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Exam applications

These pages will tell you what you need to know in order to apply for the ACA paper based examinations, this includes all Professional and Advanced Level module exams.

For information on applying for the computer based assessments view the e-assessment web page, as the application procedure is different to that of the paper-based assessments.

Apply for exams

You can book your place and apply for any Professional and Advanced Level exam using our online booking system. Access this via your online training file or go straight to exams online. Go to the ‘Examinations’ tab and select ‘Apply for exams’. For guidance and support on how you use our booking system, download the how to book an exam online guide. Please note that the exam booking system, is a live system, which means that when you book your exam, it is booked and confirmed immediately. The booking system will ask you to enter your preferred location to sit your exam and the closest centres with availability will appear. Exam centres are available on a first come, first served basis so be sure to book your exam early. If an exam centre doesn't appear, it means that this centre is fully booked.

If you are unable to access the online booking system, call +44 (0)1908 248 250, email studentsupport@icaew.com or send us a question using the live help box displayed on this page.

Update: exam booking system

The exam application system has been upgraded for Professional and Advanced Level exams. Instead of selecting your first and second location choice, you can now enter the location where you want to sit your exam and the exam centres closest to you with availability will appear.

You then just need to select the exam centre you want to sit your exam and complete the booking as normal. Once you have completed your booking and made payment, you will receive an application summary by email. Please note that as soon as an exam centre is fully booked, you will not have the option to book that centre, so be sure to book your exams early. You will still be able to make changes to your application online until the exam closing date.  

Update: digital watches in ICAEW exams

ICAEW has confirmed that digital watches will not be permitted in any ICAEW exams from June 2016. This includes the Certificate, Professional and Advanced Level exams. This action has been taken in order to protect the integrity of ICAEW exams, and will also prevent the accidental breach of the ICAEW Assessment Regulations by individuals wearing smart watches as their normal timepiece. Analogue watches will still be permitted in the exam hall, but may be subject to inspection.

Exam dates and deadlines

It is your responsibility to enter for the exams by the relevant session closing date. Please download the exam dates, deadlines and timetable information.

Please note that a surcharge will be made for late entries which will be twice the normal exam fee, accepted for up to seven days after the closing date. No allowance is made for any special circumstances or any error or omission.

Exam entry fees

Exam entry fees vary for the Certificate, Professional and Advanced Level exams.

Exam centres

For Certificate Level computer-based assessments, many tuition providers are also computer-based assessment centres. Download the list of tuition providers which are approved test centres.

If you are studying independently, or if your tuition provider is not an approved test centre, you can book your assessment at a Pearson Vue test centre.

ICAEW has exam centres for the Professional and Advanced Level exams across the UK and internationally. The details are contained within the online exam application process. Students are requested to enter a postcode or city and the booking system will return the closest five centers that have availability.

Application Summary

Candidates entering for the Professional and Advanced Level exams will receive their application summary via email immediately after completing your application. This includes the timetable, venue, candidate number and instructions. They are also in the exam application area of the website. 

For further information please contact student support by calling +44 (0)1908 248 250 or by emailing the team at studentsupport@icaew.com.

Cancelling or amending an exam application

You can withdraw from an exam at any time to ensure you are not recorded as absent.  However, whether you get a refund and how you do this will be different depending on how close to the exam you make the withdrawal.

  • Before the closing date for a Professional or Advanced Level exam session, you can withdraw online. You will get a refund issued to you within 15-20 working days after the closing date.
  • Between the closing date for exam entry and the cancellation deadline, you will not be able to withdraw online.  Instead you must e-mail logistics@icaew.com. You will get a refund issued to you within 15-20 working days.
  • After the cancellation deadline has passed you can still email logistics@icaew.com to ensure you are not marked as absent from an exam, however a refund can only be considered if appropriate medical evidence is submitted within 28 calendar days of your examination date.

Please note that if you withdraw from an examination (with or without refund), your application will not be transferred automatically to the next exam session and you must apply again as normal for any future sessions and that if you are eligible for a refund, this will only be issued to the original method of payment, the ICAEW no longer issue credits towards future exam sessions.

If you need to change the exam or centre you have applied for this can also be done.

  • Before the closing date for a Professional or Advanced Level exam session, you can amend your application online
  • Between the closing date for exam entry and the cancellation deadline, you will not be able to make the amendment online. Instead you must e-mail logistics@icaew.com
  • After the cancellation deadline has passed you can still email logistics@icaew.com to make the amendment however you will be charge a £50 administrative fee

For further information on relevant dates for each ICAEW exam session, please see exam dates and deadlines above.


Access Arrangements for exams

If you feel your exam performance may be hindered due to a health condition, disability, or specific learning difficulty (SpLD), we may be able to put access arrangements in place to support you during an exam. Your application for access arrangements must reach us one week after the published exam entry closing date for paper-based exams and 30 days before a planned Certificate Level exam. If you want to make an application for access arrangements, please read the guidance note in full.

From 2017, the deadline to apply for access arrangements will be the same date as the exam application deadline. Check out the full list of exam dates and deadlines.

ICAEW provides two guidance documents, one of which is only for applicants with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. This is because the evidence required and the application process for these applicants is different.

If the condition you are suffering from is considered a disability within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010, we will do everything we reasonably can to support you, as long as you can provide suitable evidence. This may involve adjustments such as awarding you extra time, rest breaks, use of a computer (if the exam is paper-based), a reader or a scribe, or changes to the exam format such as coloured overlays.

If you are suffering from a short-term condition and therefore not covered by the Equality Act, we will provide support in accordance with the ACA assessment regulations. This support is subject to the receipt of sufficient notice and suitable medical evidence; please read the access arrangement guidance note for clarification. We cannot always guarantee that a request for an access arrangement for a short-term condition will be granted but we will consider the details of your situation fully before confirming a decision.

Once we have received your application for access arrangements we will review it and notify you of our decision within 10 working days.

If access arrangements cannot be awarded you should consider carefully whether to defer your exam until the following session; we can let you know when this will be. You should not rely on receiving special consideration for your condition when your exam result is being determined. See the cancelling an exam application section above.

There are also provisions available for the Certificate Level exam centres. Please see the Certificate Level exams section for further information.

For any further enquiries not addressed in the access arrangement guidance please email aa@icaew.com

Special consideration

Students who feel that their performance in the examination has been adversely affected by illness or other circumstances may apply to have these factors taken into consideration during the results determination process. Any applications for special consideration should be submitted in writing to specialconsideration@icaew.com as soon as possible; all applications must be received within two weeks from the date of the exam.

If you are unsure about an application please refer to the special consideration flow chart and full guidelines.

Full details of all the available provisions can be found in the ACA assessment regulations.

Instructions to candidates

The following documents, for Professional Level and Advanced Level candidates, contain important information regarding the administration of ICAEW exams. You must read these instructions carefully to ensure you are fully familiar with our processes and procedures before your attempt your exams).

All regulatory information relating to the Professional and Advanced level exams can be found in the ACA assessment regulations.