Changes to Options exams

From September 2022, we'll be introducing professional skills marks into the ACCA Strategic Professional Options exams. These changes will help prepare you for the role of finance professionals, your employability and ensure the ACCA Qualification continues to meet the needs of the profession.

Professional Skills overview video

The changes being introduced

The Options exams will have 20 marks awarded for professional skills which are demonstrated throughout the exam. The exam duration will remain the same allowing you to more effectively manage your exam time to answer the 80 marks allocated for showing mastery of your technical specialism.

These changes will be incorporated from September 2022 in the following exams:

  • Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA)
  • Advanced Financial Management (AFM)
  • Advanced Performance Management (APM)

And from June 2023 in the following exam:

  • Advanced Taxation (ATX)*

*Changes to ATX-MYS variant will come into effect from the December 2023 exam session. 

The professional skills being assessed

These will be the same as those currently assessed in Strategic Business Leader (SBL) but tailored to reflect the specialist content being assessed in each Options exam. 

Each of the four professional skills has a number of leadership capabilities associated with it. The Strategic Professional Options examinations will use these capabilities to allocate marks in each exam question as appropriate.

The professional skills and capabilities are:

More guidance on how each of these professional skills are defined within the context of that exam can be found in the Professional skills options guidance document and in the exam-specific support pages below.

Resources to support students

Support resources

The syllabus and study guides and a specimen exam are now available for you to familiarise yourself with the new exam structure. Ahead of the changes being introduced into the September 2022 exams we'll be providing you with comprehensive support resources to prepare you for success. These will be announced through our usual communication channels and available here and within the Study Support Resources section.

Ethics and Professional Skills module

All the professional skills assessed in the Options exam are fully explored and developed throughout the Ethics and Professional Skills module (EPSM).  Students who complete EPSM in advance of sitting Strategic Professional exams have a 20% better success rate. 

With these changes it is now more important than ever that you should aim to compete EPSM in advance of taking an Options exam.