vyen
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I'm seriously stuck with the CTA, having failed the AT OMB paper three times (marks in each sitting: 35, 35, and 43)...

I used to work in CT in practice but recently made a move into industry working as Tax Manager for a plc with a focus on VAT and CT, and I find much of the OMB material very irrelevant now.

The reasons I'm stuck are twofold:

i) I passed the OMB case study paper so I'm fairly familiar with the material,
ii) I can't do the CT papers as my Awareness paper had a CT module (my first tax job was with a big 4 employer who put us on a specific ATT/CTA pathway).

My plan is to try the AT OMB paper for the 4th time in May, and then start studying for the AT CB VAT paper as it is much more relevant to my current role, and is preferred by my employer.

However, I feel like I am one fail away from having a serious breakdown having dedicated nearly all of my annual leave in the past 4 years to these exams. The time commitment has seriously impacted my relationships and mental health. The only benefit of finishing this qualification at this point would be a payrise, other than that I am happy and safe in my role as Tax Manager which is not dependent on my passing - and for these reasons, I feel that my motivation has slumped to its lowest level ever.

If I could get over the obvious sunk costs from having already covered the OMB material three times, I wonder if I should postpone and perhaps give up on the AT OMB altogehter and try the two AT VAT papers instead? I don't think this would prevent me from being eligible for CTA membership, but it would definitely be an unusual route.

Any advice whatsoever would be appreciated. Thanks
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Nazym
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(Original post by vyen)
I'm seriously stuck with the CTA, having failed the AT OMB paper three times (marks in each sitting: 35, 35, and 43)...

I used to work in CT in practice but recently made a move into industry working as Tax Manager for a plc with a focus on VAT and CT, and I find much of the OMB material very irrelevant now.

The reasons I'm stuck are twofold:

i) I passed the OMB case study paper so I'm fairly familiar with the material,
ii) I can't do the CT papers as my Awareness paper had a CT module (my first tax job was with a big 4 employer who put us on a specific ATT/CTA pathway).

My plan is to try the AT OMB paper for the 4th time in May, and then start studying for the AT CB VAT paper as it is much more relevant to my current role, and is preferred by my employer.

However, I feel like I am one fail away from having a serious breakdown having dedicated nearly all of my annual leave in the past 4 years to these exams. The time commitment has seriously impacted my relationships and mental health. The only benefit of finishing this qualification at this point would be a payrise, other than that I am happy and safe in my role as Tax Manager which is not dependent on my passing - and for these reasons, I feel that my motivation has slumped to its lowest level ever.

If I could get over the obvious sunk costs from having already covered the OMB material three times, I wonder if I should postpone and perhaps give up on the AT OMB altogehter and try the two AT VAT papers instead? I don't think this would prevent me from being eligible for CTA membership, but it would definitely be an unusual route.

Any advice whatsoever would be appreciated. Thanks
That’s painful I’ve changed my plan with CTA... not sure I will be successful with it and I do not want to demotivate myself.. initially I was thinking to do ATT CTA path way, but with ATT I need to have math skills (I hate maths this was the reason why I am a lawyer😅) so I decided to do ADIT and then if I want to pass CTA with one exemption in TA. So I will be required to do awareness, one AT paper and one SPA. Maybe you should consider more easiest way to finish CTA?
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vyen
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(Original post by Nazym)
That’s painful I’ve changed my plan with CTA... not sure I will be successful with it and I do not want to demotivate myself.. initially I was thinking to do ATT CTA path way, but with ATT I need to have math skills (I hate maths this was the reason why I am a lawyer😅) so I decided to do ADIT and then if I want to pass CTA with one exemption in TA. So I will be required to do awareness, one AT paper and one SPA. Maybe you should consider more easiest way to finish CTA?
The biggest challenge for me has been maintaining focus and motivation after work and on weekends to revise very boring (and now largely irrelevant) material.

The ATT computations were very basic, pretty much all arithmetic - adding stuff up, applying percentages etc - the most complicated formula was perhaps on lease premiums (P*2%(n-1)), other than that it's very passable - the CTA technical exams though are much much more difficult and technical. The computations have to be tailored to client scenarios and will rarely look the same as the nice proformas in the study manuals. The awareness paper is fine too, a little bit of a step up from ATT papers.

I've heard good things about ADIT, but people usually do it in the other order, so CTA first and then ADIT.

For me, purely theoretically, attempting the AT OMB and then the AT CB VAT paper would give me the highest chances of passing, but I've got a gut feeling I would tread better focusing purely on VAT. I need to make a decision by Wednesday😥
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Nazym
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(Original post by vyen)
The biggest challenge for me has been maintaining focus and motivation after work and on weekends to revise very boring (and now largely irrelevant) material.

The ATT computations were very basic, pretty much all arithmetic - adding stuff up, applying percentages etc - the most complicated formula was perhaps on lease premiums (P*2%(n-1)), other than that it's very passable - the CTA technical exams though are much much more difficult and technical. The computations have to be tailored to client scenarios and will rarely look the same as the nice proformas in the study manuals. The awareness paper is fine too, a little bit of a step up from ATT papers.

I've heard good things about ADIT, but people usually do it in the other order, so CTA first and then ADIT.

For me, purely theoretically, attempting the AT OMB and then the AT CB VAT paper would give me the highest chances of passing, but I've got a gut feeling I would tread better focusing purely on VAT. I need to make a decisioyon by Wednesday😥
Being a tax manager you probably know better.. but why the other way ? I thought ADIT is easier than CTA, no? Moreover on the CIOT web site they give credentials to students who already has ADIT, so if you have an ADIT qualification you are exempt form one AT paper..
As I need to work through the escape plan form my maternity leave I thought that sitting ADIT and getting certificate in Transfer pricing will help me to get a job in big4.. what do you think ? I used to work in advisory legal in EY In my home country...
I have met a women she has her own accounting and tax advising company, so she has been trying to pass OMB for the last 4 years... and I thought that this OMB is quite difficult... sorry I didn’t want to demotivate you even more
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vyen
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(Original post by Nazym)
Being a tax manager you probably know better.. but why the other way ? I thought ADIT is easier than CTA, no? Moreover on the CIOT web site they give credentials to students who already has ADIT, so if you have an ADIT qualification you are exempt form one AT paper..
As I need to work through the escape plan form my maternity leave I thought that sitting ADIT and getting certificate in Transfer pricing will help me to get a job in big4.. what do you think ? I used to work in advisory legal in EY In my home country...
I have met a women she has her own accounting and tax advising company, so she has been trying to pass OMB for the last 4 years... and I thought that this OMB is quite difficult... sorry I didn’t want to demotivate you even more
It's definitely a good shout to do it first, especially with the CTA exemption. I'm not sure if it's easier though. I think I just worked with people in the past who got their ATT/CTA or ACA/CTA first through a training contract without ever knowing about ADIT, and then realising they want to do M&A and getting it through that route. I think ADIT would help to get into M&A at big4, but I've known people at Assistant Manager level who got into KPMG, for example, without it and were even sponsored to do it later - but if you have the time now and not too busy with the baby then sure, why not?

OMB is just really broad, there are over a thousand pages of materials but not that much of it gets examined in any one sitting, and none of the past questions ever come up again since there are a thousand different ways to test the material. I'll have a chat with my employer and decide later this week.
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Yolande O
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Hi everyone,

I have registered to sit AT Individuals in May. I have previously worked through the Tolleys Question Bank. Many questions involved doing calculations and I was fine with doing those at my own speed. I need to do the questions in the pre-revision and revision question bank next, and I am finding these questions infinitely more difficult. I am someone who struggles to write a message in a birthday card, and I could literally take all day to write the answer to one exam standard question, and I need to get to the point where it only takes 40 minutes. I am unsure about how much I could improve in the course of one month, and I really wish I found it easier to compose a well-structured answer within the time available. I am not ready to only focus on exam technique because I also still need to spend more time on learning some of the material.

Vyen, I am sorry that OMB has been such a struggle for you, I hope you have found a way forward to complete CTA, get into a good study routine and can find a way to engage with the material so that is no longer such a drag! I was struggling to study, but it has generally become a lot easier since I started studying with other people (who are studying completely different things) via Zoom every morning from 5:30 to 7:30. It's only now that I am beginning to struggle again. :-(
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Nazym
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(Original post by Yolande O)
Hi everyone,

I have registered to sit AT Individuals in May. I have previously worked through the Tolleys Question Bank. Many questions involved doing calculations and I was fine with doing those at my own speed. I need to do the questions in the pre-revision and revision question bank next, and I am finding these questions infinitely more difficult. I am someone who struggles to write a message in a birthday card, and I could literally take all day to write the answer to one exam standard question, and I need to get to the point where it only takes 40 minutes. I am unsure about how much I could improve in the course of one month, and I really wish I found it easier to compose a well-structured answer within the time available. I am not ready to only focus on exam technique because I also still need to spend more time on learning some of the material.

Vyen, I am sorry that OMB has been such a struggle for you, I hope you have found a way forward to complete CTA, get into a good study routine and can find a way to engage with the material so that is no longer such a drag! I was struggling to study, but it has generally become a lot easier since I started studying with other people (who are studying completely different things) via Zoom every morning from 5:30 to 7:30. It's only now that I am beginning to struggle again. :-(
Hi!
Could you give some insight reg people studying different way ?
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Yolande O
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(Original post by Nazym)
Hi!
Could you give some insight reg people studying different way ?
No, I simply meant that they're studying different subjects, but showing up every day is helping me to get into a regular study routine.
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