In high-level tax professional exams like ACCA ATX, ICAEW BPT , and CTA , the examiners try and simulate the real work environment by giving you several documents such as client letter, an email from your tax manager and schedules of detailed information such as group structures and companies being bought and sold, use of trading and capital losses and the potential sale of assets such as buildings or shares.

Other questions will involve setting up or selling an unincorporated businesses and personal circumstances of clients or family members such as residence and income levels to appreciate the different tax implications of gifts or inheritances.

One of the hurdles in the exam is learning how to navigate through all the documentation gleaning snippets of information so you can create a ‘mental picture’ of the clients’ circumstances to determine their circumstances.

This will also enable you to appreciate some of the easier parts of the syllabus that you can do without high level technical information such as ethics, presentation, and generalised areas such as VAT returns. National Insurance or stamp duty. You can pick up these easy marks to help you achieve the targeted 50%

Another analogy which is useful is planning a military campaign for a battle. By you understanding the adversary, you can then allocate your resources (time and energy) in the most efficient way.

Finally, review the tax rates and information available to you in the exam. If you understand the information provided, then you do not have to learn this information. However, you must be able to quickly access this information in the exam. 

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