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Tips for success

Helpsheets and support

Published: 22 Sep 2021 Update History

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In this guide we introduce some tips for success to help you master the Tax Compliance exam.

  1. Prepare a study plan allocating 8-10 hours a week to Tax Compliance.
  2. Plan to rotate the topics you revise – it is no good walking into the exam having not looked at a topic for a whole month.
  3. Do not ignore ethics – you can score some very fast, easy marks if you put a relatively small amount of effort into this topic.
  4. When practising questions, do not put yourself under time pressure to begin with but gradually increase this as you approach the exam. Use the ICAEW exam software when practising so you are completely familiar with laying out your answers in a spreadsheet format.
  5. Take time to review your answers and make a list of things you commonly get wrong. Keep reviewing the list and take corrective action.
  6. Make sure you have gone through your Hardman’s Tax Tables and have underlined, sidelined, and highlighted key points. Do not forget you can also put tabs in there to mark key pages.
  7. You should take the time to review the examiners’ comments on the ICAEW website as these will give you invaluable tips on areas that students commonly trip up on (you can then ensure you do not make the same mistake!).
  8. Decide which order you are going to tackle questions – e.g. is it best to leave Q5, the longest question, to the end or should you tackle it sooner while you’re not too tired?
  9. Do not over run on questions, you will pay for it later. If you are not sure what to do, skip that part and then carry on. You will get the rest of the marks and they are often easier at the end of the calculation (e.g. deducting a PA/AEA and then calculating the tax liability).
  10. Do not panic! Always show your workings and you will find you can achieve that magic 55%.