shinytoy
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(Original post by Illusionary)
Well, I've at least sat my exams now - Awareness, Advisory OMB, Advisory ACT (and fortunately an exemption from Application). Results should be out in a couple of weeks' time, so right now I'm sitting tight and hoping for the best - though I have to admit that I'm not all that confident of success! :sad: If my understanding is correct, I'm not at all looking forward to the format of results on the Tuesday evening, with just an impersonal pass list. I still can't decide whether I should look at the 'all exams passed' list first, or the lists for the individual papers...

My training course was with Tolley's Manchester, who have generally been very good. While I am employed full-time, I'm fortunate at least to have had study leave for the duration of the courses, plus I took fours weeks off in the run-up to the May exams (all of the bank holidays helped to make that a little less painful!). Agreed that it's the norm to have a professional qualification of some description before taking CTA - in fact, I think this is actually a requirement of most of the routes to being eligible for the exams in the first place.

When did you last enter for exams? I assume from your post that you've passed Awareness (or its old-syllabus equivalent), so it's "just" the three papers that you've got to take now?
haha i suggest lookig at the 'all papers passed' list first. otherwise you will torture yourself trawling through the long lists of all names for each paper in turn and not finding your name..... if i remember rightly, if you pass all 4, your name isnt on the individual paper pass lists, it is only on the all papers passed list. so if you cant see your name n any of the 4 individual lists, you know you have either passed or failed all 4. so check the 'all papers passed' list first!

i first did them in May 2009 and last sat them in Nov 2009, did some study for Nov 2010 but didnt be bothered to take them, but now there is 4 months until the nov 2011 so i think i might be able to make it . tbh i didnt expect i'd still be working in tax for this many years, i was gonna quit tax after two years and do something cool. but seeing as im still in tax after now 3 years, i think i might as well plod on with this most wretched beast of a qualification.

did you go to the residential CIOT CTA preparation conference in warwick? was it any good? did only tax nerds go there?

if you fail, will you retake? and if you dont get thorough this year, would you re-purchase all the ledge and books and stuff and re-do it next year? its pretty expensive, the ledge alone is like £150, plus each tolleys folder is like £300, and the exam fees are like £110 per paper.

i only have 4 weeks leave a year (all holiday ) so can only really do one sitting a year.

TAX TAX TAX I LOVE TAXATION glad im not the only one on here doing CTA
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shinytoy
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#22
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for info on how my study is going (not good) see my prev thread http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...php?p=32581467

anyone take ritalin for these exams? im thinking of drugging up.
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Steffy
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#23
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#23
(Original post by shinytoy)
awareness is easy, most people pass. also note that with the new CTA format (post may 2009) CIOT only publishes pass rates per paper, not overall. the overall pass rate per year ie candidates vs people entering the insitute is like 28 - 32% per year.

these are seriously hard exams and EVERYONE doing hem will have at least one professional qualification ACA or ATT. when i sat them also, most people doing them were like 40 years old, i was one of a few students in my early 20s doing it and let me tell you it was hell. i seriously suggest you DO NOT attempt these studying in your garage, get a proper tainign course with BPP Kaplan or tolleys or you will fail.

i did it with a big 4 firm, almost everyone was oxbridge a few had masters in taxation, a few were accountants already looking to specialise, and only 10 people passed 3 or more papers.

for me the case study is the worst. i can never pass even a mock.

everone i went to college with has given up after teh 2nd attempt. CTA will enhance your prospects, but if there is one guy with 5 years experience and one guy with 3 years experience and a CTA they will take the 5 years guy. when i was awaitng CTA results, i did the general tax route and all firms told me if i wanted to move into a specialist area of tax ie IHT, i would need to start alongside new graduates even if i passed CTA since i woudl totally need to retrain. another alternative is the HMRC internal exams.

anyone doing CTA and workign full time?

do you think i can do 3 papers in 4 months while working 12 hours a day but takign 3 weeks holiday leave? bearing in mind i did CTA twice before and failed, getting around 45% in all the papers i failed (need 50% to pass). please be honest?

i cant face takign all my holiday leave a third year in a row on these wretched cta exams, and they are soo oborig and hard

also anyone know anything about CGT on retricted securties or securities with artificailly dpressed MV? i read that ledge and was like wtfwtf :eek:

glad to see more of you taxis on here

I do one paper at a time whilst working. Sat and passed awareness in Sept 09, Sat Individuals in Nov 10 and again in May 11 and will sit OMB in November.

FYI - Not everyone has ATT or ACA etc. I just have my degree and 1/2 my CA exams behind me but i'm a little way off qualifying yet.

4 months to sit 3 exams will be tough whilst working full time, I honestly couldn't do it. I was doing 4-5 hours revision a workday and more at the weekends just for my individuals resit.

My Big4 firm provides me with BPP material and lessons etc, but for my resit I purchased the Tolley question packs and then downloaded all the notes off tax tutor for free (Which may help you with your restricted securities Q as i found it really helpful!) I found the Tolley Questions much more exam standard than the BPP ones which were full of mistakes and did not go into enough detail.


Illusionary - did you sit all 3 of your papers this May? Good luck - i'm sure you will pass all
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Illusionary
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#24
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(Original post by Steffy)
Illusionary - did you sit all 3 of your papers this May? Good luck - i'm sure you will pass all
I did - yes. I wish I had the same confidence in myself, though! :p: Good luck with your results - 12 days do go now...
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Kemik
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(Original post by Illusionary)
I did - yes. I wish I had the same confidence in myself, though! :p: Good luck with your results - 12 days do go now...
Ugh, results. I start my last two ICAS TPS exams straight after!
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Illusionary
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#26
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(Original post by Kemik)
Ugh, results. I start my last two ICAS TPS exams straight after!
:sad: At least you're doing them in stages, I suppose - I had a thirteen-week course leading up to taking all four together, which was *painful* (that said, together ICAS + CTA together could well have the same effect!). Which two are you doing this time around, and which CTA paper(s) are you getting results for from May?
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Kemik
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(Original post by Illusionary)
:sad: At least you're doing them in stages, I suppose - I had a thirteen-week course leading up to taking all four together, which was *painful* (that said, together ICAS + CTA together could well have the same effect!). Which two are you doing this time around, and which CTA paper(s) are you getting results for from May?
Steffy is getting Individuals, I'm getting OMB. THen I'm sitting TPS ABS and TPS Adv Finance. If I pass them all I should be sitting TPE in May 2012 = FREEDOM!!!
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Illusionary
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#28
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(Original post by Kemik)
Steffy is getting Individuals, I'm getting OMB. THen I'm sitting TPS ABS and TPS Adv Finance. If I pass them all I should be sitting TPE in May 2012 = FREEDOM!!!
Ah, so this is your last CTA exam then? Good news! OMB's one of my two Advisory papers as well (the other being ACT as I work in corporate tax). I assume that you still get exemption from the Application paper because you will have completed the CA by the time you're done with exams?
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Kemik
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#29
(Original post by Illusionary)
Ah, so this is your last CTA exam then? Good news! OMB's one of my two Advisory papers as well (the other being ACT as I work in corporate tax). I assume that you still get exemption from the Application paper because you will have completed the CA by the time you're done with exams?
Yup. Most of us work in corp too but for some reason KPMG decided OMB would be easier due to Individuals overlap.

I'm in Transfer Pricing now so it's all pointless anyway
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Illusionary
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(Original post by Kemik)
Yup. Most of us work in corp too but for some reason KPMG decided OMB would be easier due to Individuals overlap.

I'm in Transfer Pricing now so it's all pointless anyway
I think there's a fair amount of overlap either way with OMB, whether you do Individuals or ACT - in my experience about 1/3 - 1/2 (unfortunately the easier content) of my ACT manuals was already in the OMB manuals. The way the questions are asked is quite different between the two papers, though...
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Illusionary
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#31
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(Original post by Kemik)
Yup. Most of us work in corp too but for some reason KPMG decided OMB would be easier due to Individuals overlap.

I'm in Transfer Pricing now so it's all pointless anyway

(Original post by Steffy)
I do one paper at a time whilst working. Sat and passed awareness in Sept 09, Sat Individuals in Nov 10 and again in May 11 and will sit OMB in November.

FYI - Not everyone has ATT or ACA etc. I just have my degree and 1/2 my CA exams behind me but i'm a little way off qualifying yet.

4 months to sit 3 exams will be tough whilst working full time, I honestly couldn't do it. I was doing 4-5 hours revision a workday and more at the weekends just for my individuals resit.

My Big4 firm provides me with BPP material and lessons etc, but for my resit I purchased the Tolley question packs and then downloaded all the notes off tax tutor for free (Which may help you with your restricted securities Q as i found it really helpful!) I found the Tolley Questions much more exam standard than the BPP ones which were full of mistakes and did not go into enough detail.


Illusionary - did you sit all 3 of your papers this May? Good luck - i'm sure you will pass all
"Good luck" isn't quite right as luck's not any part of it now - but I hope everything goes well for you tomorrow! At least the wait will be over, if nothing else...
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Steffy
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#32
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(Original post by Illusionary)
"Good luck" isn't quite right as luck's not any part of it now - but I hope everything goes well for you tomorrow! At least the wait will be over, if nothing else...
Indeed! Thankyou
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HappyHupo
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#33
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I'm going to revive this thread as I'm sitting all 3 of the CTA exams for the first time in May (exempt from the application one).

I'm doing advisory OMB and ACT and then the awareness - any hints/tips on how to approach the revision or how much time I realistically need to spend on working through the stuff would be useful.

I'm studying with Tolleys and have been right through the OMB manuals, which I didn't actually think were too bad. Just started on the ACT stuff which looks a little more 'fun' in places!

It's really difficult to know if I'm working through the stuff enough/too much/too little at this stage and May still seems ages away! When did you guys start properly working at it?

Cheers!
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Illusionary
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(Original post by HappyHupo)
I'm going to revive this thread as I'm sitting all 3 of the CTA exams for the first time in May (exempt from the application one).

I'm doing advisory OMB and ACT and then the awareness - any hints/tips on how to approach the revision or how much time I realistically need to spend on working through the stuff would be useful.

I'm studying with Tolleys and have been right through the OMB manuals, which I didn't actually think were too bad. Just started on the ACT stuff which looks a little more 'fun' in places!

It's really difficult to know if I'm working through the stuff enough/too much/too little at this stage and May still seems ages away! When did you guys start properly working at it?

Cheers!
That's the same as the combination as I took back in May this year (I assume that you're exempt from Application and Integration from having the CA?). Question practice is absolutely key for the CTA, probably even more so than with ICAS (have you had your first link exams yet?). Take full advantage of the overlap that there is between the papers and while it can definitely be a lower priority, don't neglect the Awareness paper as it's very broad.

If you've been through all of the OMB manuals now and not found any major areas that you're unclear on then you really can't start question practice too early as the time until May will go very quickly, especially as I assume that you're still working full-time. Work through the questions and if you find areas that you can't answer immediately then see if you can do them based on prompts from the chapter summaries at the end of each chapter rather than the detailed notes - though if you want to re-read a section after attempting a question then that's fine of course.

It's not immediately evident, but there's a significant difference between the style of questions for ACT and OMB (I'd say that the ACT approach is harder to deal with). I'm not sure what you'll make of the questions but certainly don't be despondent if you find that you're not covering a lot of the relevant points in your answers at first - 50% is what you need to aim for per question (maybe 60% to give yourself some 'breathing space'). You'll also see once you start working through questions that a lot of credit can be gained from just covering quite basic points.


A quick point on VAT Awareness - a huge amount of this paper in particular is knowing your way around the Orange Book. Good highlighting is a lifesaver and you could arguably get through that entire paper from knowing where to look things up quickly, rather than direct recall. Individuals and IHTTE are much more principles-based than VAT.
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Kemik
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Which modules on the Awareness paper? If you're doing VAT, learn the basics and where things are in the legislation as you'll spend most of the exam finding things.

Knowing your legislation like the back of your hand is vital to all of the CTA exams. I.e. where to find things. Understand the contents and index pages. Highlight key words rather than paragraphs. Do lots of past exams but don't expect to find a trend. There will probably be common areas but you will find around 30 to 50% of the paper is new stuff.

As Illusionary said, I found concentrating on the basics the best (i.e. level 2 items). You will have to use legislation so it'd be impossible to look in detail at everything but do read all the notes. Don't neglect level 1 items.

Good luck!
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Illusionary
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(Original post by Kemik)
Which modules on the Awareness paper? If you're doing VAT, learn the basics and where things are in the legislation as you'll spend most of the exam finding things.

Knowing your legislation like the back of your hand is vital to all of the CTA exams. I.e. where to find things. Understand the contents and index pages. Highlight key words rather than paragraphs. Do lots of past exams but don't expect to find a trend. There will probably be common areas but you will find around 30 to 50% of the paper is new stuff.

As Illusionary said, I found concentrating on the basics the best (i.e. level 2 items). You will have to use legislation so it'd be impossible to look in detail at everything but do read all the notes. Don't neglect level 1 items.

Good luck!
It'll be VAT, Individuals and IHTTE Awareness to go with Advisory ACT and OMB.

Legislation is certainly a key part, though I'd say there's not really time in the Advisory papers to spend long on looking things up if it's lots of smaller things - though if a question relates to one specific part of the legislation then of course finding that would be extremely useful.
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Kemik
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(Original post by Illusionary)
Legislation is certainly a key part, though I'd say there's not really time in the Advisory papers to spend long on looking things up if it's lots of smaller things - though if a question relates to one specific part of the legislation then of course finding that would be extremely useful.
Fair point. We were drilled into the 50% mindset. Know and be able to apply the basics well then use the leg for the unusual questions and clarifying points.
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Illusionary
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(Original post by Kemik)
Fair point. We were drilled into the 50% mindset. Know and be able to apply the basics well then use the leg for the unusual questions and clarifying points.
Yep, completely agreed on that. :yy:
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HappyHupo
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(Original post by Illusionary)
That's the same as the combination as I took back in May this year (I assume that you're exempt from Application and Integration from having the CA?). Question practice is absolutely key for the CTA, probably even more so than with ICAS (have you had your first link exams yet?). Take full advantage of the overlap that there is between the papers and while it can definitely be a lower priority, don't neglect the Awareness paper as it's very broad.

If you've been through all of the OMB manuals now and not found any major areas that you're unclear on then you really can't start question practice too early as the time until May will go very quickly, especially as I assume that you're still working full-time. Work through the questions and if you find areas that you can't answer immediately then see if you can do them based on prompts from the chapter summaries at the end of each chapter rather than the detailed notes - though if you want to re-read a section after attempting a question then that's fine of course.

It's not immediately evident, but there's a significant difference between the style of questions for ACT and OMB (I'd say that the ACT approach is harder to deal with). I'm not sure what you'll make of the questions but certainly don't be despondent if you find that you're not covering a lot of the relevant points in your answers at first - 50% is what you need to aim for per question (maybe 60% to give yourself some 'breathing space'). You'll also see once you start working through questions that a lot of credit can be gained from just covering quite basic points.


A quick point on VAT Awareness - a huge amount of this paper in particular is knowing your way around the Orange Book. Good highlighting is a lifesaver and you could arguably get through that entire paper from knowing where to look things up quickly, rather than direct recall. Individuals and IHTTE are much more principles-based than VAT.

Cool, thanks. That's useful. I've done the two link exams for OMB - got 73% on the first one and I'm waiting for the second one back at the moment. Not sure how they compare to the real exams though as they seemed pretty easy?

Juggling trying to study with working full time is the hard bit, definitely. How much time did you spend studying on an average week?

Question practice is the thing I'm not sure what to do about. My currently plan is/was to go through all the modules for all three papers by the end of February and create my own summary pages for each module and then have March and April purely for question practice and revision.....
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CPereira
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Hello all, so thankful to see a forum for CTA!
I have a question regarding the E-Assessments? Is it possible to prepare for these with Kaplan or BPP distance learning only? or should i opt for Tolley classroom and revision course.
I don't want to underestimate them, but am thinking i should be ok since it is multiple choice and 1 hour each? I intend to sit the Awareness paper and the E-assessments at the same sitting in Nov 2012, then IND and IHT together in May 2013 (I am exempt from the Application & Interaction paper).
Any responses are welcome!
Cheers
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