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Can i pass the ACA without a degree and just grade 5 gcse maths?

I have been really stressed over an apprenticeship programme I am due to start in September. This is an four year level 7 apprentice position with the Big4 and I will be working towards my ACA. I’ve got a 5 in gcse maths and did business a level where I achieved a grade B. Other than this I have no prior knowledge in accounting or much experience with maths. I will be going from studying at a levels straight to a level 7 apprenticeship. This has had me feeling very anxious as I’ve heard the big4 apprenticeships only give you two chances to pass exams before your kicked out. If anyones been in my position before or has sat the ACA exams please could you tell me if there’s lots of complicated maths and perhaps share your experiences and tips? Any advice be helpful. Thanks
The scheme will be designed for school leavers and they wouldn't be likely to accept you if they didn't think you could reasonably complete it. In any event you just need to make sure you prepare well for the professional exams and if you identify you need help early, make a point of organising that support.

I doubt there's "complicated maths" involved in accountancy - my understanding is it doesn't involve anything really beyond GCSE (no calculus or anything for example). Just lots of basic arithmetic (handled by spreadsheet) plus some stats and percentages and basic understanding of series (i.e. compounding). I know someone who went into a big 4 accountancy scheme with a degree in history and politics who didn't do any maths after school other than some very basic descriptive statistics (i.e. GCSE level) in their degree. Equally I know someone else who went into accountancy after doing an engineering degree and they said they were relentlessly bored by it because there wasn't anything interesting or sophisticated involved in the maths...

Obviously professional exams can involve a bit more than you're likely to come across in the day to day work of your job, but you can find out what is involved in this and should be preparing for it anyway as above. So you'll have time to see what there is and make sure you get support if needed (e.g. finding a tutor if necessary or similar).
Reply 2
Original post by artful_lounger
The scheme will be designed for school leavers and they wouldn't be likely to accept you if they didn't think you could reasonably complete it. In any event you just need to make sure you prepare well for the professional exams and if you identify you need help early, make a point of organising that support.
I doubt there's "complicated maths" involved in accountancy - my understanding is it doesn't involve anything really beyond GCSE (no calculus or anything for example). Just lots of basic arithmetic (handled by spreadsheet) plus some stats and percentages and basic understanding of series (i.e. compounding). I know someone who went into a big 4 accountancy scheme with a degree in history and politics who didn't do any maths after school other than some very basic descriptive statistics (i.e. GCSE level) in their degree. Equally I know someone else who went into accountancy after doing an engineering degree and they said they were relentlessly bored by it because there wasn't anything interesting or sophisticated involved in the maths...
Obviously professional exams can involve a bit more than you're likely to come across in the day to day work of your job, but you can find out what is involved in this and should be preparing for it anyway as above. So you'll have time to see what there is and make sure you get support if needed (e.g. finding a tutor if necessary or similar).


That’s put me at ease. I think I will just prepare with the basics before I start and organise. Thanks for this information
Original post by akarima.16
That’s put me at ease. I think I will just prepare with the basics before I start and organise. Thanks for this information


Also remember you'll be working with people who have done those exams and they can provide some insight (particularly those who have done them recently in the last couple of years) on what kind of things to focus on and if there are any good resources to use. So make use of the networks you'll develop in the role too!
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
Also remember you'll be working with people who have done those exams and they can provide some insight (particularly those who have done them recently in the last couple of years) on what kind of things to focus on and if there are any good resources to use. So make use of the networks you'll develop in the role too!


Yes I did get assigned a buddy who was in my place last year. This will most definitely help me to get comfortable within the company. Thank you

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