How Difficult is It to Pass the ACCA Exam?
November 14,2022

How Difficult is it to Pass the ACCA Exam?

ACCA is an internationally recognized qualification and is one of the most sought-after courses as clearing the ACCA exams makes you a Certified professional, it will also help you gain ACCA membership. It opens up a wide array of opportunities as it is an accepted qualification across the globe (Across 180 countries)

Many students have a false notion that ACCA exams have complicated syllabi, which are very vast thus making it difficult for students to clear the exam. This cannot be further from the truth. ACCA is comparatively much easier and more flexible when you compare it with other professional courses such as CA or CFA. The exam holds high value in a global environment due to its rigorous testing that showcases credibility. Students have to attempt 13 exams which are based on a well-curated curriculum that builds industry-relevant knowledge and skills and professional values. The ACCA exams will equip you to carry out strategic tasks at the highest level of management. 

ACCA course details and structure:

ACCA exams can be completed in a very short duration successfully is you have a strategy in place. ACCA aspirants just need to focus on their syllabus and have a structured study plan with the recommended study materials and be a part of a good coaching institute that can guide them strategically. In order to be a qualified ACCA member they need to meet the following criteria. 

  • Attempt and clear 13 papers (ACCA allows up to 9 papers exemption for those who have to meet the exemption criteria)
  • Recorded experience of at least 36 months

Subjects in the ACCA syllabus

The ACCA exam is subdivided into 3 levels which include Applied Knowledge, Applied Skills, and strategic professional levels. 

The subjects for these 3 levels are 

For Applied Knowledge

  1. Business Accounting
  2. Management Accounting
  3. Financial Accounting

For Applied Skills

  1. Corporate and Business Laws
  2. Performance Management
  3. Taxation
  4. Financial Reporting
  5.  Audit and Assurance
  6. Financial Management

For Strategic Professional


  1. Strategic Business Leadership
  2. Strategic Business Reporting


  1. Advanced Financial Management
  2. Advanced Performance Management
  3. Advanced Taxation
  4. Advanced Audit and Assurance
How can I clear ACCA on my first attempt?

As mentioned earlier ACCA has a very flexible exam format/structure which makes it much easier to clear ACCA on the first attempt compared to other professional commerce courses. The key element that one needs to focus on when preparing for ACCA is to have a well-structured plan and a concrete study routine. Enrolling in a well-established institute will help streamline this process. In this blog, we will discuss some pointers that are essential in you clearing your ACCA exam on the first attempt.

Have a proper study plan - The first step to getting started with the exam preparation is by going through the entire syllabus and developing a comprehensive study plan which will cover all the important topics. The first four exams can be attempted during the 4 windows throughout the year, the next four exams can be taken in March, June, September, and December. If you focus on one paper every quarter you can clear one subject at a time, this strategy is especially beneficial when it comes to higher-level papers as they have more to cover and are more difficult compared to the earlier papers. 

  • Do not skip topics - Do not skip topics thinking that the portion is difficult. Spent more time on weak areas, divide your time and effort in a manner so that you are able to answer questions across all aspects
  • Attempt mock exams - Mock exams are an effective and proven method to analyze your strong and weak points. It is vital that students take well-planned mock exams and similar simulations in the exam environment to better understand the exam. Once you have attempted 4-5 tests then you will feel confident on the day of the exam. The first 4 exams are computer-based, in an MCQ format. The subsequent papers have a combination of multiple-choice questions and subjective questions which require practice and technique. Attempting the exam in the prescribed time duration will also help you to be more familiar with the exam structure and format. You will also be able to understand difficulty levels and questioning tendencies by attempting the previous year's question papers. 
  • Use a mind map to go through the syllabus - ACCA as mentioned earlier is a hands-on, application-oriented qualification that necessitates more practice than memorization. In order to let all the information sink into your long-term memory than relying on short-term memory you need to give it some time. It's always a good idea to revise all the topics you have covered so that you have a better chance of clearing the papers. It is also recommended to make notes of acronyms and other important notes, and connect with your classmates and instructors to come up with ways to remember your topics. 
  • D-Day advice (What to keep in your mind right before your exams)
    • Do not cramp your mind or revise right before your exam day. It may affect your confidence if you are unable to answer some questions. Also do not compare your past mock test scores with your friends. 
    • Do not experiment with new food items before your exam. Stick to your normal food and routine. 
    • Always start with the question you are confident of, it would boost your confidence and will put forth a good impression in front of your invigilator. For MCQd there are no negative markings, so even if you make a guess you still have a 25 percent chance of getting the right answer. 
    • Do not waste your time on just one question. You can get back to the unanswered question when you have finished attempting the other questions, as time will become increasingly important for you.
    • When answering a question do not rush yourself. Give yourself the time to process the question and put in the work needed to recollect portions you have studied. 

Is it possible to study and clear ACCA if I am working?

You can explore our earlier article which dives deep into this topic. If you are someone who wants to pursue their education in ACCA along with their work, you can do so by enrolling in an online program. But we are aware that you will be willing to make social sacrifices and be able to manage time effectively. At Lakshya, we have flexible modes of delivery by which you can attend classes either in the physical class or attend our online classes led by industry experts who will teach you topics in depth. It will help you to comprehend the subjects and topics in a better manner without hampering your work schedule. We also offer recorded classes if you wish to explore and brush up on certain topics. 

    1. How difficult is it to pass ACCA on the first attempt?

ACCA considers an attempt successful if we receive at least 50% of the marks, which is pretty feasible to score. It's always a great idea to get proper training from an experienced and certified ACCA faculty member, this will exponentially increase your chances of clearing the paper. 

  1. How can I clear all my ACCA papers on my first attempt?

Study on a day-to-day basis. Try and cover portions along with your lecture. Do not wait till the last minute. The revision course will ensure that you are completely prepared on the day of your exam. Ensure that you are very familiar with the exam structure, and regulations along with other things. Have a proper structure for your preparation and set achievable smart goals for each day. 

  1. How can I clear the ACCA f8 if I attempt to do self-study?

The ACCA f8 as you are aware has a history of having one of the lowest pass rates. This paper will put your technical knowledge and audit principles to the test. It will also test your comprehension ability of the assurance engagement process and its application to a professional regulatory framework. You should try and work on at least 5 MCQ questions a day, which will enable you to complete 300 MCQ questions. This will help with retention and overall understanding of the concepts. 

  1. What are the tips to clear the SBR paper on your first attempt?

In order to clear the SBR papers you should not only have the technical know-how you should also be able to apply and explain that knowledge during the exam. Be strategic, do not just write down whatever you know, choose the most relevant point and state that for the question. Answer in points instead of writing in long paragraphs, it will not help you to get marks.


With flexible modes of learning clearing your ACCA should not be a challenge. Explore the best method that will suit you. At Lakshya we have more than a decade of experience in teaching, we have specially curated teaching materials and a dedicated platform that will help you to have the best learning experience. We also provide regular exams, discussions, and more to ensure that you are well accustomed to the subject. If you have any further questions about the course or wish to attempt a demo class to know more please feel free to connect with our career experts. 


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