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Get ready for the CBEs

Next Spring, ICAEW will be introducing a new ACA computer-based exams. Here we explain what it will entail

January 2017

From March 2017, ICAEW will start to move the ACA Professional and Advanced Level exams to computer. Audit and Assurance and Tax Compliance will be the first exams to move to computer at this time.
If you’re studying the ACA you will continue to study, practise questions and prepare for computer-based exams as you do currently for ACA exams, although it is recommended that you become familiar with the new computer-based exam software in advance of your exams.

Enhancing the exam experience:
Integrating technology into the exams will enhance the exam experience, by making it more reflective of your everyday work environment. Technology plays a large part in the workplace and it’s likely that you’re using technology to write reports, create spreadsheets, tables and undertake computations. The new computer-based exam platform will reflect these activities that you’re already undertaking as part of your ACA training.
So what will the exam software look like? The exam questions will look exactly the same as the paper version. You will see the questions on screen and input your answers using a computer. The syllabus, exam structure and format of the questions are not changing. Here, we show you screen shots of the software to give you an overview of what to expect on the day of your exam.

The response area:
The response area is where you’ll add your answers to each exam requirement. It has all the essential functions you need during an exam – you will already be familiar with most of these functions. Within the response area, you can also add narrative and numeric responses to an exam question.

Annotate the exam requirement:
During the exam you can view the exam question and the response area, side-by-side. You can also highlight the question, add sticky notes and copy and paste text and numbers to the response area.

Guidance and support:
To help you become familiar with the new computer-based exam platform in advance of your exam, the following support and guidance is available:
• A series of short webinars that focus on introducing computer-based exams, the ICAEW exam software and the exam experience from start to finish.
• A computer-based exam guide providing detail on what to expect on the day of the exam, how to navigate through the software, key functionality within the software and frequently asked questions.
• Practice software.

Key dates:
Computer-based exams, at the ACA Professional and Advanced Levels, will be introduced over a two-year period. Be sure to make a note of the dates, so you know when each exam will move to computer.
• March 2017: Professional Level Tax Compliance and Audit and Assurance.
• September 2017: Professional Level Financial Accounting and Reporting and Financial Management.
• March 2018: Professional Level Business Planning and Business Strategy.
• November 2018: Advanced Level exams.

Find out more:
Access the new computer-based exams guidance and support and find out more on access arrangements and how to book your exam, visit icaew.com/cbe

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