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CTA Results: The Effect of a Global Pandemic?

Posted by Dominic Watt

The May 2020 examinations for CTA were held in June and July as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CIOT accelerated the introduction of online exams to allow those who had been preparing for the Application and Professional Skills paper (APS) to still do so. This was done be a remote invigilated system. The rest were sadly cancelled. 

During an extremely uncertain time, a total of 291 people sat the exam and of which 64 individuals successfully passed and were eligible for membership to the institute.

It was commented by Glyn Fullelove, The Institute President, that “the technology used was new to CIOT” and they know “it brought its own challenges to some candidates”. As a result, all those unsuccessful at this sitting were offered free entry for APS in either November 2020 or May 2021’s sittings. 

Thursday 28th January 2021 marked a highly anticipated day for those who were awaiting their results from the November 2020 sitting. It was announced that 1,396 people took the exams and that 313 of which had been successful in completing all exams for membership (included in this were those who were studying for ATT/CTA and ACA/CTA joint pathways). 

Given the cancellations May, it was only fair to compare the most recent results to those of November 2019, taken by 1,528 candidates. As follows is a breakdown and comparison of these results by examination:

Advanced Technical – November 2020

Paper

Total sitting exam

Candidates passed

Pass rate

Taxation of Owner-Managed Businesses

872

365

42%

Domestic Indirect Taxation

93

32

34%

Inheritance Tax, Trusts and Estates

139

68

49%

Human Capital Taxes

66

11

17%

Taxation of Individuals

612

358

58%

Cross-border Indirect Taxation

46

26

57%

Taxation of Major Corporates

298

176

59%


Advanced Technical – November 2019

Paper

Total sitting exam

Candidates passed

Pass rate

Taxation of Owner-Managed Businesses

697

264

38%

Domestic Indirect Taxation

57

15

26%

Inheritance Tax, Trusts and Estates

93

42

45%

Human Capital Taxes

42

22

52%

Taxation of Individuals

435

222

51%

Cross-border Indirect Taxation

58

35

60%

Taxation of Major Corporates

258

162

63%


Awareness – November 2020

181 candidates passed this paper out of a total of 275 sitting the examination. A pass rate of 66%.

Awareness – November 2019 

152 candidates passed this paper out of a total of 228 sitting the examination. A pass rate of 67%

Application and Professional Skills – November 2020

Paper

Total sitting exam

Candidates passed

Pass rate

Taxation of Individuals

72

36

50%

Taxation of Larger Companies and Groups

77

34

44%

Taxation of Owner-Managed Businesses

212

104

49%

Human Capital Taxes

31

12

39%

VAT & Other Indirect Taxes

16

7

44%

Inheritance Tax, Trust
& Estates

40

22

55%














Application and Professional Skills – November 2019

Paper

Total sitting exam

Candidates passed

Pass rate

Taxation of Individuals

52

32

62%

Taxation of Larger Companies and Groups

53

27

51%

Taxation of Owner-Managed Businesses

216

119

55%

Human Capital Taxes

27

14

52%

VAT & Other Indirect Taxes

17

11

65%

Inheritance Tax, Trust & Estates

47

25

53%


In summary, highlighted in green are those that saw an increase in pass rate, whereas those highlighted in red saw a decrease. Bearing in mind the past year, the notable difference is the climate the exams were taken in. However, it was fantastic to see that several of the advanced technical papers saw an increase in pass rate. This is a period of change and pass rates are envisaged to increase as people get more used to online examinations.

Pro-Tax would like to extend their congratulations to those that received the exam results they were hoping for, it is a fantastic achievement. If you need career advice around next steps after CTA or salary advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

For those that did not get the results they were hoping for, please do not worry. These exams are not easy in any normal circumstance. This is a perfect time to reflect, dust yourself off and get ready to smash the exams next time round! If you are not receiving the support you need for your qualification, we are also here to help.

For more information on this article or for help with the next steps in your tax career after your CTA results, contact Dominic Watt on 020 7269 6310 or dominic.watt@pro-tax.co.uk.

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