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Frequently asked questions about the ACA syllabus.
  • Does the syllabus change?

    Yes, the syllabus is updated every year. This ensures that the ACA contains the latest technical content, laws and regulations. Learning materials are now digital - find out more.

    Each year the learning materials are also reviewed and approved by our examiners, and provide clear guidance on the way in which the syllabus learning outcomes are tested in the exams. We therefore recommend that you use the most up to date editions to study for the respective exams – for example, use the 2016 edition to study for exams in 2016 – as they will reflect any changes made within the syllabus, learning outcomes and the way in which you are assessed.

  • Where can I find the ACA syllabus?

    The syllabus is available for each of the ACA exams. To access the syllabus, visit our exam resources.

  • Can I take books or publications into the exam and if so which ones?

    Yes, some of our Professional and Advanced Level exams allow you to take specific permitted texts in to the exam hall. Some of the exams are also open-book.

  • Can I use learning materials from previous years?

    We recommend that you always use the latest edition of learning materials, as they are updated each year in line with syllabus changes and technical updates. Please ensure you have the correct learning materials for the exam session you are sitting. You risk answering an exam question incorrectly if you use out-of-date learning materials.

  • Where do I buy my ACA learning materials?

    All ICAEW Learning Materials are digital only and can be bought from the ICAEW Bookstore.

  • What level of study is the ACA comparable to?

    The ACA is comparable to a UK Master’s degree or a postgraduate diploma. UK NARIC (the UK government's agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills) recently completed an independent review of the academic level of ICAEW CFAB and the ACA. The review was to determine how the qualifications compare to the national education system using benchmarks such as the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). UK NARIC concluded that ICAEW CFAB was comparable to RQF Level 4 (first year university) and the ACA was comparable to RQF Level 7 (UK Master's degree/ postgraduate diploma standard).

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