Exam regulations

Taking your ACCA exams is part of your journey towards becoming an ACCA professional accountant and we therefore expect you to act in a professional manner when taking your exams. View our exam regulations for centre based and remotely invigilated session exams.

Exam Regulations

Taking your ACCA exams is part of your journey towards becoming an ACCA professional accountant and we therefore expect you to act in a professional manner when taking your exams. 

The following regulations apply to students sitting paper based, computer-based, and remotely-invigilated exams, as well as those taking internally assessed ACCA courses.

1. You are required to adhere at all times to the examination regulations and guidelines.  If you are found to be in breach of any of these regulations or fail to adhere to the exam guidelines, you may become liable to disciplinary action, pursuant to ACCA Bye-law 8, which could result in your removal from the student register.

2. You are required to comply in all respects with any instructions issued by the exam supervisor/s, invigilator/s, including remote invigilator/s/proctors, and any ACCA personnel before, during and at the conclusion of an exam. If you fail to comply with such instructions, you may become liable to disciplinary action, pursuant to ACCA Bye-law 8, which could result in your removal from the student register.

3. You may not attempt to deceive the exam supervisor/s, invigilator/s, proctor/s and any ACCA personnel by giving false or misleading information.

4. You are not permitted during the exam to possess, use or attempt to use any notes, books or other written materials except those expressly permitted in the guidelines below. These are known as ‘unauthorised materials’.

5.(a) You are not permitted to use a dictionary or an electronic translator of any kind or have on or at your desk a calculator

(if applicable to your exam) which can store or display text. You are also not permitted to use in your examination room an electronic communication device, camera, any item with smart technology functionality or mobile phones (unless the exam is being conducted remotely in accordance with any requirements which you have been notified). These are regarded as ‘unauthorised items’ and are taken into the examination room at the candidate’s own risk. ACCA accepts no responsibility for their loss or damage, if applicable. 

5.(b) Such ‘unauthorised items’ must not be worn, or be placed on your desk, in pockets of clothing, in your bag or personal belongings, or be kept anywhere else on or about your person. If you bring a mobile phone, electronic communication device or camera, or any item with smart technology functionality and/or capable of taking photographic images with you to your examination, you must declare this to the examination personnel prior to the start of the examination. You must switch the phone or electronic communication device or camera off and disable any alarms or notifications. You must then follow the instructions given to you by the examination personnel’.

6.(a) If you breach exam regulation 4 and the ‘unauthorised materials’ are relevant to the syllabus being examined; it will be assumed that you intended to use them to gain an unfair advantage in the exam. In any subsequent disciplinary proceedings, you will have to prove that you did not intend to use the unauthorised materials to gain an unfair advantage in the exam.

6.(b) If you breach exam regulation 5, it will be assumed that you intended to use the ‘unauthorised items’ to gain an unfair advantage in the exam. In any subsequent disciplinary proceedings, you will have to prove that you did not intend to use the ‘unauthorised items’ to gain an unfair advantage in the exam.

6.(c) (For students take remote exams in China only) You are not permitted to use a dictionary or an electronic translator of any kind or have on or at your desk a calculator (if applicable) which can store or display text. You are also not permitted to use mobile phones (unless remote invigilation is conducted by ATA and the phone is used in accordance with ATA’s proctor device requirements) , electronic communication device, camera, or any item with smart technology functionality in your examination room. These are known as ‘unauthorised items’ and are taken into the examination room at the candidates own risk. ACCA accepts no responsibility for their loss or damage, if applicable. Such items must not be worn, or be placed on your desk, in pockets of clothing, in your bag or personal belongings, or be kept anywhere else on or about your person. If you bring a mobile phone, electronic communication device or camera, or any item with smart technology functionality and/or capable of taking photographic images with you to your examination, you must declare this to the examination personnel prior to the start of the examination. You must switch the phone or electronic communication device or camera off and disable any alarms or notifications. You must then follow the instructions given to you by the examination personnel.

7. You (irrespective of if you are a licensed weapon holder) are not allowed to attend your exam with a weapon. If you are found to have a weapon in your possession you will be excluded from the exam without any reimbursement. 

8. You are required to comply with all and any directions given by supervisor/s, invigilator/s, proctor/s and any ACCA personnel. They are obliged to report any cases of irregularity or improper conduct to ACCA. They are also empowered to discontinue your exam if you are suspected of misconduct and to also exclude you from the exam room.

9 (a) If you breach exam regulation 8 and fail to disclose any ‘unauthorised materials’ or ‘unauthorised items’, the supervisor/s, invigilator/s, proctor/s  reasonably suspect/s you to have in your possession, it will be assumed the ‘unauthorised materials’ are relevant to the syllabus being examined and that you intended to use the ‘unauthorised materials’ and/or ‘unauthorised items’ to gain an unfair advantage.

10. You may not engage in any improper conduct designed to assist you in your exam attempt or provide any improper assistance to any other exam entrant in their exam attempt. 

11. If you are sitting paper-based examinations, you are not permitted to remove either your candidate answer booklet(s) or your question paper from the exam room. All candidate answer booklets remain the property of ACCA. 

12. If you are taking a computer-based exam you are not permitted to copy exam content in any manner, or  take photograph/s of  your screen.

13. If you are taking a remotely-invigilated exam you must destroy any working paper on screen in front of your invigilator/proctor (if applicable to your exam) as instructed by the invigilator/proctor(s).

14. You must not copy, photograph or reproduce in any manner exam questions. You are also strictly prohibited from distributing or seeking to exploit for commercial gain unauthorised copies of exam questions.

15. If you attempt to gain an unfair advantage in the exam (whether by breaching an exam regulation or otherwise) you may become liable to disciplinary action, pursuant to ACCA Bye-law 8.

16. Candidates must not talk to, or attempt to communicate with, people other than the exam supervisor/s, invigilator/s or proctor/s for the duration of the exam. 

17. You must not attempt to access and/or obtain your examination results prior to ACCA’s official published results release date.

18. For all exams including remotely invigilated exams; students must not conduct themselves in an inappropriate way (including conducting themselves in vulgar, offensive, abusive, or any illegal activity).

EXAMINATION GUIDELINES

BEFORE THE EXAMINATION

WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR ENTRY TO THE EXAMINATION?

  • This examination attendance docket (for centre-based exams).

  • An official means of photographic identification, such as your valid passport, driving licence or government issued photographic identification document. If you are unable to prove your identity your examination attempt may not be marked.

Please note that you are only permitted to attempt the examination(s) shown and chosen by you.  For each examination listed, you can only attend the examination centre allocated.

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 ITEMS ARE PERMITTED AT YOUR DESK?

  • Examination attendance docket (centre-based exams).

  • An official means of photographic identification.

  • A small bottle of water all labels removed or a clear glass of water. No other drinks or food are permitted.

  • A noiseless, cordless pocket calculator which may be programmable, but which must not have a printout or graphic/word display facility in any language.

  • Unauthorised items or materials are permitted on or about your person or at your desk.

  • For centre-based exams: Mobile phones (or communication devices of any type), smartwatch or other wearable technology, which must be declared, switched off and placed in a clear plastic bag and stowed underneath your chair or stored as directed by the proctor/invigilator or exam centre staff.

  • For remote invigilation conducted in China: mobile phones only to be used in accordance with ATA’s proctor device requirements.

  • For other remote invigilation exams: After the check-in process has been completed, students should keep their phone in the room with them, but out of arm’s reach. The invigilator may use the chat function to indicate that they will call the student, or if connection has been lost with the invigilator, the student should expect a call on the number they entered during the check-in process. During the exam your phone should be kept on silent to avoid disruptions.

YOUR EXAMINATION

For paper-based exams only:

  • 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).

For computer-based exams only:

  • 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/proctor.

  • You must not commence your examination until you are instructed to do so by the supervisor/proctor.

 For remote invigilation exams only:

  • No one else is allowed in the room where you are sitting the exam.

  • Make sure your full face is visible to the camera throughout the exam.

  • Disconnect extra monitors, projectors and televisions.

  • Place food and smoking equipment out of sight.

  • Move phones, electronic devices, headphones and watches out of arm's reach.

DURING THE EXAMINATION 

For paper-based exams only:

  • You must use only black ballpoint pen to complete your answers in your candidate booklet(s).

  • Before the end of the exam, you must indicate the question numbers you have attempted in the space provide at the top of each page within the booklet(s). Please note that no extra time is allowed for this at the end after 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.

For computer-based exams only:

  • 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 remote-invigilated Session-Based exams:

• You are not permitted to possess and/or use scratch paper or take physical notes. 

• No other person is permitted to enter the room. 

• You are not permitted to talk out loud and/or communicate with any other person by any means. 

• The room must be as quiet as possible. Sounds such as music or television are not permitted. 

• You must not leave your desk for any reason unless you are specifically permitted to do so. If you are permitted to take a bathroom break, before doing so you must use the chat function to notify the invigilator/proctor that you are leaving your desk and upon returning to your desk inform them that you have returned. It is important that you do not exceed the 5-minute break limit as this may result in your exam being terminated.

AFTER THE EXAMINATION

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 room. Your worked candidate answer booklet(s) and answers will remain the property of ACCA and will not be returned to you.

For  computer centre-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 centre examination.

  • It will be used to record your attendance at the centre examination.

  • It will be retained by the centre supervisor after your last examination in the session.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

  • Your examination entry fees are not refundable or transferable.

  • The supervisor will not allow you to enter the examination room 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 room.

  • You are not permitted to leave your desk/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 exam room 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 venue, 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 room.

  • You must not make any additional markings on this examination attendance docket.

  • You must ensure that you familiarise yourself with the fire exits.

RESULTS RELEASE

Examination results will be available on myACCA and by email and text message. Please check www.accaglobal.com/examresults for details of when these will be published.

NOTE TO CANDIDATES SITTING AT SPECIAL EXAMINATION CENTRES

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.