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Exam modules | What is the ACA qualification | ICAEW Careers

Exam modules

To become an ICAEW Chartered Accountant you must study and pass 15 exam modules focused on different aspects of accountancy, finance and business. Designed to provide you with in-depth knowledge across a broad range of topics, each of the ACA qualification modules are directly relevant to the work that you will do throughout your training. While the modules are split over three levels: Certificate, Professional and Advanced, the modules can be taken in any order, except for the Case Study which must be taken last.

Certificate level

The Certificate Level modules of the ACA

  • 1.5 hour computer-based assessment.
  • Can be completed at any time at approved test centres.

These modules will introduce you to the fundamentals of accountancy, finance and business.

Most ACA students complete the Certificate Level within the first year of their training agreement.

Read more about the Certificate level

ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB)

The Certificate level of the ACA also make up an independent qualification, ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business. This can be completed independently of the ACA. 

ICAEW CFAB is a globally-recognised qualification in finance, accounting and business. It is open to everyone and can be studied independently or via a tuition provider.

The six exams can be completed in any order and are assessed via computer-based assessment at a local exam-centres.

ICAEW CFAB can be achieved in 12 months. Upon completion, you will receive your ICAEW CFAB qualification certificate and you can choose to carry on and complete the ACA.

Read more about ICAEW CFAB

Professional level

 The Professional Level modules of the ACA

  • 2.5-3 hour paper exam.
  • Flexible to fit around your training agreement.
  • Can be taken in one of four sittings each year.

The 'Business Planning: Taxation' and 'Business Strategy' modules are more advanced and link to the Advanced Level of the ACA qualification.

Read more about the Professional level

Credit for prior learning

Credit for prior learning (CPL), also known as exemptions, are available for some of the Certificate level and Professional level exam modules. If you have studied a related subject at university, you may be eligible to apply for exemptions for up to eight modules. 

Advanced level

 The Advanced Level modules of the ACA

The Corporate Reporting and Strategic Business Management modules have been designed to test your understanding and strategic decision making at a senior level.

You will be presented with complex real-life scenarios, which expand on the Professional Level modules.

The Case Study presents a complex business issue which encourages you to problem solve, identify the ethical implications and provide an effective solution.

It must be completed last, and is aimed to test all of the knowledge gained throughout your studies training.

Read more about the Advanced level

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