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This page covers sources of information on historical ICAEW examination results, including pass lists, records of Orders of Merit and prize-winners, and sets of statistics.

Lists of successful candidates at ICAEW examinations were reproduced under various titles, and in various locations, between c.1882 and August 2020. Commonly referred to as 'pass lists', they often included information on Orders of Merit and details of prize-winners. In some cases they also included statistics relating to the examinations in question, such as pass rates.

As well as these pass lists, a number of other documents containing information on the results of ICAEW examinations have also been issued at various times, including standalone sets of statistics.

Pass lists and credit lists giving details of all successful candidates ceased being published as of September 2020. Since then, the Institute has periodically issued the following as standalone publications:

  • Orders of Merit lists showing the candidates who have achieved the highest marks for each examination and/or been awarded a prize; and
  • Sets of anonymised examination statistics showing numbers of candidates, along with pass and fail rates. 

This page sets out information on where to find historical pass lists, as well as other related sources which provide details pertaining to ICAEW examination results. Current ACA students seeking information on how to access their own results should refer to the Exam Results page.

Online sources

Archived pass and credit lists for 2018-2020, along with Orders of Merit lists and final overall exam statistics from 2018 onwards, are currently available via the Archived Exam Results page. Please note that these cover the Professional Level and Advanced Level only.

Sources in the Library collection

ICAEW sources

Official documents listing the names of successful candidates and/or prize-winners in ICAEW examinations have been produced by the Institute since the first examinations in 1882. At times, ICAEW has also issued sets of statistics relating to its examinations and its wider system of education and training.

The table below summarises the ICAEW Library's holdings of these official ICAEW documents. Click on the title of a document to view full details of the Library's holdings via LibCat.

Title Dates covered Library holdings Notes
Results of examinations: lists of successful candidates (generally referred to as 'pass lists') c.1882 - 2020 1956 - 2020 (mostly complete, with some gaps — see LibCat for details)

Each edition lists successful candidates for the examinations in question. Information on Orders of Merit and prize-winners is also included; some later entries include statistical analyses.

Please see the catalogue record for notes on coverage.

From 2007 each entry consists of: Orders of Merit; statistical analysis; pass list; and credit list.

Filed with a binder giving statistical data on examinations from 1987 to 1992.

Education and training statistics May 1980 - 2003/04 May 1980 - 2003/04 (with some gaps; see LibCat for details)

Includes various statistics relating to ICAEW examinations, and the Institute's wider systems of education and training.

The statistics included vary over time. The 2003/2004 statistics are categorised as follows: entry statistics (including numbers of men and women), entry category (graduates, A level, AAT, etc), degree class and subject, universities attended, training organisations analysed by entry category and size, district society, and number of students under training contract overseas by country.

Orders of Merit 2020- 2020-

Details Orders of Merit and prize-winners for the Professional Level and Advanced Level ACA from September 2020 onwards.

Only students who have given their consent appear in the Merit lists.

Orders of Merit were previously published as part of the 'Results of examinations: list of successful candidates' (see above).

Subject orders of merit are published for each examination session; annual orders of merit are published once per year for the Professional Level and once per year for the Advanced Level.

Final overall exam statistics 2020- 2020-

Contains 'Analysis of results' and 'Exam pass rates' for the Professional Level and Advanced Level ACA.

Statistics on ICAEW examination results were previously published by the Institute as part of the 'Results of examinations: list of successful candidates' and in separate sets of 'Education and training statistics' (see above).

Some statistics relating to ICAEW examination results have also been published intermittently in other sources (see below).

Third-party sources

In addition to the ICAEW documents detailed above, information on the results of Institute examinations has also been published in the following third-party sources, copies of which are held in the Library collection (with some gaps).

Click on the publication titles to view full details of the Library's holdings via LibCat.

Publication Dates covered Notes
The Accountant 1882 - 1980

Published lists of successful candidates for examinations held between 1882 and 1979, generally including details of prize-winners. Some lists include basic statistical summaries, showing the total number of candidates, the number of successful candidates, and the number of unsuccessful candidates for each examination.

In the early years the lists took the form of an ICAEW advertisement which was not always included in the annual index.

Results of Foundation examinations (sat from 1974) appear not to be included.

The Library holds a complete set of issues of The Accountant from 1874 to 2022.

Accountancy Age 1981 - ?

Began publishing pass lists from September 1981 (PEII, Final, TC2/FAE only), starting with the results of the July 1981 PEII examination.

As well as naming successful candidates, the lists include information on the Order of Merit and prizes, along with a statistical breakdown. 

The Library holds a complete set of issues of Accountancy Age, from 1969 to 2011 (when the magazine ceased being published in print).

The Times

December 1986 - 2006 (full pass lists).

1954 - 1970 (intermittent summaries).

Published full lists of successful candidates, plus details of the Order of Merit and prize-winners, between March 1987 (results of the December 1986 PEII exams) and 2006.

Some less extensive details relating to ICAEW exam results — such as the number of candidates, pass rates, and the names of candidates receiving prizes — were intermittently published during the period 1954 to 1970. These were usually headed 'Results of Accountancy Examinations', 'Examination Results in Accountancy', 'Accountants Exams', 'Examinations for Accountants', or similar.

The ICAEW Library holds The Times on microfilm for the years 1900-1920 and 1937-1975 (March 1915 - January 1916 is currently missing). However, the Library is currently unable to provide access to its microfilm collection. We apologise for any inconvenience.

The Guildhall Library in London holds The Times from 1785 onwards. Some other public libraries also hold copies of The Times or provide online access to its archive, with varying temporal coverage.

Financial Times 2007 - 2017

Published pass lists for ICAEW examinations between 2007 and 2017. The final list covered the July 2017 Advanced Level examinations.

The ICAEW Library holds the FT on microfilm, from 1975 to 2016. However, the Library is currently unable to provide access to its microfilm collection. We apologise for any inconvenience.

The Guildhall Library in London holds the FT from 1888 onwards in various formats. Some other public libraries also hold copies of the FT, with varying temporal coverage.

Sources in the London Metropolitan Archives

The collection of historical ICAEW materials held at the London Metropolitan Archives includes some records pertaining to examination candidates and their results. These include:

  • Various registers of examination candidates and similar documents, some including marks, results and other details (1882-1963, with some gaps);
  • Various examiners' reports (1882-1929), including the marks obtained by each candidate, their result (pass or fail), and other remarks/details;
  • Sets of examination statistics; and
  • Lists of certificates of exemption from the Preliminary examination.

More information can be found in the full holdings list. It should be noted that some documents refer to candidates by number only.

Please note that historical records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions, due to data protection regulations. Requests to view such records should be directed to the Library enquiry team, at library@icaew.com.

Further information on prizes

A brief history of each of the prizes currently awarded to top performing candidates at ICAEW examinations is set out on the History of Prizes page. Further detail on the beginnings of some prizes can be found in historical issues of The Accountant; the origins of the Peat Prize, for example, are explained in the issue for January-June 1910 (pages 336 and 362).

Certain prizes that existed historically — with details of their recipients being recorded in the sources referenced above — are no longer awarded, and are therefore not covered on the above page. These include the Theodore Gregory Prize and the West Prize. Information on defunct prizes such as these can be found in some old editions of the Examinations Conduct and Syllabuses. For example, the edition for the examinations held in May 1959 includes information on qualification criteria, award frequency, and value for each of the prizes extant at the date of publication.

It should also be noted that some prizes have been awarded for different reasons in the past. For example, the Quilter Prize was once an auditing prize, being awarded to the successful candidate at the Final Examination who sent in the best paper on auditing (as noted in The Accountant, 5th March 1910, p. 336). This is no longer the case today; it has lately been awarded to top performing candidates in the ACA Advanced Level Corporate Reporting examination.

Some regional ICAEW groups and societies award (or have awarded) various local prizes, distinct from the ‘core’ Institute prizes. For example, ICAEW Nottingham, Derby & Lincoln periodically award the Anne Jepson Memorial Prize, and the West Yorkshire Society of Chartered Accountants has a WYSCA Prize. If you require information on these prizes, please contact the relevant local society in the first instance.

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