Ways to study for ACCA exams

The way you study for your exams has a direct impact on your exam result, so choosing how to study is a significant decision.

Many learning providers offer a variety of study methods and we hope the information below will help you choose the study method most appropriate to you.

Approved Learning Partners

There are lots of different ways to prepare for your exams - and we strongly recommend that you study through an Approved Learning Partner (ALP). ALPs are assessed by ACCA, for the quality of their ACCA course management, delivery and study support. We continuously monitor pass rates of ACCA students studying with ALPs as this is one of the benchmarks required to determine and maintain the level of approval awarded.

Our analysis show that students who study with an ALP perform much better in the exams than those who don’t.

Find an Approved Learning Partner

Approved Learning Partners - levels of approval

Platinum

This is the highest and most prestigious level of approval, available to learning providers who teach ACCA Qualification. Platinum ALPs are required to meet our global best practice benchmarks relating to the institution and course management, course delivery and student support. Platinum ALPs are required to demonstrate student pass rates, which exceed global averages for majority of the papers they teach.

Gold

This level of approval is awarded to learning providers who offer tuition for either ACCA Qualification or Foundations in Accountancy suite of qualifications. Gold ALPs are required to meet our global best practice benchmarks relating to the institution and course management, course delivery and student support. Following the approval Gold ALPs are required to demonstrate student pass rates appropriate for this level of approval.

Silver

This level of approval is normally awarded to learning providers new to teaching ACCA qualifications, who are working towards being approved at the Gold level.

Before enrolling with any learning provider, be sure to check the range of products they offer and the cost and terms and conditions that apply.

Face to face tuition

Full-time, classroom-based tuition is delivered at the learning provider’s premises. Full-time tuition typically takes place during office hours, Monday to Friday, over a period of several weeks or months. For the duration of the course, you may be taught one or more of the ACCA exams, learning the syllabus and applying the knowledge acquired through question practice and mastering exam techniques in preparation for the exam.

 Some of the reasons why you might choose full-time study:

  • When wishing to focus solely on your studies
  • When not in full-time employment
  • When taking a career break
  • To complete your ACCA exam requirement as quickly as possible

Part-time, classroom-based tuition is delivered at learning provider’s premises. The courses will usually take place in the evening or at the weekends and may last several weeks or months. Part time courses can also be condensed into a more intensive period of several days, during weekdays or weekends. For the duration of the course, you will be taught the syllabus for your chosen ACCA exam(s), learning the syllabus and applying the knowledge acquired through question practice and mastering exam techniques in preparation for the exam.

Some of the reasons you might choose part-time study:

  • When in full-time or part-time employment
  • When aiming to complete ACCA exams while gaining practical experience, through your employment
  • To maximise your chances of success, when study time is limited

Face-to-face revision courses take place at the learning provider’s premises. Revision courses are designed to help students enforce and refresh their knowledge and skills acquired as part of the tuition course. They normally cover a refresh of the syllabus content, intensive exam question practice and dedicated tutor support. Revision courses normally follow a full tuition course, but are often available as separate course.

 Some of the reasons you might choose to attend a revision course:

  • To increase your confidence in effectively applying the knowledge acquired
  • To enhance your learning experience
  • To practise time management and question technique
  • To develop further confidence.

Question practice sessions are offered by some learning providers to allow students a structured exam practice and normally include a mock exam, with tutor guidance and emphasis on good exam technique to optimise success in the real exam.

Some of the reasons you might choose to attend question practice sessions:

  • to develop skills to apply knowledge learned effectively in the exam scenario
  • to master the exam technique necessary and increase chances of maximising your marks in the exam
  • to practise and revise syllabus knowledge, sometimes in preparation for a re-take
  • to increase confidence and perform in the exam situation
  • to improve your exam time management and maximise performance.

Online learning

Full course – an online learning course would involve online experience designed, delivered and supported by the learning provider. Students should expect to have access to live or pre-recorded lectures, while supported remotely by tutors or subject area experts. The courses are structured and offer recommendations for the most effective ways to achieve optimum results, including coursework requirements.

Access to study materials is also available online. The online learning platforms are often supplemented with social media tools to engage with classmates, as well as short videos, quizzes, and whiteboards to write on and share with tutor and classmates and including various reference materials.

Students have the flexibility to organise their study and attempt any coursework in their own time and may also be able to connect with other students virtually, for peer support.

Some of the reasons you might choose online learning:

  • You value the flexibility that this mode of study offers
  • Face-to-face study is difficult to fit around your commitments and lifestyle
  • When in full-time employment
  • To take advantage of technology enhanced learning solutions
  • There are no face-to-face courses available nearby

Online revision course would involve an online experience delivered and supported by the learning provider. Like face-to-face, online revision courses are designed to help students enforce and refresh their knowledge and skills acquired as part of the tuition course. They will normally include a reminder of the syllabus content, intensive exam question practice and online tutor support.

Some of the reasons you might choose to attend revision courses:

  • To increase confidence in effectively applying the knowledge acquired
  • To enhance your learning experience
  • To practise your time management and question technique
  • To develop further confidence.

Blended learning

Blended learning – blended learning combines a face-to-face and online learning experience from a learning provider, in a single course. Participation in both elements of the tuition is necessary to complete the tuition course.

Some of the reasons your might choose blended learning:

  • To have the flexibility online and face to face tutor and peer contact
  • When in full-time or part-time employment
  • Convenience
  • To take advantage of technology enhanced learning and also have the opportunity to meet the tutor and classmates in person from time to time

What to do if you cannot attend a full tuition course?

You should seriously consider enrolling on revision or question practice sessions, if at all possible.

This will give you the benefit of tutor guidance and advice in the final run up to the exams. While enrolling on a full course will give you maximum benefit, many learning providers offer revision and question practice sessions as separate products - you may choose this as an option if unable to sign up to a full course.

Approved Content

Don’t forget, using the Approved Content materials produced by our key partners and approved by ACCA, and going to an Approved Learning Partner will provide you with best chance of exam success.

Approved Content badge means that the study materials have been assessed by ACCA's examining team to ensure they are of the very highest quality and offer full syllabus coverage.

ACCA's Approved Content Providers are:

  • BPP Learning Media
  • Kaplan Publishing

The Approved Content Provider question and answer banks are a great source of exam-style questions, so we strongly recommend that you use these as your primary resource when it comes to question practice.

Content providers always update their study materials to reflect the latest syllabus content, examinable documents and exam structure.

ACCA study resources

ACCA provides a range of resources designed for each one of the exams, to help you prepare successfully. These resources offer essential information to help you optimise your study time and use your knowledge of the syllabus to achieve success. There are a wide range of resources available including examining team guidance and reports from past sessions, exam specific study support guides, syllabus details, specimen exams and past exam papers, technical articles and more.

Access ACCA study resources