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Computer-based exams: guidance and support

The transition to computer-based exams is nearly complete, finishing in July 2019, when the Case Study will move to computer. This means that all Professional and Advanced Level exams are now computer-based. Getting to know the exam software is essential.

Your five steps to computer-based exam success

To help you feel best prepared for your computer-based exams complete the checklist below, and you will have everything you need to walk into your exam centre fully prepared and ready to tackle your Professional and Advanced Level exams. 

1) Read the exam guidance

Professional and Advanced Level exams are different to your Certificate Level exams. This exam guide will help you to understand what to expect on the day, how to navigate within the software, key functionality and exam top tips. 

If you would like to receive a printed copy of the exam guide, poster or postcard detailing the 5 step checklist, email us at acamarketing@icaew.com.

2a) Watch the exam webinars

A series of short webinar recordings are available for you to watch on-demand. They provide an overview of the exam software functionality, exam top tips, an overview on how to move and resize the question and answer window and much more. 

Webinar More information 
The exam experience from start to finish An overview for Professional and Advanced Level exams on how to book your exams, key features of the new exam format and how to access the software.  
Overview of the guidance and support available  Discover key resources and guidance available to support you during your Professional and Advanced Level, including: the exam guide, the exam software, frequently asked questions and much more.  
Exam top tips  Watch this webinar to discover top tips for your Professional and Advanced Level exams, including: timing and common mistakes.   
Professional and Advanced Level question banks  This webinar guides you on how to export and save your answers and how to download the question banks for your Professional and Advanced Level exams so you can revise wherever you are. 
How to move and resize the question and answer window A quick overview on how to resize the question window during your Professional and Advanced Level exams so you can view the question and response area side by side. 
Decimal places  A short webinar to show you how to add and remove decimal places for your Professional and Advanced Level exams and how this differs for the Financial Management exam. 

We recorded a live computer-based exam overview webinar on Wednesday 4 July and Thursday 4 October. We want you to feel prepared and confident on the day of your upcoming exam, so during these webinars we talk through the computer-based exam experience, give top tips and answer your questions.  

2b) Watch the Case Study webinars

The Advanced Level Case Study moves to computer from July 2019. To ensure you feel comfortable with the new software, you should watch this webinar recording. This 20-minute webinar recording looks at:

  • Overview - what will the Case Study look like on computer
  • What to expect on the day of the Case Study
  • How to use the computer software during the Case Study
  • Practising on the software before your exam
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Live webinar 19 June

Join us live on 19 June, 10:00 (UK-time) for the Case Study computer-based exam webinar. We will provide an overview of the Case Study exam software, talk you through the exam experience, give top tips and answer your questions. Email us your questions in advance. Register your place now.

For more Case study specific resources including the learning materials and sample exams, please click here.

If you have a question, do post it on the ICAEW student community or get in touch with our student support team.

3) Use the practice exam software

Getting to know the software in advance of your exams is crucial for success, so practise using the functionality and formatting answers by using the practice software.

Questions from the ICAEW published question banks are available within the exam software two months before an exam sitting. This will enable you to practise exam-standard questions within the exam software before you take your exam. You can also save, export and print your answers, remember to export your answers before you save and print.

Access the question banks within the exam resources area of our website, just select the level and exam you are studying. 

4) Review the sample exam

Sample exams for are available with a blank version of the exam software, so you can practise answering questions as you would in the actual exam. You can also view the sample answers from our examiners and guidance on exam technique.

All sample answers are based on the marks plan produced by our examiners, and contain content that exceeds 100 marks. They should therefore be used to gain an understanding on how responses should be set out. A key learning point is that the answers should be clearly laid out, with all workings shown and referenced. Excessive formatting is not required.

All sample exams, and sample answers answers can be found within the exam resources section of the website. Simply select the level and exam you are studying.

5) Read the Instructions to Candidates

The Instructions to Candidates contain important information regarding the administration of your exams and have been updated specifically for computer-based exams. Read them carefully and familiarise yourself with all the processes and procedures before you attempt an exam.

Further guidance

If you have a question on the transition from paper to computer-based exams visit our student community where you can post your questions and share your own exam and study tips with other ACA students around the world.

More support and guidance including is available to you on all important information you need to know about your exams, access arrangements and how to apply for them. 

Have a question?

If you have a question, please get in touch. Contact our Student Support team on +44 (0)1908 248 250, email us or speak to an adviser by clicking on the live web chat box on this page.