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ACA Professional Level

Last updated: 10 September 2020

The December 2020 exam sessions will run as planned on 7, 8 and 9 December. We will update you should this change. 

Exam times

If you are sitting an exam outside of the UK, please disregard the time shown on exams online as this time is being displayed as UK-time. Your exam will take place as originally scheduled at your local planned time. See our list of international exam start times for December 2020 for further guidance.  

Booking window update

We will be offering both exam centre and remote invigilation exams for the December Professional Level exams. Both options will be available to book throughout the booking window.

The updated booking window is:

 Exam centre/Remote invigilation  
 Date of exam
 Results released
 Session open  Session closing

10:00 UK-time

Monday 19 October

17:00 UK-time

Friday 30 October

 07, 08, 09 December  Friday 22 January 2021

Students will be able to book their remote invigilation or exam centre exam via my.icaew.com/examsonline. When booking a remote invigilation exam, students will be asked to select their country rather than a centre name.

Students in a training agreement may wish to check with their employer before booking any exams, in case they have particular policies and suggested approaches already in place.

Exam options

To keep exam options as flexible as possible, remote invigilation is being offered as a short-term contingency during the pandemic for Professional Level exams.

It is recommended that students book in exam centres in the first instance as this is a tried and tested method of delivery. Seats at the exam centres are on a first come, first served basis. For each exam booking students will be shown the five closest exam centres to them with availability. If an exam centre does not appear, then unfortunately this means all the spaces are booked for that centre.

However, the remote invigilation option has been provided for those students who cannot access an exam centre or who do not wish to travel to an exam centre.

All exam centres will be following these guidelines and procedures (as of 06 August 2020) to keep students safe. ICAEW is confident that there are enough exam centre places to accommodate all students. 

Students are also advised to read the Instructions to Candidates before their exam and the COVID-19 instructions for specific locations. 

For students who decide to sit their exams via remote invigilation, there are technical and system requirements that must be met for their exams to run successfully.

Exam advice for students

The ICAEW exams and learning materials are prepared ahead of each exam session. While ICAEW aims to reflect real life in the exams, the scenarios, characters and businesses presented are fictional and reflect the economic circumstances at the time of writing. The 2020 exams and learning materials were prepared before the coronavirus pandemic began and when you sit your exam in 2020, they will not have been amended to reflect the economic, business or financial impact of the pandemic. However, the exams have been reviewed to ensure that they are still a viable, objective test of the competencies and skills required for your qualification.

In particular, some exam question scenarios may relate to an industry, sector or business on which the Coronavirus has had an impact. Where analysis of that scenario is required, it may be relevant to mention briefly in your answer the implications of coronavirus. However, you should not dedicate substantial time or focus on these implications. You should focus on answering the question appropriately, using the technical knowledge and skills as set out in the ICAEW learning materials.