How are ACCA exams marked?

Feb 14, 2020 by Mohsin Raza

acca exam

Typically, a three-hour ACCA exam carries 100 marks – that means 1.8 minutes per mark, so an attempt at a 25-mark question should be completed within 45 minutes. After the allotted exam time is up for any question, you must move on to the next question – even if this means that the answer itself is not wholly finished. Keeping in mind the above statement the most frequently asked questions by many students are as follows

  1. How are ACCA exams marked?
  2. How many markers are involved in marking my ACCA exam paper?

In order to answer these questions, we will first discuss how the papers of ACCA written.

Your ACCA exam paper is written by an examining team, made up of the Examiner, the Assessor, the Subject Coordinator, and the Exam Sitter. The Examiner writes the first draft:

  • Covering as much of the syllabus as possible.
  • Ensuring questions are accurate and well-phrased.
  • Inserting red herring answers based on common student mistakes.

Then the Examiner passes the exam paper to the Assessor. The Assessor checks:

  • The exam questions are relevant.
  • The paper is fair and balanced.
  • The suggested answers and mark scheme is suitable.

Then the Assessor passes the exam paper to the Subject Coordinator, who checks:

  • The exam correlates to the standards required at that level of the exam.
  • The exam is consistent with previous exam sessions.
  • The exam doesn’t overlap too heavily with past papers.

Then finally, the Exam Sitter sits the exam paper themselves:

  • To confirm the paper can be completed in the time available.
  • To highlight any problem areas that need adapting.

Throughout this entire process, the examining team work alongside a full-time team of Education Advisors who further ensure quality control and provide consistency throughout the process. An awful lot of thought goes into creating these papers, from a group of educated, knowledgeable professionals. That’s what you get, when you walk into that exam hall. But what’s next, when you close your paper and leave the exam hall?

How are ACCA exams marked?

The CBE exams are marked automatically by the computer and you get your mark immediately. There is no room for error here as questions are either right or wrong and the computer can tell immediately.

For all other papers, the examiner for each ACCA exam coordinates a team of qualified exam markers, who are responsible for marking exam papers for that exam. The ACCA marking process follows three main stages:

  1. Before marking starts: Once the final exam for that paper ends, all the markers have a meeting to discuss any potential issues on the paper and establish a clear, consistent mark scheme that all markers will follow. This makes the process objective and consistent.
  2. During marking: The examining team moderate the marking process, checking all markers are following the marking scheme correctly and consistently. There are nine independent checks during the marking process to ensure the exam markers are correct. The markers use marking software after scanning your paper online, to check they haven’t missed any questions, added incorrectly or made any other administrative errors.
  3. After marking: The marking team double-check any borderline scripts from 47 to 53, to check no mistakes have been made that would make the difference between a pass and a fail. Any discrepancies are investigated thoroughly and resolved. Your exam results are added to your student record and your entry options for next session created; then the ACCA conducts several further checks to ensure results are accurate before they are officially released.


ACCA exam papers are marked in accordance with a strict process and series of protocols and checks, so mistakes are very unlikely. A team of expert examiners are involved in marking your ACCA exams, and they take professional pride in doing a good job. Contrary to what many students think, the ACCA want as many students as possible to pass. The examining team will always be very happy with a high percentage of passing students and they always approach the exam papers with that attitude, hoping students have listened to all the advice, read the examiners reports, practiced the questions so the examining team have the satisfaction of awarding a pass.

Written by


Sajid Kapadia - TSB Education

Yahya Khan

I am an ACCA with hands-on knowledge and well-versed experience of more than 9 years in the field of Financial Management. I have worked in A.F Ferguson for Audit of various Large Organization i.e: Pakistan Refinery Limited, Unilever Limited. I have also worked with Large Organizations such as Nishat Group of Companies as Head of Finance.
My basic studies are from the United Kingdom up till my A ‘Levels. My interest in teaching has led me to be involved in Highly esteemed Educational Institutes for teaching O/A Levels Accounting, Economics & Business Studies, Furthermore I have been teaching ACCA subjects Financial Accounting (FA) and Management Accounting (MA) for over 5 years.
I like to teach with real-life examples and scenarios to create a comfortable learning environment for my students.

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