Preparing for your upcoming exam
These videos provide guidance on getting ready for both an upcoming paper exam, or session CBE, including: how to maximise opportunities for earning marks, how to organise your exam answers effectively and what to expect leading up to, and on the day of, your upcoming exam.
Exam day preparation: Session CBEs
Exam day preparation: paper exams
Plan your journey
If you are not completely sure of the location of the centre, how to get there or how long it may take you, rehearse your route before the day of the exam.
You should arrive at the exam centre at least 45 minutes before the start of your exam. This is particularly important if you are sitting a session CBE, to allow time for checking into the exam.
Don't forget your docket
For session CBEs, on arrival at the exam centre you will be asked to present your exam docket in order to check in and be allocated a computer. For paper-based exams you should bring your docket and sit at the desk as detailed on your docket.
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.
Remember to take your photo ID
Please take some form of official photographic ID, such as a valid passport, driving licence or national identity card. This will be checked during the exam together with your exam docket to confirm your identity. If we can't confirm your identity, unfortunately your exam may not be marked.
Your allocated desk
If you are sitting a paper-based exam: You must ensure that you are sitting at the correct desk number. Please note that if you are taking more than one paper, your desk number may vary from paper to paper and if you do not sit at the correct desk your candidate answer booklet(s) may be rendered invalid.
If you are sitting a computer-based exam: You will be assigned a designated desk during the check in process before each examination.
What can you take to your desk?
- Examination attendance docket
- Official means of photographic identification
- Rulers, pens, pencils and an eraser
- Geometrical instruments
- A noiseless, cordless pocket calculator which may be programmable but which must not have a printout or graphic/word display facility in any language
- A small bottle of water or soft drink, all labels removed. No other drinks or food are permitted
- Black ballpoint pen.
No unauthorised items or materials are permitted.
Paper-based exams: question paper and candidate answer booklet
- You must ensure that you have been given the correct question paper by comparing the front cover of your question paper with the paper designation code on this document.
- You must not open your question paper or start writing in your candidate answer booklet until you are instructed to do so by the supervisor.
- When instructed by the supervisor you must complete the following details on the front of your candidate answer booklet in black ballpoint pen:
- your registration number and name
- your desk number
- your centre/hall code number
- your exam paper number and version (where appropriate).
- Before the examination start time, you will be presented with a holding screen which will display your name and the examination you are attempting. Please check the holding screen for your name and ensure the correct examination is displayed. In addition please also check the variant/standard (if applicable) is correct by comparing the examination displayed on the holding screen with the examination designation code on this document.
- You must not touch your keyboard/mouse until you are instructed to do so by the supervisor.
- You must not commence your examination until you are instructed to do so by the supervisor.
Paper-based exams: question paper and candidate answer booklet(s)
- You must use only black ballpoint pen to complete your answers in your candidate answer booklet(s).
- Before the end of the exam you must indicate the question numbers you have attempted on the front cover of the candidate answer booklet(s) and in the space provided at the top of each page within the booklet(s).
Please note that no extra time is allowed for this at the end of the examination.
- It is in your direct interest to show your rough workings for each question in your candidate answer booklet(s). This will help the marker accurately assess your performance in the examination.
You must also start each question on a new page and indicate the question number in the space provided at the top of the page.
- It is in your direct interest for each question answered to show your rough workings on the word processing or spreadsheet application provided within the CBE exam. This will help the marker accurately assess your performance in the examination.
- Any answers recorded on the working paper (in paper format) will not form part of your exam answers and will not be marked.
For paper-based exams only: Your candidate answer booklet(s), question paper and any unused working books will be collected by an invigilator/supervisor. You are not permitted to remove any of these items from the exam hall. Your worked candidate answer booklet(s) remain the property of ACCA and will not be returned to you.
For computer-based exams only: Your working paper will be collected by an invigilator/supervisor. No working paper is to be removed from the exam room. Your computer-based exam answers and individual working paper will remain the property of ACCA and will not be returned to you.
What will the docket be used for?
- It will ensure your entry to the examination
- It will be used to record your attendance at the examination
- It will be retained by the centre supervisor after your last examination in the session.
- Your examination entry fees are not refundable or transferable.
- The supervisor will not allow you to enter the examination hall after the first hour of the examination.
- Ensure that you arrive on time for your examination(s) as you will not be given extra time if you are late.
- You must pay close attention to the supervisor's announcements at the beginning of each examination. This will include important information relating to safety and security within the examination hall.
- You are not permitted to leave the exam room permanently until the end of the session. For the avoidance of doubt, this also applies before the exam has started if any question papers have been distributed (applicable to paper-based exams only) or if you have been seated at your designated computer workstation (applicable to computer-based exams only)
- If you are required to leave the hall for a short period at any time, you will be escorted by an invigilator.
- At the end of the examination, candidates must stop completing their exam when instructed to do so by the supervisor. Do not then leave your desk until the supervisor permits you to do so.
- You must leave all bags and briefcases at a point indicated by the supervisor. This includes mobile phones, tablets, pagers etc. ACCA cannot accept responsibility for the theft, loss of, or damage to, any valuables or unauthorised items left in the examination hall, therefore you are advised not to bring any valuable or unauthorised items to the examination centre.
- ACCA does not implement a dress code for its examinations. However, you should dress for your examination(s) in a manner which will not cause offence to your fellow candidates.
- Before, during and after your examination, you must not behave in a manner which will distract your fellow candidates. Inappropriate behaviour will be reported to ACCA by the supervisor.
- No smoking is allowed in the examination hall.
- You must not make any additional markings on this examination attendance docket.
- You must ensure that you familiarise yourself with the fire exits.
If you are sitting at a designated special centre (for the avoidance of doubt this does not refer to those centres for students requiring reasonable adjustments), 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 fees may be required.