1 week to the AI – are you prepared to pass?

16 September 2020

ICAEW will publish the November Advance Information on Tuesday 22 September. Giving yourself the best opportunity to pass starts with preparation. 

If this is your first attempt at the ACA Case Study exam you need to make sure you understand how the exam is marked and what you need to do, this is not like any exam you have sat so far.  

Are you attempting the November ICAEW Case Study exam having been unsuccessful in previous attempts? If so have you obtained your marks feedback from the previous attempts so you can understand what went wrong?  What are you going to do differently this time? What is going to be different about the support you put in place, or the material you use, or the time you dedicate to your studies? How will you make effective use of the time you do have?

Thinking about these questions now gives you time to organise your diary, making sure that between now and 4 November you prioritise yourself and your studies. 

You need to look at the big picture of how far you've come to get to this point - so close to qualifying - and where your career can take you over the next 2, 5, 10, 20 years. 

Too often we hear from students in the days before the exam "I'm sorry, I didn't do the mock, I had a big deadline at work." Well, those deadlines aren't a surprise, and neither was the mock exam (our course timetables are published in detail now). So how did that clash happen?

We know it is difficult. We do, we've been there. Your boss needs something from you urgently, you had planned a day of study and you're already feeling under prepared, and everyone you know is in the pub having a good time. But here's the thing - it's only 6 weeks. 6 weeks from the AI being issued to exam day.

Successful Case Study students are the ones who prioritise themselves. Who understand that while it is important to do a good job at work, their manager is not going to send them home at 5pm saying "off you go now, I know you have studying to do." (If your manager does say that to you then you are one of the lucky ones.) Successful Case Study students know that they have to be firm about the time they've put aside for studying, that they must leave the office, keep the time booked off or refuse the evening invite because they are investing in themselves.

So make the decision now that you will be one of those successful students. That you will give the Case Study exam the time it needs and look after yourself in the process - get enough sleep, eat the right food. Let your colleagues know that you are sitting the exam and that passing, that qualifying is the most important thing you are doing right now. Be strong enough to resist the temptation to stay in the office for just another couple of hours.

As specialist Case Study Tutors we have the luxury of only thinking about the Case Study exam between AI release date and the exam day. We are absolutely selfish in that regard; our other business interests know that they are not at the top of our list during that 6 week period. We arrange our lives around teaching and supporting students. It is the students who take advantage of this, who do all the work we set, who ask the questions, who submit the exams on time, and then spend time reviewing the feedback that achieve that all important pass. That is the type of student you need to be to get the result you want.


The other vital component is to make sure you have booked your exam. The booking window is now open and will close on 25 September so get this done. Remember, this is the last opportunity to take the exam using the familiar ICAEW CBE software.

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