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ACCA Strategic Professional CBE’s – What You Need to Know!

From March 2020, ACCA is replacing the Strategic Professional paper-based exams with computer-based ones. Are you ready for the transition?

From March 2020, ACCA replaced the Strategic Professional paper-based exams with computer-based exams (CBEs) as part of their commitment to enhancing the qualification.

This transition from paper to computer will help ACCA students continue their digital journey from Applied Skills.

What is the format for the CBEs?

The main change to the format is that it’s now completed on a computer, but all content is the same as the paper-based exam.

CBEs and PBEs give you 3 hours and 15 minutes to complete the exam (except for SBL at 4 hours). The number of questions spread between Section A and Section B is the same while the syllabus and difficulty level are no different.

However, you will be given 10 extra minutes in Strategic Professional CBEs to read the computer-based exam instructions.

Watch this video to get a walkthrough of the new CBE experience:

When is the rollout of the Strategic Professional CBEs expected?

From March 2020, the session CBEs for the Strategic Professional exams will take place in selected locations:

Locations of ACCA CBEs

How is it being rolled out?

The Strategic Professional CBEs are being managed using a phased market by market approach.

Unlike Applied Skills CBEs, once the exams are launched they will immediately replace the paper strategic professional exam which will no longer be available.

This will support a quicker adoption of the changes and help students get everything they need online as soon as possible.

It’s worth noting that ATX and AAA versions of the exams will be introduced on different timetables. 

You can find out when your professional exam is taking place as an on-demand CBE exam, session CBE of paper-based by visiting ACCA’s exam method page.

How will you find out more about Strategic Professional CBEs?

To ensure all students are aware of these new CBE based professional strategic exams, ACCA will:

  • Contact you via email
  • Send communications on particular subjects when the CBE is launching in your market
  • Promote the changes on social and ACCA website


As all ACCA exams move to an online platform, it’s key that you familiarise yourself with software such as Word and Excel.

Practice is key in the lead up to the transition so make use of the CBE practice tool to ensure you have the knowledge and skills when exam time comes.

Alan Lynch
2 min read


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