ACCA Levels: a complete guide

ACCA Levels: a complete guide


Embarking on the ACCA qualification journey is an empowering step toward a successful career in finance and accountancy. One crucial aspect to understand about ACCA is its tiered structure. This blog article offers a comprehensive look at the different ACCA levels and what each entails, helping aspiring professionals navigate their path.

1. ACCA Levels: An Overview

a. Applied Knowledge

This is the entry-level and provides a robust introduction to the world of finance and accounting. It covers the basics of accounting, management, and finance. The three exams in this level are:

  • Business and Technology (BT)
  • Management Accounting (MA)
  • Financial Accounting (FA)

b. Applied Skills

This level delves deeper into various fields of study. It’s designed to equip students with practical skills needed in the professional world. The six exams in this level are:

  • Corporate and Business Law (LW)
  • Performance Management (PM)
  • Taxation (TX)
  • Financial Reporting (FR)
  • Audit and Assurance (AA)
  • Financial Management (FM)

c. Strategic Professional

This is the advanced level, focusing on advanced professional skills, techniques, and practices that experts in the field must master. It includes two compulsory exams and two options out of four:

  • Compulsory Exams:
    • Strategic Business Leader (SBL)
    • Strategic Business Reporting (SBR)
  • Options (choose two):
    • Advanced Financial Management (AFM)
    • Advanced Performance Management (APM)
    • Advanced Taxation (ATX)
    • Advanced Audit and Assurance (AAA)

2. Progression through the Levels

The progression through these levels has been carefully thought through by ACCA to build a solid foundation and gradually acquire more specialized knowledge and skills.

3. Exam Structures and Passing Criteria

Each level has a unique exam structure, including the type of questions and passing marks. Thorough preparation and understanding of the exam format are crucial for success.

4. Practical Experience Requirement (PER)

In addition to passing the exams, ACCA students must complete the Practical Experience Requirement. This entails gaining relevant work experience in a related role to qualify for ACCA membership.

5. Ethics and Professional Skills Module

To enhance employability and professionalism, students should also complete the Ethics and Professional Skills Module alongside their studies or after completing the Applied Skills exams.

FAQs About ACCA Levels

1. Can I Skip Any ACCA Levels?

No, you must progress through each level sequentially, as each builds upon the knowledge and skills of the previous level.

2. How Long Does It Take to Complete All ACCA Levels?

On average, it takes three to four years to complete all ACCA exams, but the total time depends on the individual’s pace and performance.

3. Do I Need to Complete Practical Experience at Every Level?

No, the Practical Experience Requirement is overall and not tied to each level. It’s recommended to gain practical experience alongside your studies.

4. Is the Ethics and Professional Skills Module Mandatory?

Yes, completing this module is essential for ACCA qualification and enhances your professional skills and employability.


Understanding the different ACCA levels is paramount in planning and pacing your studies effectively. Each level brings you closer to becoming a well-rounded and highly skilled accounting professional. Recognize the requirements, expectations, and opportunities at each stage, and you’re well on your way to a successful ACCA journey.

Note that ACCA can change things at short notice so whilst the details in this article are correct at the date of publication, it’s best to check to the ACCA website in case of any changes.

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