Is it necessary to do CAT or ACCA before doing CA?

CAT, ACCA and CA are three different qualifications and all three have different minimum entry requirements.

CAT qualification has been replaced by a new suit of qualifications named Foundations in Accountancy (FIA). There are no specific minimum entry requirements to start FIA and anyone at any time whether he/she has any accounting background or not can start FIA at any time as it is an entry level qualification.

To start ACCA, you must have 2 A levels and 3 GCSEs (or equivalent qualification of 3 GCSEs for example in Pakistan Intermediate examinations are considered equivalent to GCSE examination and the student holding intermediate degree i.e. F.A. or F.Sc. is considered equal to such O level student who has cleared at least 3 GCSE papers. However, as educational system is different for different countries, ACCA has specified different entry requirements for different countries. To see specific entry requirements by Country have a look at this document that explains the minimum entry.

To start CA, the minimum requirements are again different. Please note that CA is NOT an extension of ACCA or a qualification that is available after you complete CAT or ACCA instead, you can start CA even without doing CAT and/or ACCA. In context of Pakistan, if you want to start CA directly than the minimum requirements are:

  • HSC with atleast 45% marks;
  • A-Level with minimum two passes;
  • Graduation with minimum 2nd division;
  • PIPFA Qualified; OR
  • Other candidates with equivalent qualifications as recognized by HEC.

This means if you qualify for any of the above conditions you are eligible to start CA with Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan. However, you also have to pass or claim exemption from Pre Proficiency Test (PPT) in addition to the above conditions.

Students will be exempted from PPT if they fulfil any of the following conditions:

  • HSC with atleast 60% marks;
  • A-Level with minimum two Cs;
  • Graduation with 1st Division (or equivalent grades) from recognized universities; or
  • Post graduation.

If you are still confused about minimum entry requirement of CA – ICAP then have a look at this figure:

CA entry routes

There are minimum of four possible routes to start CA. The areas enclosed in red represents the minimum requirement what a candidate, with specific qualification, should achieve before being eligible to start CA course. For example, in case the candidate holds intermediate qualification, then he has to fulfill two conditions:

  1. He/she must have intermediate qualification with at least 45% marks, if marks are less then 45% then he/she is not eligible; and
  2. Pass Pre-proficiency test, without passing PPT even if he/she has 45% marks, still not eligible.

Route 4 in CA entry is connected with different professional qualifications which candidates might already be holding and for that conditions are different for different qualifications. Therefore, candidates will have to consult whether they have any exemption(s) available or not.


  1. zisan mahmud annie

    Is it possible to start CA after getting 3.32 in ged exam ?


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