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Role simulation exam

All the information you need to apply for and book the role simulation exam.

In addition to the ICAEW CFAB or ACA Certificate Level exams, as part of the Level 4 Accounting Technician apprenticeship, you are also required to submit a portfolio and reflective statement and sit and pass a case-study style role simulation exam.

This is a 2.5 hour long exam which will test the knowledge, skills and behaviours you have developed during your apprenticeship. The role simulation exam is computer-based and available as a remote invigilation exam in March, June and December each year.

From March 2021, the Role Simulation exam will computer-based and available only as a remotely invigilated exam.

Book your role simulation exam

You can book your place and apply for the role simulation exam using our online booking system. Access this via your training file, go to the ‘Examinations’ tab and select ‘Apply for exams’, or go straight to exams online.

When you book your exam it will be confirmed immediately.

Key dates and deadlines

You will need to complete a minimum of 12 months of your apprenticeship before you can sit the role simulation exam. It is your responsibility to apply and book it.

The role simulation exam can be sat in March, June and December.

Ensure you make a note of all the key dates and deadlines. Follow the links below to see when the role simulation exam can be booked or amended, the exam date, and when the results will be released.

Booking summary

Once you have booked your role simulation exam you will receive an application summary by email. This will include the date of your exam, the exam venue, your candidate number, and Instructions to Candidates. Please read the information carefully and ensure that it is correct.

Cancelling or amending your exam

If you need to cancel, amend or withdraw from the role simulation exam you have booked, please follow the guidance below.

  • Before, and up to the exam session closing date for Role Simulation exam session, you can withdraw online via the ‘Modify an existing application’ section.  A refund will be issued to you within 15-20 working days (during peak times this may vary) of the exam session closing date.
  • After the exam session closing date, you must submit your withdrawal request online using the ‘Withdrawal of exam(s) after the closing date’ option. A refund will only be considered if appropriate medical evidence is supplied.
  • If you are unable to attend the exam on the day, a refund can only be considered if appropriate medical evidence has been obtained and signed within 48 hours of the exam date. This evidence then needs to be submitted to us using the portal within 14 calendar days of the exam date. If the medical evidence supplied at this time is dated prior to the exam session closing date, you will not be eligible for a refund.
  • If a refund is confirmed, this will be returned to the original payment method 15-20 days following the exam session (during peak times this may vary). We do not issue credits toward future exam sessions.

Please note that if you withdraw from an exam (with or without refund), your application will not be transferred automatically to the next exam session and you must apply again as normal for any future sessions.  

Make sure that you are aware of all exam key dates and deadlines, as listed above.

Access arrangements

If you feel your exam performance may be hindered due to a health condition, disability, or specific learning difficulty (SpLD), we may be able to put access arrangements in place to support you during your end-point exam. Submit your application for access arrangements by the exam booking deadline.

Instructions to Candidates

You must read the Instructions to Candidates carefully before you attempt your role simulation exam as part of your end-point assessment.

Before the exam

The advance information will be available eight weeks before your exam. The advance information may contain 12-15 pages of background information on a company, a recent set of financial statements and an organisational hierarchy.

The advance information can now be added to your digital bookshelf. You can add the Role Simulation advance information to your bookshelf by visiting the ebookshop and selecting the relevant edition.

The digital version will not be added automatically, you must visit the link above for it to be available. The advance information is still available as a traditional PDF in the exam resources section below, which can be printed and taken to your exam.

You will need to familiarise yourself with this information before the exam, with the support of your tuition provider.

On the day of the exam

During this exam, you will work through a series of business-related challenges based on the advance information. You will be able to take a copy of this information in to the exam with you. You can also take the ICAEW CFAB or ACA Certificate Level learning materials into the exam.

You will also be presented with some additional information about the company, as well as a number of tasks which you will be expected to work through. 

Coronavirus: Exam advice for students

The ICAEW exams and learning materials are prepared ahead of each exam session. While we aim to reflect real life in the exams, the scenarios, characters and businesses presented are fictional and reflect the economic circumstances at the time of writing. Some exam question scenarios may relate to an industry, sector or business on which the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact. Where analysis of that scenario is required, it would be relevant to mention briefly in your answer the implications of the pandemic. Overall, however, you should continue to focus on answering the question appropriately, using the technical knowledge and skills as set out in the ICAEW learning materials.

Exam attempts

There is no maximum number of attempts for the role simulation exam. However, if you are unsuccessful and wish to re-sit you must attempt and pass within 12 months. 

Exam resources

To help you prepare for the role simulation exam, explore the exams below with advance information, exam questions and answers, and within the new practice software.


The exam will be marked, graded and has a pass mark of 70%. If you score 90% or more, you will receive a distinction.

You will receive results for your role simulation exam and portfolio and reflective statement at the same time. This means that you will know whether you have been successful in passing the ICAEW Accounting Technician apprenticeship after you have sat the role simulation exam.

We will notify the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) once all elements of the apprenticeship are completed. The IfA will then post the apprenticeship certificate to your employer.