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ICAEW CFAB exam modules

The ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB) is made up of six modules: Business and Finance, Management Information, Accounting, Law, Assurance, and Principles of Taxation.

There are six modules at ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (ICAEW CFAB). At the end of each module, you will need to sit an exam. Each module is examined by computer-based assessment. Each exam is 90 minutes and has a pass mark of 55%.

You must be registered as an ICAEW CFAB student to book an assessment exam. When you have passed all six modules, you will receive your certificate qualification from ICAEW – a world leader of the accountancy and finance profession.

Exam and student regulations

As a student, it is your responsibility to be familiar with ICAEW CFAB regulations at all times. The regulations cover:

  • entry requirements,
  • photo identification you need to bring to any exam,
  • what you and cannot take into the exam hall with you,
  • you must be seated in the exam hall 30 minutes before an exam, 
  • how may exam attempts you are allowed,
  • misconduct,
  • failure to appear at an exam,
  • and much more...
Preparing for your exams

ICAEW provides plenty of free resources to help you with your exam studies.

Self-study guide: Prepare to pass

If you are studying ICAEW CFAB through self-study and without any tuition, the Self-study guide: Prepare to pass provides extra exam advice from tutors, help to develop your Business English skills and details on how ICAEW CFAB can help with your job applications. There is also information on how to continue your studies towards a career in chartered accountancy.

Exam support and syllabus

  • errata sheets (if applicable) – these highlight any errors that have been found in the learning materials (download these first so you know you are always studying the correct text)
  • study webinar for each module –these explain how the exam marks are awarded, and how to allocate your time in the exam,
  • sample questions.

Find these in the study resources area at icaew.com/cfabstudyresources

What to expect in the exams

Before you start your exam revision, you must read the ICAEW CFAB computer-based exam guidance document. This shows you the different type of exam questions, how to start/end your exam session, how to review and change your answers and the items you can take into the exam.

Where can I sit an exam/how can I book an exam?

Each of the ICAEW CFAB modules is examined by a computer-based assessment exam. You can take these in any order and at any time of year. The pass mark for each is 55% and each exam lasts 90 minutes.  

There are many test centres across the world where you can sit an ICAEW CFAB exam, although we do not have approved centres in all countries. Exams must be taken at an approved test centre or through Pearson Vue network. 

You will need to book your exam directly with either your chosen test centre or Pearson Vue.

If you are booking through the Pearson Vue website you will need to sign in. Your Pearson Username and Password are both 'ICAEW' followed by your student number (eg, ICAEW1234567). You will then be prompted to change your password for security, but your username will remain the same.

Before you attend an exam you must read the ICAEW CFAB exam regulations

Exam attempts - how many am I allowed

ICAEW regulations allow a maximum of four attempts at each ICAEW CFAB module. However if your employer is financially supporting your studies, you should check with them first how many exam attempts they are happy to allow you as they may decide to allow you fewer attempts.

Exam attempts - what counts as an attempt

An attempt is counted when you apply for an individual exam and have seen the content of that exam. The following does not count as an attempt:

  • you apply for an exam but do not attend on the day,
  • you apply for an exam and cancel it before you attend / withdraw before you attend, 
  • the exam cannot be completed and/or the result determined due to system failure or an exceptional event beyond the control of ICAEW.

You will not be permitted under any circumstances to transfer exam attempts from one module to another. Any student who does not pass an exam within the permitted four attempts will be entitled to apply for a concession if they believe they have the grounds to do so. You can find out more here.

Special access arrangements

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. If you want to make an application for access arrangements, please read the guidance note in full. You will then need to complete and send an access arrangements application form (which can be downloaded below) and send this to ICAEW.

Please ensure ICAEW receive this no later than 90 days before you intend to sit the assessment and that appropriate medical evidence is provided. 

Once you have received approval from ICAEW, please contact the assessment centre no less than 48 hours before the start time to inform them of the arrangements. When you sit the assessment, the assessment centre will schedule the extra time for you.

For any further enquiries not addressed in the access arrangement guidance note, please contact the student support team on +44 (0)1908 248 250 or email aa@icaew.com.

How do I cancel or reschedule and exam?

You can reschedule an exam provided you notify your chosen assessment centre at least 24 hours in advance. If you have booked an exam but are unable to attend due to illness or serious injury, you should advise the exam centre and reschedule the assessment date directly with the exam centre. 

Failure to notify the exam centre in time could affect any fee refunds to which you might be entitled.

Exam costs

Each assessment module costs £65 until 31 December 2015.
From 1 January 2016, the cost for each assessment module will be £70.

Exam results

You can access your results by logging on to the ICAEW CFAB students website. Results are usually available within 24 hours.  

ICAEW will send you a certificate for each module you sit / pass. Once you’ve passed all the ICAEW CFAB all the ICAEW CFAB exams, we will send you a certificate of achievement from ICAEW – a world-leader of the accountancy and finance profession. All certificates are issued on a four-weekly cycle, so it may take up to four weeks after your exam date for you to receive your certificate in the post.

You can choose to forward an electronic copy of any results to your employer from your results page.

Receiving your ICAEW CFAB certificates

ICAEW will send you a certificate for each exam that you pass. Once you've passed all the modules of the ICAEW Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business, we will send you a certificate of achievement from ICAEW - a world leader of the accountancy and finance profession.  

The certificates are issued on a four-weekly cycle, so it may take up to four weeks for you to receive your certificate in the post.  

Please make sure that ICAEW has your correct postal address at all times. You can update your contact details through the ‘My account’ link at the top of the student website.

Please note that this certificate does not entitle you to use any designatory letters after your name or to refer to yourself as a member of ICAEW nor does it entitle you to any rights that come with ICAEW membership. ICAEW treats any misuse as a serious offence.

Exam resits

ICAEW regulations allow a maximum of four attempts at each of the ICAEW CFAB exam modules. However, if your employer is making a financial contribution towards your studies, they may choose to limit the number of attempts. You should check with your employer first.

If you fail an exam, you will need to book your exam directly with the exam centre.

Before you resit an exam, you should make time to do extra revision. Make sure you access the free study resources. For example, there is a study webinar for each module – this tells you how the exam marks are awarded and how to allocate your time in the exam.