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Permitted texts at ACA exams

Only certain publications are permitted at the Professional Level of the Audit and Assurance, Financial Accounting and Reporting and Tax Compliance exams.

When purchasing your ICAEW learning materials, you will receive most of the permitted texts for that module as part of a bundled purchase and you will be able to view the publications in your ICAEW Bookshelf.

Below you can view exactly what you will receive in your purchase, and the cost of the ICAEW materials:

During my exam 

What can I take into my exams that require permitted texts?

For exams with permitted texts, you will no longer take a hard copy of the publication into the exam. You will have a tab in the exam that takes you to the publication. This can be opened alongside the question and answer and will have a search functionality.

The exams are set on the relevant permitted text we provide in the exam. Therefore, you must not bring any physical materials to the exam, including out of date versions of the permitted texts.

The only exception to this is the IFRS Blue Book. This differs between years, please see below for more information.


The only exception to this is the IFRS Blue book, recommended for FAR IFRS exams. This book should be purchased in hard copy as no digital copy will be available within the exam software. Please note that for the FAR IFRS exams only:

  • Texts may be annotated ONLY to the extent of underlining, sidelining and highlighting.
  • Page tabs may be used but must not be written on.
  • For each assessment students may take only one copy of any permitted text.
  • Students may take an edition of the permitted text of a year other than the one listed (i.e. 2019 instead of 2020)
  • Assessments are set on the edition year listed and any student taking a different edition does so at their own risk


For 2024, the IFRS blue book will now be available as an eBook for students to use alongside ICAEW learning materials, just like the other permitted texts. Therefore, for all exams with permitted texts, you do not take a hard copy of the publication into the exam.

What can I take into open book exams?

For open book exams such as Business Planning and Advanced Level exams, you will have a link to your ICAEW Bookshelf that will allow you to view all purchased learning materials. You can also take any relevant hard copy notes into the exam, subject to desk space restrictions.