More about CTA training papers

You can choose to sit all the CTA written papers together, or to sit them separately. That decision, along with the order you choose, can be crucial to your exam success..

For all routes, the CIOT requires you to pass the Computer Based Examinations before the closing date for entry for when you wish to take your last written tax paper.

Tolley Exam Training recommendations

Pass your Computer Based Examinations first

Take your Computer Based Examinations before you start studying for your tax papers. This way, you can focus first on the specific requirements of the Computer Based Examinations, and then on the written tax papers. Usefully, the credits for the Computer Based Examinations last for longer than the credits for written tax papers.

Sit your Application and Professional Skills paper at the same time as you sit the related Advanced Technical papers

The technical content for your Application and Professional Skills paper comes mainly from the related Advanced Technical paper, so we strongly recommend you sit them together. If you choose to sit the Application and Professional Skills paper separately, you will need to study your Advanced Technical material again.

Sit your Awareness paper first

The Application and Professional Skills paper can also test elements from Awareness. We advise you sit your Awareness paper before, or at the same time as, your Application and Professional Skills paper.

Recommended schedules

Here are some suggested ways of timing your tax papers, based on our experience with students.

Specialism / Route

Sitting 1

Sitting 2

General Practice

AW & AD IND

AD OMB & APS OMB

Human Capitals

AW & AD IND

AD HC & APS HC

Trusts & Estates

AW & AD IND

AD IHTTE & APS ITE

Corporate

AW & AD OMB

AD TMC & APS LCG

Indirect

AW & AD CB INDIRECT

AD DOM INDIRECT & APS VAT

If you are exempt Awareness then you can attempt one AD paper at your first sitting and then the second AD paper together with APS at the second.  An alternative is to do the two AD papers together and then leave APS to be sat on its own.

In addition you might also consider planning your exam sittings to avoid having to update your knowledge to a new Finance Act. The exams for each calendar year usually test the Finance Act for the previous year (e.g. in 2019, the exams test Finance Act 2018).

We are always prepared to discuss your options with you before you apply to sit the exams especially if your choice is not one of the typical combinations above. Also if you want to split your studies over more than two sittings, we recommend you discuss the order with us before applying to sit the exams.