Is ACCA hard to pass?

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Before you try to understand the difficulty of how hard it is to complete the ACCA course, you need to understand, what is ACCA? If you are sure that ACCA will fulfil your career, you need to take a systematic approach. ACCA is easy to pass if you are motivated and if you believe that it is not a step to your career, but it lies on the path. You need to have a proper mindset.


The difficulty level of ACCA exams will increase as you progress. You should know why you are doing the course and take coaching to ease through the exam. If you are studying along with your job, you need to prioritize everything so that you can allocate proper time. One thing that might become frustrating is when you fail papers. You should know about the ACCA course details and be serious about the exams in which you appear. Failures can make the course longer than it is.

Before you commit, you should know about the ACCA course. However, if you join ACCA classes, you can clear the exams easily. Once you get the ACCA qualification, you will have a huge ocean of possibilities open in front of you. You can open doors that were closed to you. You should start early - use the lockdown, if possible:

How many exams are there in the ACCA?

To pass the ACCA exam you must complete 13 exams, a professional ethics module, and three years of professional experience. These exams are broken into four parts.

  1. Applied Knowledge
  2. Applied Skills
  3. Strategic Professional/Options

Depending on your previous qualifications (exemption calculator) you might have exemptions from any or all the 9 Applied Knowledge or Skills papers and can start at the Professional level.

How long does the ACCA take?

You have ten years to complete the qualification, but students can complete it within three years. You can either study full-time or study part-time while working.

Why is the ACCA difficult?

Different students will find the ACCA more difficult than others, depending on some of these factors:

1 – Experience

If you’re starting the ACCA with only the minimum requirements you’ll probably be new to accounting, so you’ll likely find the course more difficult to learn.

On the other hand, students that study ACCA from scratch often get a better foundation in the subject matter and ACCA exam technique than more experienced students with exemptions, which makes the professional level easier.

If you have a Bachelors and/or Master’s degree in finance and accounting or similar, the material will be more familiar. That doesn’t necessarily mean easier though, especially if you claim exemptions and don’t re-cover earlier material in enough depth.


Finally, you might be a practicing accountant coming to the ACCA to validate your skills. Your practical context might make the ACCA easier – but it might also mean you have to 'unlearn' certain ways of doing things, which can make ACCA more difficult.

2 – Your plan of preparation

The success or failure depends on your effort and how you plan your time accordingly. When it comes to the ACCA course, you have to be wise enough to choose your learning partner because you can even work and study part-time, where your expenses get covered by your employer.

As far as the ACCA syllabus is concerned, it covers not only financial and accounting aspects, but also business management concepts, financial planning, strategic decision making, and so on. Thereby at the end of the course, you tend to become a holistic individual and employable. Plan your time accordingly and make sure you set your target as 3 or 4 years to complete the course. This will help you appear for the exams accordingly and help you in speeding your preparation.


3 – How quickly you want to pass

With 14 papers to clear the exam, you need to put in your time and investment to clear the exam and become a qualified ACCA member. Though you have ten years to complete the course, most of the students complete the course at an average of four years.

Once you clear the papers, you have a professional ethics module and you should also complete three years of professional experience. Depending on your previous qualifications, you will have exemptions at the fundamental level, and this is valued by most of the students. Added to this, the ACCA course as such is flexible where there is no grouping of papers and you can learn the course from anywhere and at a convenient time.

4 – Your commitment

The difficulty level of the exam depends on an individual’s previous qualifications, professional experience, level of sincerity, and dedication towards the course. If you are new to accounting, you will have to put in extra hours of work to master the concepts. Therefore there is a diploma or foundation level where you can cover all the basics of accounting and gain a fundamental level of understanding of what ACCA is all about.

But it’s not beyond your ability – if you’re committed. The reason some students find the ACCA difficult is that they’re not putting enough time, effort, and energy into studying.

If you put in the time and are dedicated to passing, you will be able to pass exams and keep going until you are ACCA qualified!

5 – Your support network

It should be clear from the above, the ACCA course is time-consuming and sometimes stressful. That means your support network is crucial. Without a strong network around you – friends, family, employers, colleagues, other students – you’ll hit a wall eventually, and those people can help you push through.

You’ll find ACCA easier if you proactively create that network. Help the people around you understand the pressures you’re under. Explain to friends and family what the ACCA involves, and ask for their support. Build relationships with other students, either in real life or online, who understand what you’re going through.

Your learning provider is also critical. Study with an approved learning provider who can help you pass the ACCA exams, or you’ll make life much more difficult.

Make sure to choose a provider that prioritizes student support such as 24/7 access to a tutor or webinars that allow you to engage with other students to get advice and tips.


ACCA is not as difficult as you think or assume:

When going gets tough, the tough get going. This is one success formula many students who aspire to become a global chartered accountant follow. Your level of commitment and learning from the best study experts can lead you to success undoubtedly. Trust your capability and keep pushing yourself to exceed your expectations. Practice can help you master any topic, taking a lot of mock assessments, appearing for the quarterly exams, and so on can lead you only to completing the course with bright colors in almost four years.

Intellect, Dedication, pressure handling, decision making, and fairness-; all this comes with the ACCA package. It teaches a professional code of life and that’s the reason for its reputation in the market.

Be okay with the difficulty level. Face it and beat it. It’s a kind of transformation and once completed, you will be a complete professional package.

To sum it up, yes, ACCA is difficult due to the above and many other factors but every difficulty has solutions. You must find yours. Contact us for further queries and suggestions related to the ACCA exam.


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