Students' FAQs on exams

FAQs about exam sessions

When can I take exams?

Students can take session-based exams during our four exam sessions a year.  These take place over 5 days in March, June, September and December.  

What exams will be available at each session?

Selected variant exams may only be available during the June and December sessions, whilst exams available as on-demand computer based exams will not be available as these can be booked at any time from our licensed on-demand CBE centres.  Please check the exam timetable or exam planner for more information.

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

When are the entry deadlines?

For the 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 can 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

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. 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.

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 over 400 exam centres around the world.  More information on exam centres can be found in the exam planner.

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 exams in a six-month period.

How can I enter for exams?

You register for your exams online. 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 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, you can make the following changes to an existing exam entry up to the standard entry deadline via the exam planner by selecting to either:

  • withdraw
  • change the time, location or variant
  • switch to a remote based exam
  • enter for more exams.

If you wish to change your exam date from one session to another, you can withdraw your booking from exam planner by selecting the amend option up to the standard entry deadline.

Amending an exam which is already confirmed, up to the standard entry deadline does not incur additional fees or charges.

To view, change 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 Computer Based Special Centre, ACCA will notify you of the Special Centre fee information before the examination date. You will thereafter be issued an invoice for the fee and the corresponding debit applied to your MyACCA account. If you are unable to sit the examination for which you have entered, this Special Centre fee will still apply.

I require special facilities at the exam centre, is this possible?

You should raise a request on the Additional Support Portal, or see more information on additional support.

Can I book two exams scheduled for the same day?

Since the introduction of session computer-based exams, the exam planner will alert you that both exams are on the same day. It is your responsibility to ensure you have ample time to travel between venues.

If you choose to book two exams on the same day and miss one because of travel issues between venues, you would not be considered for an exam withdrawal or refund.


How do I change my tax and law variant entry option?

If you wish to change your tax and law variant exams please remember to do so before the standard entry closing date of the exam session you have entered for. You can change your variant exams 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 exams, please visit the Variants section

If I want to achieve UK Registered Auditor status, do I have to take any particular exams?

If you would like to obtain UK or Irish Registered Auditor status then you will need to take the UK/Ireland variants of the Corporate and Business Law (LW), Taxation (TX), Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) and Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA) exams.  If you are awarded exemptions from the Corporate and Business Law (LW) and/or Taxation (TX) exams 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 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.

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 Applied Skills exams, Strategic Professional, 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.

If you feel that the conditions in which you have sat your exam has affected your performance, please inform ACCA directly by submitting details of your Centre Complaint via the Exams section of your myACCA portal

Please ensure key details and descriptions are included in your submission where possible.

ACCA are not responsible for providing clocks or onsite parking at the exam venue. 

Your exam venue may change from a previous exam sitting. ACCA reserves the right to make changes to the venue and location each exam session as per the terms and conditions of exam entry.

You must submit your centre complaint by the date specificed for your exam session in our important dates section for your experience to considered.

Please note that unfortunately complaints in relation to your exam centre will not be accepted for consideration after the above closing date.

What happens if I have attended my examinations but it has been affected by illness or other factors?

If you have experienced difficult circumstances that you feel have affected your exam performance, you can let us know by following the mitigating circumstances process.

What are my options if I have made a request for mitigating circumstances, but don't believe my circumstances have been fully considered when I receive my result?

If you believe that we have not applied our procedures properly when you receive your exam result, you can follow the mitigating circumstances appeals process.

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 booked 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 examination session.

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. Where documents have been issued in a language other than English, we require a copy of the original language documents and a copy of the official translation to English (signed and stamped by the translator).

We would require:

  • medical letter or report from your doctor / GP / medical professional
  • copy of covid positive test / screen shot of isolation request
  • cancellation email or notice from a travel provider
  • copy of death certificate.

Exam withdrawals will only be considered under the most extenuating circumstances, and where supported by documentary evidence; minor illnesses cannot be considered. 

The quickest and easiest way to request a withdrawal is the 'Exam withdrawal' option on our contact form, where you can use our webchat function. If you are based in China and are asking about a China Centre Exam Withdrawal, please use the China - Exam Withdrawal in Contact Us under the Student option.

The deadline for exam withdrawal requests is provided by session in our important dates section. Please note if you have already contacted us about an Exam Withdrawal. You don't need to contact us to check the status of your request.

If you are granted a withdrawal, you should not attend the examination under any circumstances;  in the event that you do so, you will be liable to pay additional fees.

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 13 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.

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 Applied Knowledge exams. 

Cash prizes sponsored by major employers and educational institutions will be awarded to candidates attaining the highest mark worldwide for individual Applied Skills and Strategic Professional exams.

Medals will be awarded to candidates who have attained the highest aggregate marks worldwide for the Strategic Professional exams - 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.