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How many ACCA Professional level exams did you take at once?


I just wondered how many ACCA exams at professional level did everyone take in one each 'sitting'. Did you work full time along side them? Did you employers give you study leave?


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ACCA Exams

This may not be of any help as I sat the "old" ACCA style exams (papers 1 to 14).

Back in the day (sound old, I'm only 33) the professional stage was papers 9 through 14 and I did them in two sittings, papers 9, 10 and 11 and then 12,13 and 14.

Although working full time, my employer provided some study leave, 1 day per paper + the day of the exam iself with the rest topped up from annual leave.

Things may have changed as I seem to remember the papers had to be sat at the same time, but I may be worng.

Best of luck in any case, you will get out what you put in - study hard and you will be rewarded :)

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There are 5 papers in the professional stage now...3 mandatory (P1, P2,P3) and 2 (out of 4) options (P4, P5, P6, P7).

I've read somewhere that they can be sat in any order.



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Hi there,

I personally think the final papers are not that hard anymore. I did ACCA on my own and working full time at the same time. But I did take about 2 weeks off prior to the exam dates.


I do not really know what the Ps stand for but you can surely take 3 at one go...4 is stretching it though.. It did take 4 at one go and passed them all but to be honest the marks were all around that was a bit lucky!



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Old system but...

When I did the ACCA, there were 9 papers in the middle level and 4 at the top level.  The top level all had to be done and passed in a single sitting.  For the middle 9, I did 5 one year and then the remaining 4 the next.  I managed to pass all at first attempt.  I did evening classes for the first 5 at middle level, but then did day release for the final 4 at middle level and final 4 at top level.  Employer paid for the college courses, but I had a day's pay docked for the day release and had to use my holiday allowances for a week or two off prior to each sitting to do revision.  Though employer didn't dock my pay nor make me use holidays for the actual exam days.

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When I qualified the final level had six papers from memory & I remember you had to sit & pass three at a time. I think the pass rate was 50% for each paper but if you failed one at a mark between 45 & 50 & passed the others at more than 60% you could resit the one you failed. From what I understand now you can elect which papers you take & pass one at a time. Cynically I would say it means ACCA get more members but in my opinion it devalues the qualification. However if I had the choice I would still take three at a time just to get them over with.


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Two per sitting

The majority of students who work full time will take 2 per sitting (June and December) as this is a nice amount.  I failed Finance Mangement (By 4 marks - gutted!) in June, so sat 3 papers in December just gone to make up.

I get 6 days off for my sittings which includes exam days.  So taking 3 exams meant I had to do much more in my own time.

Provided I pass my last lot, I'll be moving on from the Fundamentals.

Lastly, I am always amazed at how other students come to choosing which exams they take in which sittings.  Do not take them in order or your favourite first!  Look at when the exams are and choose based on how much of a gap you have between exams.  The last thing you want is two exams in two days - your just asking for trouble and a last minute panic!

All the best,

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ACCA is completely devalued now
I agree with Stevebaker22. Since ACCA changed the final exam format and allowing students to take their finals one at a time has completely ruined the prestige of the qualification.
I knew people who said they wouldn't even consider doing ACCA because of the reputation the final exams had i.e having to take and pass all 3 final papers together.
Now however that "scare" factor is gone and all the masses who have not got the capability of passing all 3 final papers one day after the other eventually become a chartered accountant. Quite frankly you're better of doing ICAEW or ICAS which are perhaps as tough as ACCA used to be.

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Great thread; and have you seen our Student discussion group?

Some useful insights here for anyone planning ahead to June and beyond for ACCA qualification.

As it happens, we've started an embryonic Student discussion group on AccountingWEB as part of a longer term plan to build a more permanent resource for trainee accountants. Our intention is to provide some technical background on each of the professional bodies and their syllabus & training systems, plus a Q&A area like Any Answers where students and mentors can exchange ideas about different exam topics (without providing pat answers, of course).

The info here is a nice introduction to wider the ACCA qualification discussion, so I'll use some of the info you've posted to get the ball rolling there. Please come and join us if you think this facility might be useful to you in the months/years ahead!

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It all seems easier now than it was

In the dim and distant past when I was qualified you had to sit and pass all four final papers in the same sitting but think you may have been able to refer and resit just one paper if you passed the other three.

Still better than the Institute of Tax exams then.  You could refer if you failed one paper marginally (by 5% I think) but only if your average for the other three papers was well over the pass mark.

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ACCA exams

I did P1-3 in one go and then did P4 and P6 the following sitting. My employer sent me to study with BPP (usually 4 days of studying and 4 days of revision per exam) and I took about 3 days of study leave right before the exams. Otherwise I worked full time.


I struggled with P2 quite a bit because I don't do corporate reporting as a part of my job, but P1 and P3 are pretty easy if you are into essay questions etc. P4 and P6 did require more work and felt a bit harder, but I ended up passing them with flying colours, so I guess they weren't that difficult after all. I do know the contents of the papers have changed or are changing slightly, though.

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On the old system, and the slightly less old system ...

I did 3 out of Papers 1-4, I was exempt from one.  I wasn't working at that time.

Then I got a trainee position and started working full time.

I did papers 5-8 in one go, then 9-11, then 3.5-3.7 under a newer system.  I had to pass the final 3 in one go.

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Two by two...then one

I did P1 and P2(UK) the first year, P3 and P5 the second (despite a lot of overlap between these two I still needed two attempts to pass these) and I did P6(UK) on it's own (which is probably not a bad idea given the vast amount of knowledge covered).  All of this was done via self study (which suited my family situation) and about 6 years after my Undergraduate Degree (which gave full exemption from the foundation level).

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