How should I plan my studies?

Making the right exam choices and managing your workload can be difficult, but ACCA students now have more options than ever regarding when to study each module. There are four exam sittings a year: March, June, September and December, giving you more flexibility with your study plan.

Ideally, you will use all four sittings (one exam per sitting) but there are several ways to structure your ACCA studies. What works for one student may not work for another; so we recommend you see our recommended structures below and decide on which works best for you.

One exam per sitting (every sitting)

The benefit of taking one exam per sitting is that you only focus on one paper at a time. You study in shorter amounts of time, but more frequently. This does not allow any spare time to take resits and could mean that you start your next paper before you receive the results of your last exam.

Two exams per sitting, twice a year.

This is the most common plan used by ACCA students, as it sets aside two spare sittings in the year to use for resits, or a well earned break if you pass the first time! You could use the time in between to get ahead on your next paper, or use this time to focus on your PER. For example, you may take two papers in June and two in December. This would leave the September and March sittings open for any resits.


Flexible (3 sittings a year, one with 2 exams)

This is the most flexible option, as the plan is to use only three of the four available exam sittings that year. For two of the sittings you will take one exam each and in the third sitting, you will take two exams.

For example, you could sit one exam in March, one in June and two in December. September is left as your safety net or a study break. You would still complete four exams in a year, but have a gap for a few months. This is beneficial for the more difficult papers; as you can focus on one sole paper in a sitting if you need to.

Deferring your course and Pass Guarantee

First Intuition offer a Pass Guarantee scheme*. If you didn’t pass your exam in the sitting you planned for, you can join the next equivalent course free.

We are also able to to defer your course free of charge to the next sitting if you find that you need some extra time.

*Terms and conditions apply

Study Options

First Intuition offers a range of courses to help you prepare for the exams.

FI Classroom With a classroom course you get the very best levels of support to help you achieve first time exam success. Included: a complete set of study material, pre-recorded lectures, tutor support and free refreshments.

FI Go Live Broadcasting live from our London centre, you can join our evening or weekend sessions from the comfort of your own home and participate in interactive Q&A sessions with expert tutors. Included: live sessions broadcast from our London centre, a complete set of study material, pre-recorded lectures and tutor support.

FI Go Our FI Go tuition courses offer complete flexibility, enabling you to start your studies whenever you are ready. The online recorded lectures cover the whole syllabus and can be watched at any time. Included: a complete set of study material, pre-recorded lectures and tutor support.

Which papers to combine

When studying two papers at a time it is worth considering which two to take together, based on the syllabus content.

Essential and optional papers can be combined, but essential papers must be studied first. The knowledge from the essential papers are important and required for the optional papers.

  • F4 can be sat at any time
  • F5+F9,
  • F7+F8,
  • F2+F5 (F2 first)
  • F3+F7 (F3 first)
  • F7+SBR
  • SBL as a stand alone exam
  • SBR+P7 (SBR first)


If you have exemptions, please let us know when you place your booking. We will advise you on what materials you need from the paper you are exempt from.


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