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Examination papers

The Knowledge guide to ICAEW examination papers has been developed to help you track down past examination papers and associated publications from 1882 to the present day.

On this page we focus on sources for past examination papers published since the first ICAEW examinations in 1882. If you are looking for online versions of past papers from the last few years, these can be found in the ACA Exam Resources section.

Please note: ICAEW strongly discourages students from relying on older papers, given the changes that have been made to the Case Study over the years, which is why students can only access past papers and learning resources going back a few years on our website. Previous Case Studies were appropriate for the time that they were set but may now be dated because of political, economic or accounting developments or because of changes to the exam.

Chronological holdings of examination papers from 1882 to the present

The structure of ICAEW examinations has changed considerably over the years. The table below provides a simplified guide to the examinations and the papers that applied from 1882 to the present day, with links to fuller details of the papers held in the collection of the Library & Information Service. It does not cover the full complexity of some of the transitional arrangements made between examination types. A complete listing of the Library & Information Service's holdings of ICAEW examination papers is also available through our online catalogue.

1882-1938

Examination papers, 1882-1938
Biannual, first published 1882 until 1938 when it was replaced by separately published preliminary, intermediate and final examination papers. The Library & Information Service holds a complete set - view a list of our holdings of Examination papers, 1882-1938.

In addition, the LIS holds a set (probably complete) of the Accountants Manual published by Gee from 1884 to 1924, which contains the examination questions.

A selection of general knowledge questions from the preliminary examination paper 1882 to 1886 are available to view.

1939-1975

Preliminary examination Intermediate examination Final examination
View our holdings of Preliminary examination papers, 1939-1963
The LIS does not hold any papers for preliminary level, 1964-1974.
View our holdings of Intermediate examination papers, 1939-1975 View our holdings of Final examination papers, 1939-1975

1974-1993

Foundation examination Professional examination I (known as PE I) Professional examination II (known as PE II)
View our holdings of Foundation examination papers, 1974-1985
View our holdings of Professional examination I papers, 1975-1992 View our holdings of Professional examination II papers, 1975-1993

The Foundation examination was last held in November 1985 (according to 'Examinations - Conduct and syllabuses, 1985'). However, candidates for PE I still had to satisfy the requirements for foundation education and this had to be accepted by the Institute. The requirements were outlined in 'Annex B: The required coverage of subjects comprising foundation education' and in later equivalents.

1993-1998

Intermediate examination Final examination
View our holdings of Intermediate examination papers, 1993-1998 View our holdings of Final examination papers, 1994-1998

1998-2003

Technical Core 1 (known as TC1) Technical Core 2 (known as TC2) Final Admitting Examination (known as FAE)
View our holdings of Technical Core 1 papers, September 1998-June 2001 (TC1 replaced the Intermediate examination). View our holdings of Technical Core 2 papers, July 1999-July 2003
Together with FAE replaces the Final examination.
View our holdings of Final Admitting Examination papers, July 1999-July 2003
Together with TC2 replaces the Final examination.

2000-2008

Professional Stage Advanced stage examination
View our holdings of Professional stage examination papers, December 2000-June 2008.
Replaced TC1.
The Advanced stage examination was comprised of three parts: TATC 1, TATC 2 and the Advanced Case Study.

View our holdings of the Test of Advanced Technical Competence 1 and 2 examination papers, November 2001-November 2008 (known as TATC1 and TATC2) and the Advanced Case Study examination paper, May 2001-May 2007

Replaced TC2 and the FAE.

2007-2015

In September 2007 ICAEW launched the 'new' ACA with a revised syllabus and structure. The 'old' and 'new' ACA exams ran in parallel during 2007 and 2008.

Professional Stage Advanced stage examination
The Professional Stage consists of knowledge modules which provide an introduction to the core concepts underpinning accountancy (examined using computer-based assessments) and application modules which demonstrate how the student can build on knowledge in practice.

The final session of the Professional Stage exams will take place in June 2014.

View our holdings of Professional stage examination papers, December 2007 - June 2014
The Advanced Stage examination consists of two technical papers, and a case study. The technical papers are titled: Technical Integration (TI) Business Reporting; and Technical Integration (TI) Business Change.

The final session of the Advanced Stage will take place in July 2015.

View our holdings of the Advanced stage examination papers, July 2008 - July 2015

2013-

The latest evolution of the ACA was introduced in July 2013. The evolved ACA will run in parallel with the existing ACA between 2013 and 2014/15.

A full list of key dates for the ACA evolution is available.

Certificate Level Professional Level Advanced Level
Certificate Level is the new term for the Professional Stage knowledge modules.

The modules at this level introduce students to the fundamentals of accountancy, finance and business.

The Certificate Level Accounting assessment is available from August 2013
Professional Level is the new term for the Professional Stage application modules.

This level builds on the fundamentals that students learn at the Certificate Level and tests their understanding and ability to use technical knowledge in real-life scenarios.

The first Professional Level exams will take place in September 2013.
Advanced Level is the new term for the Advanced Stage.

This level tests students’ understanding and strategic decision-making at a senior level.

The first Advanced Level exams will take place in July 2014

AAT Top-Up Papers

In addition to the examination papers listed above, ICAEW provided an AAT Top Up examination as part of the Professional Stage. The Top up examination enabled members of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) to become qualified as Chartered Accountants through the AAT-ACA Fast-track.

The Financial Accounting Top-up for AAT students will no longer be available after June 2014. However, AAT students will continue to gain credit for prior learning (exemptions) for up to five Certificate Level modules. To find out more about the changes, see the AAT-ACA Fast-track page.

The LIS collection includes some AAT Top Up Papers and you can access a full listing of LIS holdings of AAT Top Up Papers through our online catalogue.

Can't find what you're looking for?

If you have any difficulty in finding the material you are looking for please contact the enquiry team by phone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by fax on +44 (0)20 7920 8621 or by email at library@icaew.com