of procedures in place to ensure that the exam results issued are correct. However if you feel that your result does not reflect your performance, you may request an administrative review in the following circumstances:
you believe ACCA's procedures have not been properly applied in arriving at your mark
- you were present at the exam but have been issued an absent result
- you were absent at the exam but have been issued a result.
- A review may not be requested on the grounds of disagreement with the marker's academic judgement.
If you would like to request an administrative review you can submit your request via your myACCA account. Please read the Administrative Review information prior to submitting a request. Please note that this is not a re-marking service. ACCA does not offer any re-marking service.
Who is eligible for a prize?
ACCA issues a Certificate of Achievement in recognition of their success to students who achieve 85% or above for papers in the Knowledge module (F1-F3).
Cash prizes sponsored by major employers and educational institutions will be awarded to candidates attaining the highest mark worldwide for individual papers under the Skills module of the Fundamentals and Professional levels.
Medals will be awarded to candidates who have attained the highest aggregate marks worldwide for papers in the Professional level - Essentials and Options module papers (P1-P7) - upon achieving affiliate status.
How are prize winners contacted?
All prize winners will either be contacted by the exams department or their national office.
If you scored a high mark and believe you may have won a prize, you should contact your national office. The global prize-winners will be published in Student Accountant magazine. National offices may also publish information on regional prize-winners.