We’ve all been there. Holding your breath for days, weeks (feels like forever!) until you see those results on the screen. You want them, you don’t want them. You don’t want anyone else to see them first, but you don’t want to be the first to see them either! Dilemma! Tough as this is, I’d like you to consider something that’s hard to hear, but important to understand.
CTA – The bigger picture
CTA is long, it’s tough and it’s difficult to see beyond it while you’re in it. However, much as it’s hard to hear… CTA is really a glorified Board Course!
The reason you have to do CTA is because of the academic requirements laid down by SAICA. In order for you to qualify to write ITC, you have to pass CTA. All the knowledge, understanding, application required for the Board Exam is imparted in CTA.
Over the years, I’ve discussed this with hundreds of students. Their focus is on passing CTA, (understandably so!) and I’ve heard thousands of complaints of “…but I was SO CLOSE! I got 48%!…”. In the bigger picture though, that means that you couldn’t quite get to HALF of the required knowledge to write ITC! The lower your marks, the less likely you are to pass ITC.
Take a look at these statistics:
QE1 Statistics 2010 – 2012: https://www.saica.co.za/Portals/0/LearnersStudents/Examinations/QE1%20stats%202012.pdf
ITC Statistics 2013 – 2014:
Notice the following:
- The first-time candidate pass rate is significantly higher than the repeat candidate EVERY SINGLE YEAR!
- Even with the ITC now written twice a year, the repeat candidate pass rate has been significantly lower than the first-time candidate pass rate
Why is the repeat Board candidates pass rate lower?
Students desperately want to put CTA behind them. If they can JUST get through CTA, then they’re happy… however, if they fail the Board exam first time, their chances of passing decrease with every attempt. Why is this?
CTA is a structured study year that forces you to consistently work and keep up-to-date with your knowledge. Any Board course for repeat students starts a few months before the exam, and ignores the fact that you haven’t studied the volume of work as consistently. Simply put… you’re out of practice and short on time. You spent a YEAR getting ready for the Board exam the first time (while you studied CTA). You can’t get into the same study-shape in a few months.
What am I trying to say?
Your CA (SA) goal is a long journey, and CTA is a step in the process. When thinking of success or failure, the bigger picture is more important than the short-term:
If you’re not ready to write ITC, then it may be better for your future success to fail CTA than ITC.
It’s ugly, hard to hear, and somewhat nauseating, and I totally understand! I’ve heard so many students bemoan their fate at having to rewrite CTA. Over a year later, after passing the Board exam, I’ve had dozens come back to me and say that it was really for the best that they didn’t make CTA, since they wouldn’t have been ready to write ITC.
As for the results wait… Take a deep breath. Keep your sense of humour. Try not to break anything in frustration, and keep your eye on your end-goal.
That in mind… My thoughts are with you. Not just for these results, but for your entire journey.