HE Exams Wiki

Accounting is available as an International GCSE or you might like to explore alternative industry qualifications.

Edexcel International GCSE Accounting

Edexcel International GCSE Accounting page and specification

  • Exams from: June 2019
  • Available in June and January (until 2023) and November (from 2023)
  • Specification code: 4AC1

Subject content

The Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in Accounting comprises five topics:

  1. The accounting environment
  2. Introduction to bookkeeping
  3. Introduction to control processes
  4. The preparation of financial statements
  5. Accounting for end of period adjustments


100% exam based.

  • Paper 1 - Introduction to Bookkeeping and Accounting - 2hrs - 100 marks - 66.6%
    • The examination comprises a mixture of multiple-choice, short- and long-answer questions, and is presented in two sections.
    • Covers topics 1-3
  • Paper 2 - Financial Statements - 1 hr 15 mins - 50 marks - 33.3%
    • The examination comprises two multi-part questions focusing on the preparation, analysis or evaluation of financial statements.
    • Covers topics 1-5


Pearson publish a textbook and an online teachers guide for the specification. Details can be found here

Answers can be found here

Past papers can be accessed through the specification page or here Papers with an R suffix were available in a different time zone. They are the same specification and can be used as practice.

Cambridge (CAIE) IGCSE Accounting

Cambridge offer 2 IGCSEs in Accounting from 2020. The difference is in the grading, 0985 being 9-1 and 0452 being A*-G, otherwise the syllabus is identical.

CAIE International GCSE Accounting (0985) page and specification

CAIE International GCSE Accounting (0452) page and specification

0985 was new in 2020, 0452 the specification was updated for 2020 exams. If looking at 0452 materials be aware that while the content did not change much in 2020 the style of the exam papers changed a lot.

  • Exams from: 2020
  • Available in Autumn and Summer series
  • Specification code: 0985 (9-1) or 0452 (A*- G)

Subject content

The CAIE International GCSE in Accounting comprises seven topics:

  1. The fundamentals of accounting
  2. Sources and recording of data
  3. Verification of accounting records
  4. Accounting procedures
  5. Preparation of financial statements
  6. Analysis and interpretation
  7. Accounting principles and policies


100% exam based.

  • Paper 1 - Multiple Choice - 1 hr 15 mins - 35 marks - 30%
    • Multiple choice questions
    • Covers full syllabus
  • Paper 2 - Structured written paper - 1 hr 45 mins - 100 marks - 70%
    • Candidates are presented with stimulus material followed by a variety of tasks on the question paper. For example, candidates may be asked to carry out calculations, complete a cash book, complete an incomplete statement of accounts, or prepare accounts based on information given in the question, or prepare suspense accounts and journal entries, among other accounting tasks.
    • Covers full syllabus

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There are several different textbooks, workbooks and revision books available for this specification - a list can be found here

Past papers can be found on the specification pages or sites such as pastpapers.co and papacambridge Each series of 0452 (besides the March series - which is only sat in India) has 3 sets of papers available. These are because they were sat in different time zones. They are the same syllabus and useful for practice. You can use both 0985 and 0452 papers to practice. 0452 papers prior to March 2020 are old specification and exam papers are in a different format, although the questions may still be useful for practice as content was very similar.

Alternative Accounting Qualifications

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) https://www.aat.org.uk/ offer a range of qualifications for accounting, bookkeeping and business.

A group member has suggested that the AAT will accept under 16 year olds for some of their professional exams, but do check.

" AAT is a highly regarded accounting qualification studied by people in accounts departments in business, and Accounting firms. Level 2 is equivalent to a GCSE, covers mainly bookkeeping, consists of 5 exams, taken individually by computer based assessment. There are lots of centres which offer the tests and hold them on a weekly basis. The whole course can be taken over a period of 4/5 months, or over more than a year. Level 3 gives UCAS points equivalent to an A* A level. The pass mark for Level 2 is 70% and there are no grades - just 'Competent' or not. If you fail a test, you can re-take (as often as you like). The course is good for people who like to learn progressively, not have an all-or-nothing exam, and with no pressure to get a specific grade, and who need flexibility about when they study and take exams. Reasonable maths ability/way of thinking will possibly help, but the maths itself is more functional rather than academic. "

There are several options for study:

"...courses can be bought online; you can buy the books and teach yourself; there are courses at FE colleges (would have to ask the college if they accept under 16 year olds and the cost). There are also 'professional' training bodies. For example, Kaplan accept under 16 year olds and the Milton Keynes branch has been very supportive to us. Their highest level of support is onsite teaching day release (12 days in total plus exams) or evenings. [This] includes course books and masses of study materials including online revision and tests, and recorded teaching of lessons, so you can go over any lesson again, plus a 'guaranteed pass' with retake courses online and tutor support. This comes of course at a price (c £1,500) [check for up-to-date costs] which is usually paid for by the person's employer - some home ed families who have a business / work for themselves might be able to 'sponsor' their child and pay via their business if the child then uses the skills in the business."