ACCA Exam Tips: Prepare to Pass!

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

  • How many hours to study for the ACCA exam.
  • How to study ACCA effectively.
  • The hardest ACCA exam.
  • If you can self-study the ACCA exam.
  • Where the latest Accountancy and Finance jobs are and how to apply for them. 

Exams can be daunting and acing the accredited Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is crucial for aspiring Accountants and finance professionals. 

According to ACCA, the qualification “rigorously tests the skills, abilities and competencies that a modern Accountant needs, with a firm grounding in ethics and professionalism.” 

They further cite that ACCA  “prepares students for a rewarding career as a qualified and ethical finance professional.” 

Faced with a possible 13 exams, and the promise of a competitive salary, career success and job security, the pressure to perform well in the ACCA exams is high and it can be a stressful experience.

According to ACCA, 89,719 entered the September 2023 sitting, which saw 104,389 exams completed. Of those, only 3,763 students completed their final exams to become ACCA affiliates.

Throughout this blog, we delve into top tips to prepare for the ACCA exams and the best advice to study ACCA effectively.

How many hours should I study for the ACCA exam?

Like any exam, study time can vary depending on the person and how long it takes to cover the syllabus. The recommended study time per week for the ACCA exam is 8 hours and students can expect to spend about 11 weeks on each paper.

The most common approach especially at the Applied Knowledge level is to study one module at a time and the flexibility of the ACCA allows you to move through the qualification at a pace that suits you. You also need to take into consideration any tuition classes or lessons that you attend.

How can I study ACCA effectively?

ACCA exam tips include:

  • Get started.
  • Prioritise revision.
  • Take breaks and rest.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Stay positive.

Get started

Waste no time, get started on your studying and exam preparation as soon as possible. The sooner you start revising the better prepared you will be for your ACCA exams. There is a lot of material for the ACCA qualification and a lot of information that needs to be understood. This means that studying early is the only way to learn as much information as possible for the exams.

Speak to tutors, professionals or colleagues for advice and use the ACCA website to discover the best introduction to studying for your ACCA exams. This in turn can help you feel more confident when it comes to your exams and the sooner you start, the better it will be for your career journey.

Prioritise revision

Practice and studying is the key to feeling less stressed and fully prepared for your ACCA exams. It is important to revise and set yourself realistic and attainable goals in the leadup to your exams.

Starting your studying is the first step, and then building concepts that work for you. Speak to tutors, refer to the syllabus and practise past papers, to ensure that you are learning from your revision and so that you can familiarise yourself with the exam structure.

Focus on revising the more important topics first and ensure that you are confident before moving onto another area of study.

Take breaks and rest

Don’t overwork yourself and put your mental health, wellbeing and career at risk. Use your time effectively and ensure that your study plan includes breaks and plenty of rest. Doing too much revision can actually affect your ability to learn making it even more difficult to retain information.

Use your time wisely so that your revision is more effective rather than spending hours studying with little to no impact. It is important that you get enough sleep to make sure your brain is alert and ready for more ACCA revision.

Exercise regularly

Keep your brain and body active, by exercising regularly. Exercise in your routine can give you more energy, lift your mood and improve your memory which is beneficial to your revision and study.

Just as rest and sleep is important, so is exercise and keeping your body and your mind active. Regular exercise is a great way to destress and can improve your mental wellbeing and your brain power. 

Why not take a break from revision and do some exercise to keep your brain active, energised and refreshed. This can allow you to come up with new ideas to keep you motivated or clear your head long enough and give you a boost when you return to studying.

Stay positive

The best way to cope with the stress of the exam period is to stay positive and block out any negative thoughts. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially with the vast amount of information students need to be able to understand and apply to the exam. 

Positive self-talk and trusting you’ve done enough can help to reduce stress and prepare you for any outcome. By focusing on your strengths and believing in your abilities, you can feel confident walking into your ACCA exams.

What is the hardest exam in ACCA?

For most, Audit and Assurance (AA) is generally considered to be the most difficult ACCA exam paper with an average pass level of 37%. At an advanced level, Audit and Assurance is even more challenging and requires more practice and processes to fully understand.

The Performance Management Module has a pass level of 40% and like Audit and Assurance, it requires a lot of practice using mock exams and new material.

Can I self study ACCA?

If you have self-funded for the ACCA qualification or you are an independent learner, it is definitely possible to self-study. It all depends on preference, as not everyone wants to follow the same guidelines or has the same work ethic when it comes to studying.

If you choose to self study, ensure you do what works for you and that you have the right material readily available whether it be online videos, ACCA textbooks or past papers. Past papers are a great way of learning and studying independently as well as assessing areas for improvement.

As long as you have the right mindset and are able to keep yourself motivated and on track, you can self-study for your ACCA exams. As you study and test your knowledge, you will be able to effectively refine and review your plan to ensure that it works for you.

Accountancy jobs

If you’re searching for your next accountancy job, why not take a look at the latest vacancies, or simply upload your CV to be notified when a relevant position becomes available.

If you are still finding yourself asking what is an ACCA qualification or wondering how to include an ACCA or CGMA qualification on your CV check out our career hub for advice on ACCA study strategies.

Struggling to recruit Accountants?

As specialist accountancy recruiters, we support practices nationwide with their permanent recruitment needs. 

If you’re struggling to find ACCA, ACA or CIMA qualified Accountants, why not get in touch with Divisional Manager, Matt Byrne-Fraser on 01772 954200 to see how we can help?

Meet Matt Byrne-Fraser

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Established in 2017, we’re a vibrant and progressive recruitment agency based in the heart of the North West. 

We continually reimagine the recruitment process to challenge convention and defy expectations; from creating a better recruitment experience to remodelling employee engagement, we thrive off doing things differently and turning heads along the way. 

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