Which is the best combination of ACCA Papers?

Many students have problems choosing which combination of ACCA exams to sit. We have conducted a survey, and over a 1,000 students participated.

Here are the results:

2 ACCA Papers – the best combination

2 ACCA papers best combination

2 ACCA papers

3 ACCA Papers – the best combination

3 ACCA Papers best combination


  1. avatar says


    i am a full time student who has completed 7 papers n i have my f7 n 9 remainind frm the fundamental level .i am appearing for both these this december and i wanted to know if i wud be fine to go with p1 paper as well fr this december. i had given 3 papers at a time last sem n thankfully passed all 3 frst attempt . but i cudnt score really well last time and currently having enroled for the bsc degree , what toubles me take a decision on whether to go for 2 or 3 papers is that i ned to score quite well in these two papers to get an avg of 68 and get a frst classs fr the bsc oxford degree and also since i wud have no break fr my p1 paper as its just aftr f7 this time . soo it would be very helpfull if u cud provide with ur suggestion and opinions on how many papes to go for in this dec.

    thanks in advance ,

  2. avatar says


    I would really appreciatte your advice about this exam combination. I am left with P3 and I am going to choose P4 and P7,

    My idea is sitting 2 exams in December 2015 and the remaining one (hopefully) in March/June 2016.

    Thank you in advance,

    • Profile photo of Mahoysam says

      P4 is usually considered by most candidates as the most challenging paper, to me it was difficult, but I didn’t feel it was incredibly more difficult than all the other papers, however, many people I know found it to be way more difficult so perhaps you will too – That’s why I suggest you write it alone and sit for P3 and P7 now – Although i should let you know that both of them are theory papers and can be a little boring, on the other hand P4 is quite interesting and it made perfect combination as I wrote it with P7, because it balanced the boredom of P7, plus, P7 has a short syllabus and I personally find it a relatively easier paper to pass so that gave me a chance to focus most of my time on P4 – But hey, boring and interesting, or difficult and easy are all relative – Look for yourself, check the syllabus and decide for yourself, you will do well either way.

      • avatar says

        Thank you Mahoysam, it makes perfect sense, and I agree with you on this being very relative. Very sensible reply.

        It is funny how always the next exams is the most difficult of the whole lot, I mean, this happened with F7, F9 and recently with P2. How would you compare those to P4?

        As you suggested, I will study in detail the syllabus and the exam dates too, and then make my decision,

        Thank you again

      • Profile photo of Mahoysam says

        Glad I could help :)

        Well, I think this is the nice thing about ACCA – You see, some people kept warning me about the advanced papers, what they didn’t understand is that in ACCA you pick it up as you go along, in the sense that when you start, even F1 is difficult for you, well clearly it is, because it is something new, as you go along, you gain more information and more skills that enable you face the more difficult papers. So if you want my opinion, I have found every single paper of ACCA to be challenging, surely the more you advance things get harder, but on the other hand, the more you advance your skills and knowledge improve too!

        Personally, I didn’t feel P4 was ‘exceptionally’ more difficult than other papers, yeah it is such a challenging paper and you will need to do A LOT of studying, but I don’t believe it was more difficult, MANY ACCA candidates beg to differ though, just to be honest with you.

        Just keep in mind that you will do well in any combination, it all boils down to your hard work, not to the combination of exams, and I personally never gave the order thing any attention.

        Good luck,

        Maha :)

      • avatar says

        as far as i know which ever way u wanna do ACCA papers, it draws back to your devotion, intellectual understanding n more the time to read n doing thorough revision

    • avatar says

      I was planning to do three papers this sitting (December, 2015) I’m wondering what would be the best combination as I am left with F6 and P2, P3 and the 2 options. Kindly advise and thanks in advance

      • Profile photo of Mahoysam says

        Ok, nice choice btw.

        I believe amongst the five papers you are writing, and I think many candidates will agree with me on that, P4 and P2 are the most technical and challenging. I would advise you not to take them together because they both relatively require more hard work than the other papers.

        Now what i would think is a good combination, is to take P7 and P2 together. Because in P2 you will study the accounting standards, and in P7 you will required you to recall these accounting standards taught in P2, so it does make sense to study them both together, as they are closely related.

        However, comparing F7 to F9, which one did you find to be more difficult? If you had such problems with F9 and loved F7, then I wouldn’t suggest that you put P4 with another two papers, because it is a weakness of yours, so it makes sense to give it more attention by combining it with only one more paper.

        That’s just an analysis of what i think, but either way, you will do fine. F7 was a nightmare to me, when I wrote P2, I combined it with more two papers (P1 and P3) and I did fine – So at the end of the day, the combination is not crucial, it all boils down to your hard work.

        Good luck

      • avatar says

        Thanks a lot, I think it would be better if I just write F6, p2 and p7 this time. I did not do F9 & F9 as I had an exemption.

  3. Profile photo of John Moffat says

    We presented this page simply to let students suggest what they thought was the best order in which to do the exams.

    The ACCA suggest that the exams are taken in numerical order – the syllabuses are designed that way – and you can see from the charts that most people do do this.

    What the ACCA suggest is very sensible. For example, F9 requires a little bit of F5 knowledge (just a bit of terminology), a little bit of F6 knowledge (simple capital allowances) ; and a little bit of F3 knowledge (or F7 if exempt F3) regarding the layout of financial statements and terminology. Certainly it is possible to pass F9 without having done the earlier papers first, but why create any extra work unnecessarily?

    Some students seem to prefer to do ‘easier’ papers first and ‘harder’ papers later. However what is easy or hard for one student will be different from what is easy or hard for another student (and they are all of a similar overall level of difficulty anyway). Also, all the papersl have to be passed at some stage – delaying a paper will not make it any easier :-)

    Others think that a particular combination might mean less studying because similar topics are examined. There may be a tiny bit of truth in this for F7 and F8 but not for the other papers (especially not for F5 and F9 as some people seem to think). If you take the papers in order then you will be taking F7 and F8 either together or within six months of each other anyway. When you come to the P level papers you are expected to be able to remember and use what you learned from the F papers, so it will have to happen sooner or later anyway :-)

  4. avatar says

    I live in Canada and getting study text out here is no fun! :-(

    I have F6, F7,F9 left to complete level 2
    I work FT and a FT mum to 3 young children so I can only do one paper at a time.

    Should I do F9 first or F7?
    I just wanna do what is easiest to pass first.

    Plus can I successfully study and pass F7 and F9 with open tuition notes/lectures only?
    I just can’t get hold of the study material here in Toronto.

    What about using an old text say 2010 for F7 or F9?

    I plan to do F6 after I have passed both F7 and F9.

    Thanks for your help

    • Profile photo of Mahoysam says

      Hi Joyceline,

      If you want my opinion, I would say the F6 paper is the least technical if you are going to compare it with F7 and F9. How good are you with memorising things? F6 is all about memorisation, it has a long syllabus and you will need to memorise a lot of tax rules, but regardless, I personally found it much easier than F7 and F9, it is just that once you memorise the rules and practice questions, there isn’t anything difficult, you can ease it.

      F7 and F9 cannot be compared really, they both have very different subject, one is financial reporting and the other is financial management and the question of which is easier will totally depend on your taste. For example, I personally found the financial reporting papers (F7 and P2) to be my least favourite ever and therefore the most difficult, F7 was literally a nightmare to me, i think of all the ACCA papers, I hated F7 the most, but that doesn’t mean that it is more difficult, it just means that it was not my cup of tea. On the other hand, I found F9 to be so much more interesting and therefore easier than F7, again, that does not mean that F9 is easier, many people have such problems with F9, but it is just that I enjoyed its subject

      The way i see it, but that’s only my opinion, F9 is less technical than F7, because in F7 you will get hit with most of the accounting standards for the first time which isn’t easy really.

      Bottom line is, you will need to look at the syllabus and see for yourself which do you find to be more interesting. They are all challenging papers and require efforts to pass.

      Good luck,


      • Profile photo of Mahoysam says

        Yeah I forgot – You can definitely study using opentuition notes, I did that for these paper, but you must have an up to date revision kit to practice from.

        Do NOT use 2010 books, that’s very old and you will miss out a lot of topics and areas because the syllabus gets changed, and it is even a bigger no for F7 because the accounting standards tend to get updated and of course so is the syllabus. The safe thing to do is to use OT notes, they are regularly updated and are complete, but again, you will have to have a practice kit to solve questions from.

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