Studying For ACCA Exams During a Pandemic – Your Questions Answered

In this article we address the questions and concerns ACCA students have when considering how to proceed with their studies this autumn.


Studying For ACCA Exams During a Pandemic

Studying For ACCA Exams During a Pandemic – Your Questions Answered

In this article we address the questions and concerns ACCA students have when considering how to proceed with their studies this autumn.


It is no surprise that most ACCA students struggled to progress with their qualification this summer. Not only were classroom and exam centres forced to close, but the June 2020 exam sitting was cancelled, meaning tens of thousands of students had to defer their exam to September or pause their studies altogether.

The good news is that ACCA exams centres opened for the September 2020 sitting and exams went ahead as planned. If you are willing and able to sit an exam in December, we strongly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity to get back on track.

Below, we address ACCA students’ most pressing concerns about sitting a paper to December 2020. If you are deciding how and when to progress with your ACCA qualification, please read on.

1. What if ACCA cancel the exams, will I have spent a lot of time studying for no reason?

This is a common (and valid!) concern among ACCA students. However, we can reassure you that it is extremely unlikely that December 2020 exams will be postponed.⁠

Despite a small number of students experiencing technical issues during September exam week, the vast majority of students sat their exams as planned. Exam centres put full social distancing and safety protocols in place, therefore meaning they could run most with no issues. Therefore, we expect the same from the December exam sitting. Furthermore, the ACCA are ensuring that there is a strong ‘final backup’ via remote invigilation, so we have every reason to believe that December 2020 exams will go ahead as planned.

2. It has been a while since I last studied and I’m worried I’ve lost my assumed knowledge

For those who haven’t studied since March or before, it can feel like you have a long road ahead of you to get back on track with your studies. However, as long as you find a supportive training provider with high quality materials, you should find that the lost knowledge comes flooding back as soon as you start studying. You may even enjoy opening your books again!

Every FI course comes with a full suite of online resources, recordings, planners, and tests that will help you build up the knowledge you need to pass. Don’t miss our series of free masterclasses, which are designed to help you brush up on your technical skills. Find out more about ACCA Masterclasses at FI.

3. What if health issues interrupt my my studies?

We can’t guarantee nothing will get in the way of you sitting your exam in December. Nevertheless, we encourage you to avoid pausing your ACCA qualification because of a ‘what if’…?’ scenario.

If you have booked your exam and cannot attend, you will be marked absent, which does not affect future results. If you need to withdraw your exam booking before the standard exam entry closing date (2nd November), you can do so and receive a refund from ACCA.

There are further steps you can take to ensure you are supported if something does stop you from studying unexpectedly.

Speak to your training provider to understand what their cancellation or deferral policy is. For example, FI courses include access to all online resources for a minimum of 6 months, which means that if you have to defer unexpectedly, you will still have access to everything you need for the next available sitting, including mock exams and tutor support. Alternatively, if you change your mind about the course within 14 days of booking, we will offer you a full refund upon cancellation, in line with our Ts and Cs.

Remember that your training provider will want you to pass your exams as much as you do. Talk to us at FI if there is anything we can do to help make your journey to qualified easier.

4. I have never studied online before. When will classroom courses to come back?

We all want in-centre courses to come back and normal life to resume. However, with the current uncertainty and changes to regulations, the one thing that is definite is that we will be delivering a wide range of Online and Online Live classes for the December exams. Our Online Live courses are as close to a real classroom as we can make it with your tutors engaging and managing the sessions with you.

We have all had to adapt over the last 6 months so don’t let this be the reason for delays to your career. Why not book a free Online Live demo and try it out before you commit?

5. Funding my studies is difficult right now

We are sorry if you find yourself in a difficult financial situation after the events of the past few months. If you are motivated to continue with your ACCA qualification this must be frustrating for you.

Why not consider an ACCA Unlimited package, which allows you to pay in instalments? Split the cost of a course over 3 months to make the payments more manageable. As always, talk to our friendly team if you have any questions about how to book.

6. I just don’t feel like studying until things are back to normal, why shouldn’t I put my ACCA exams on hold until 2021?

Your confidence has taken a hit with exam cancellations and other sources of disruption. This is completely normal and we understand your concern. However, we don’t know yet how this pandemic will be affecting our daily lives in 2021. Is it worth delaying your ability to qualify? You might be waiting until March 2021 to take your next exam. But then what if there is another set of restrictions in your area? Wait until June 2021?

The longer you wait to book your next exam, the more money it will cost you. The average PQ earns around £28,000 per annum, while the average NQ earns about £40,000. That is a £12,000 difference! With this in mind, we recommend taking at least one exam in December and another in March 2021 to get back on track and qualify sooner.

If you have more questions about ACCA exams, please visit the ACCA Exam FAQs.

Further reading ACCA Exam tips

Have you started studying for your next exam? Avoid these 10 exam preparation mistakes and pass first time.

If you need help planning your next steps, read our latest blog on scaling the ACCA mountain for tips and advice.

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