How difficult are ACA exams???


Hi guys,

I am due to start a job at Deloitte in August 2009 and will be studying for the ACA qualification.

I am quite worried as I know how difficult they are just wondering if I should do some reading/studying before I start and if anyone has advice on how to tackle the exams?



There is pre reading but i can’t say it helped me. I have only done the knowledge papers so far but the difficulty with them is there’s a HUGE amount to learn in a very short space of time.

The only tip is do the questions in the question bank again and again and keep on top of the work.


I didn’t bother. They’re not intellectually challenging. It’s all about exam technique and time management. Work consistently when you’re at college but you’ll be pulling 70+ hours a week a couple of weeks before. On average pass rate is 80%, so just don’t end up in the lower quartile and you’ll be fine.


Thanks for your help, I will make sure I keep on top of my work!


Guys, can any1 elaborate on specific differences between ACA and ACCA?


Are there any practice papers/text books available before you start the course?

My maths is terrible (it turns out) and I’ve been practising with higher maths boooks but would prefer somehting more targetted…

Or is this a complete waste of time?

Be good to know what others think…my maths and problem solving results from the ACs were very low for example and I’m keen not to let that hinder me…anyone else nthe same boat or who felt over stretched when starting?



I don’t know about all companies, but once you;ve got an offer from PwC you get a log in to their pre-start date webpage, where there are links to pre-reading that can be done before you start in the role. If you’ve got an offer from a company, call HR and ask for some information on pre-reading so you can prepare before you’re start date - it shows dedication!


The maths isn’t difficult, as you would expect most of it is fairly simple addition and subtraction. The tricky part is knowing what to do with the items. The most difficult maths is probably in Financial Management where you have to calculate some simple NPVs (net present values). I did engineering at university so I found most of the maths very simple but others in my class who didn’t do maths found some of the linear interpolation and algebraic manipulation difficult. There are set formulas you can learn that will give you the right answer but I found myself much more flexible in the exam by being able to visualize what I was trying to work out and being able to use multiple techniques to reach an answer.


Yeah. In agreement with much of what has been said here.

Nothing so far I’ve encountered has been difficult at all but there are huge amounts to learn.

For example the latest computer based knowledge exams I’ve taken in Management Info and Business and Finance were 320 and 420 pages of concise notes - you need to learn it and be able to apply it since the examiner is out to trick you to make sure they differentiate between those who have done some work and those who have spent the last two weeks going over and over questions and revising!

It’s tough - make no mistake but more than do-able with plenty of work put in.


I want to start my revision for ACA before my contract starts,

could anyone recommend what books to get? or suggest what topics are the largest and would take the most time?