UK ICAEW - how difficult?

Nov 22, 2011
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Hi All,

I am due to start a graduate audit scheme with a 'Big 4' firm in September 2012. Having done a placement with the same firm I'm not all to worried about the day to day projects and work I will be doing. What really worries me is the exams!

I've heard some horror stories about people failing in 2nd or even 3rd year and being kicked out of the firm. For me the qualification is a way to broaden my horizons (outside accountancy) and gain job security, it is something I'm passionate about achieving but I'm petrified about failing as the exams get more difficult.

Basically I'm trying to guage exactly how hard these exams are, and even more specifically, the time frames involved for revision etc. so I can try and decide whether I can pass them, and ultimately whether this is the right career path for me.

Can anyone help???!!
Nov 23, 2011
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Reply to 'ICAEW - How difficult?'

Hi there
I work at ICAEW and help look after the ACA qualification. It's good to hear that you are starting your ACA training next year. The exams are rigorous and you will need to work hard...but don't worry, there is plenty of help available from ICAEW, your tutors and fellow students to help you be as successful as possible in your exams. Your tutors will give you the best classroom study and go through mock exams, revision sessions etc with you for each exam. The online student community gives you access to study support from fellow students and there are regular 'Ask a Tutor' sessions to help with your last-minute revision questions. I would recommend that once you start your studies, you join your local student society. It's free, a great way to meet fellow students in your local area and many societies will also run revision sessions. ICAEW also organises free training webinars to help you understand what is required of you at some of the exams. We are constantly developing new ways to support students, so I'm sure as you progress through your exams, there will be even more help available. The day-to-day work experience that you'll gain as you study for the ACA will also be a great help too with understanding the different aspects of finance and business and you'll be able to use your knowledge of this in the exams too. I hope this allays your fears for your future exams? Happy to help if you need further advice. Suzanne

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