Is studying ACCA hard?

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

Before getting to know if studying for the ACCA exam is a complex process or not, we should first know about what ACCA is. ACCA is a global professional accounting organization that offers Chartered Accountant Certification. It has more than 104 offices in 52 countries. The number of Approved employees by ACCA is more than 7300 in addition to 323 approved learning partners.

Now, to study #ACCA, you have to have the right attitude and be motivated enough to realize that ACCA is not a broad step into your professional career, rather it is just along the way, and it will help you establish yourself as a professional and certified accountant.

As you start progressing through the different #ACCA exams, the difficulty level will also increase. Therefore you need to be very serious about the #ACCA exams, and if you are studying and working at the time, you must keep your studies a priority. You should also check out the course details and properly appear for the examination because not only failures can be frustrating, but it also prolongs the whole process of becoming a certified professional accountant. Also, learning from coaching institutes can help you easily get through the ACCA exams. Now let us discuss the basics of the #ACCA course.

How many exams do you have to pass to become a certified #ACCA?

There are a total of 13 exams in the whole ACCA course in addition to an ethics module. Furthermore, you will also need three years of professional experience to become a certified professional accountant. The exams can be divided into three parts: Applied Skill, Applied knowledge and Strategic Profession/Option. Depending upon your previous educational qualification, you will be partially or totally exempted from applied knowledge and skill tests. And you will directly start from the professional level.

How many years does it take to complete the ACCA course?

To complete the ACCA course, ten years are given to every aspirant. But students can complete the whole course within 3 years, and if someone wants to study and work at the same time, they are free to do so.

Why is the ACCA exam laborious?

Because of some specific facts, some students find the ACCA exam more difficult than others. The facts are:

Preparation plan

Your preparation plan and how you have managed your time is also important when you're sitting for ACCA exams. The success and failure will entirely depend on how much effort you have put into your studies. It is also important to choose your study partner wisely because if you are studying part-time, you need to be attentive about both your work and studies.

The syllabus of ACCA includes subjects like strategic decision making, business management concepts, financial planning, etc., apart from core subjects regarding accounting and finance. By the end of the journey, you will surely become a comprehensive professional therefore plan your time accordingly and make sure you finish your course within 3 - 4 years.


The ACCA course can be initially difficult for those who are new to accounting. On the other hand, those who have done background research on ACCA courses and are already familiar with the course, study materials, and subjects will find it easier to study and learn. Therefore, their progression will be much faster.

Again if you already have a bachelor's or master's degree in finance or accounting, you will find the course familiar, but it doesn't mean that it will be an easy step for you because you may not have delved deep into the subjects which will help you pass the exam.

Lastly, if you already are a practising accountant who is studying the ACCA course, your practical experience will help you a lot in the process, but that also means that you will have to 'unlearn' and 'relearn' some procedures that can make the course slightly difficult for you.

How fast you won't finish the course

There are a total of 14 exams; therefore, you need to invest enough time and effort to become a fully qualified ACCA member. On average, students complete the whole course within four years. And depending on your previous experience and qualifications, you may be exempted from some modules. Also, ACCA courses are flexible enough so that you can study from anywhere in the world.

Your commitment towards the course and study

The difficulty level of the ACCA exam is heavily dependent on the background and qualification of the aspirant. Especially if you are new to the course, you will have to do some extra work to master the basic concepts. If your background knowledge is strong enough, you can complete the course with ease (with enough effort from your side).

If you take ACCA seriously, the course is not beyond your grasp. The reason ACCA aspirants think otherwise is that they don't put enough effort and time into their studies.

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