Are ACCA Exams Multiple Choice?

Are ACCA Exams Multiple Choice?

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification is globally recognised as one of the leading certifications for finance and accounting professionals. As prospective students or early-stage ACCA candidates often inquire about the exam format, one of the most common questions that arises is, “Are ACCA exams multiple choice?” In this article, we’ll delve deep into the nature of ACCA exams to provide a comprehensive answer to this question.

Overview of ACCA Exams

The ACCA qualification consists of 13 exams, which are designed to assess the knowledge and skills of candidates in various areas of accounting, finance, and related fields. These exams are structured across three levels:

  1. Applied Knowledge Level
  2. Applied Skills Level
  3. Strategic Professional Level

Let’s break down the format of each level to understand the presence (or absence) of multiple-choice questions.

The Applied Knowledge level

This is the initial level of the ACCA qualification, primarily focusing on the basics of accounting and finance. Exams at this level are computer-based and predominantly consist of Objective Test (OT) questions.

OT questions do include multiple-choice questions (MCQs) but they also include other styles of questions. The most common OT questions found at the ACCA Applied Knowledge level are:

  • MCQs: Traditional questions where you pick one correct answer from several options.
  • Multiple-response questions: Questions where you might select more than one answer.
  • Drag and drop: Questions that require dragging an answer to a specific position.
  • Fill in the blank: Questions where for example you have to put in a numerical answer or missing word.
  • Drop down list: Questions where you select an answer from a drop down list
  • Hot spot: Questions where you should select one point on an image as your answer.

Hence, if you’re preparing for the Applied Knowledge level, you’ll be answering a lot of OT questions and a proportion of those questions will be MCQ style.

The Applied Skills level

Moving a step forward, the Applied Skills Level exams dig deeper into practical and theoretical aspects of accounting and finance. These exams are a blend of multiple-choice questions and longer, scenario-based questions. While MCQs do form a portion of the assessment, the emphasis shifts towards testing the application of knowledge in practical scenarios. Hence, it’s not solely MCQ-based; you’ll also have to write answers and provide explanations.

The Strategic Professional level

The Strategic Professional Level is the pinnacle of the ACCA qualification, and it primarily focuses on high-level strategic and professional skills. Exams at this level consist of case studies, essays, and constructed response questions. The primary mode of assessment revolves around comprehensive answers that test the depth of a candidate’s knowledge and the application in real-world scenarios.

So, are ACCA exams multiple choice?

The answer is both yes and no. While the ACCA does utilize multiple-choice questions extensively, especially in the Applied Knowledge Level, it isn’t the sole format. As candidates progress to higher levels, the reliance on MCQs reduces, and the emphasis on in-depth, scenario-based questions grows. This design ensures that ACCA-qualified professionals are not just theoretically knowledgeable but also adept at applying their learning to real-world situations.

Tips for Tackling Multiple Choice Questions

If you’re preparing for ACCA exams that involve MCQs, here are some tips to enhance your chances of success:

  • Read the questions carefully: Sometimes, the wording can be tricky, so make sure you understand what’s being asked.
  • Eliminate incorrect options: If you’re unsure about the correct answer, try eliminating options that you’re confident are wrong.
  • Practice regularly: Regular mock tests and practice exams will help you get accustomed to the MCQ format.

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Our ACCA Platinum courses include a full explanation and run through of numerous exam standard questions to ensure you are fully comfortable with the best approach to take in your real ACCA exam. You can register for a free demo course here.


The ACCA qualification is rigorous and comprehensive, ensuring that its members are top-tier finance and accounting professionals. While multiple-choice questions form a part of the assessment process, they are just one of the many tools ACCA uses to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge and skills.

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