ACCA - The global body for professional accountants

What is the pass mark for the examinations?

50 per cent for all exams

What styles of questions are set in the ACCA Qualification exams?

Exams vary in their structure and style. For detailed guidance on this, you should refer to the individual syllabuses and study guides.

Most examinations consist of a mix of computational and written questions. Certain subject areas lend themselves better to written questions than others but you should be prepared for both.

Are the questions in the paper-based Knowledge module exams the same as in the computer-based exams?

Both exams cover the same syllabus areas and have the same number of questions. The paper-based exam consists of multiple-choice questions only and the computer-based exam consists of a variety of styles including multiple choice, number entry, multiple response and multiple response matching questions.

Are practice questions available?

Our website includes a full sample exam for both the paper-based and computer-based versions.

In addition, our approved publishers BPP Learning Media and Kaplan Publishing include practice questions and practice exams as part of their study materials.

These materials are intended to support both paper-based and computer-based exams and therefore include CDs and/or online materials to support revision for computer-based exams.

Why can I no longer access past examination papers for F1 to F3?

We use questions from past examination papers as part of our question bank for future computer-based exams. We have decided not to publish past papers as a way of  discouraging candidates from simply memorising these questions and answers.

Students should become familiar with the range of question styles they might meet in the exam instead. They can do this by practising questions from study materials and by practising questions in class.

Examiners have reviewed the questions included in study materials by our official publishers BPP Learning Media and Kaplan Publishing. So, by using these texts, you can be confident that you are practising questions of the right type and standard.

A pilot paper is also available for each of the exams in both paper- and computer-based formats. Furthermore, after each session, the examiner for papers F1 to F3 produces a report that releases up to three questions in which students performed badly, together with an explanation of what went wrong. Over time this will become a useful bank of additional questions.

Why do all the papers at Fundamentals level only contain compulsory questions?

Allowing any degree of choice at the Fundamentals level might have encouraged some students to avoid learning certain aspects of each syllabus on the grounds that they could avoid answering a question on this topic in any given paper.

Our view is that all the subject areas within the Fundamentals level are fundamental to the work of an accountant. Therefore, by only including compulsory questions within examinations at the Fundamentals level we are trying to encourage students to study more broadly and gain a more rounded knowledge.

What should candidates do to make the best use of the additional 15 minutes’ reading and planning time?

Candidates should read the questions carefully so that they are clear on what examiners are asking for. Examiners regularly comment in their reports that students are not good at this.

Reading questions carefully can help candidates make the appropriate choice of questions to answer and can help them gain a better understanding of the material covered in each question.

The extra time is particularly helpful in answering case study questions, where candidates may need to identify key pieces of information.

Please read the article on reading and planning time in the Student Accountant for more information.

Does the published pass rate include computer-based exams?


No, it only includes the written papers at present.

Can I take the ACCA Qualification exams in any order?

You can attempt up to a maximum of four papers per examination cycle. There are two examination cycles per year: 1 February to 31 July and 1 August to 30 January.

Papers must be taken in line with the following module order. However, you can attempt the papers within each module in any order:

  • Knowledge (F1-F3) – available by computer-based exam (CBE) or paper-based format 
  • Skills (F4-F9) – available by paper-based format 
  • Essentials (P1-P3) – available by paper-based format 
  • Options (P4-P7) – available by paper-based format.

For example, you can take F3 before F1 and F2, but you must complete all three exams before taking F4.

If your status allows you to enter for papers across modules, please remember that you must complete the papers in order and enter for outstanding papers in your current module if you wish to enter to sit papers in the next module.

For example, you may have already passed papers F1 and F2. You can enter for papers F3 and F4 at the same time, but you would not be allowed to only enter for F4.

I understand my exams will be marked online. What does this mean for me?

The number of ACCA students has increased significantly over the years. Our use of online marking ensures that your exam results can be delivered on time.

For candidates, online marking means less form filling. You won't have to complete your details on a registration sheet (CRS) as well as your script booklet as these two documents have been combined in a new look candidate answer booklet.

However, there are six instructions you must follow in order that your exam paper can be marked correctly.

  1. Please complete your personal details on the front of the answer booklet. You must ‘bubble’ (fully colour in the appropriate circle) the following details carefully: 
      a. registration number
      b. desk number
      c. paper description for exam being taken
      d. exam centre.
  2. Please start each question on a new page. The question number should be bubbled in the section at the top of the page.
  3. Please use black pen to complete your details on the booklet and when answering the exam questions. Pencil, fountain pens, gel pens and other colours of pen will not be picked up by the scanning technology and could result in questions not being marked correctly.
  4. Please score out incorrect answers rather than using correction fluid.
  5. Please do not write in the margins as this information will not be presented to the marker during the marking process.
  6. Please do not write answers across the centre of the booklet as the middle margins will not be visible in the marking process.

You will be reminded of these instructions again on the day of the exam.

Last updated: 4 Feb 2014