Online Exams (May 2021)

If you're entering for the exams, you will now be typing your answers. To plan for success, you should familiarise yourself with the method before your exam day. Find out more below.

Existing Passes

The CIOT Examination Committee met shortly before the end of 2020 and considered measurers to assist students in the continuing pandemic. Under the circumstances it was agreed that it would be appropriate to grant one further extension (being another six months) to the life of all CTA exam passes, including Computer Based Examinations (CBE) passes.

This has been added automatically to all current student records and will be reflected on your Exam Dashboard. Please note that this will be the final extension to the validity of passes and that from the November 2021 exams normal rules and deadlines will return, as we hope of course that the pandemic will be under control by then.


How it works

Sitting online exams, you’ll use a purpose-built exam application, Exam4, on your laptop or desktop computer. You can sit the exam at a location of your choice, such as your home or office.

Please note that the exams will be:

  • Open book;
  • Uninvigilated; and
  • 3hrs and 30mins in length (except the Awareness exam, which will be 3hrs and 15mins).

To enable you to sit exams in a flexible location, we will publish new regulations on this page for the forthcoming May 2021 session shortly. When available, you will need to familiarise yourself with the new regulations and equip yourself with the information you need for your exams.


About the Exam4 app

The Exam4 app is used by a number of leading universities and institutions across Europe and North America. Used by thousands of students since we introduced it for the ADIT qualification in 2014, it has a proven track record for reliability and student satisfaction: ADIT and ACA CTA Joint Programme students who have used it say their experience has been very positive. 

Exam4 functionality will be updated after its use in the November 2020 exams to make setting out calculations quicker.

Compatible with most IT setups

You can use Exam4 on a wide range of laptop and desktop computers (but not tablets); you don't need the latest technology. You only need to be connected to the internet when you launch the exam and when you submit your answers at the end, so a stable internet connection isn't essential.


What are the advantages of typing compared to handwritten?

  • Flexibility during the exam

Do you remember a time when you finished an answer in an exam, only to think of a crucial point minutes later? With cut, copy and paste functions built into Exam4, you can edit your answers at any time during your exam – without having to cross things out.

  • More comfortable

Does your writing hand ache after a long exam? Or does it just feel weird to write anything by hand when you spend so many hours typing on a computer each day? By typing your answers using your own computer at home or in your office, you can complete your CTA exams in a more familiar, comfortable way.

  • Your answers will be easier to read

With an online exam, you will type your answers using a standardised, easily readable font. That means you won’t have to worry about losing marks because an examiner is unable to read your writing. Let your tax knowledge do the talking instead.


How can I familiarise myself with Exam4?

The following guidance will be available in due course to support you during the online exams:

  • Candidate checklist
  • Downloading and running Exam4
  • How to use Exam4
  • Exam day guide
  • Troubleshooting guide

The best way to familiarise yourself with Exam4 is to download and practice using it as early as possible, on the device you plan to use in your exam.

If you’re planning to sit the CTA exams online this forthcoming session, you will be able to download Exam4 using the CIOT download portal approximately one month before the exam.

You are strongly encouraged to download, install and try out Exam4 before your exam day to ensure you are familiar with the app ahead of your exams.


Exam Dates

All exams are GMT and are 3 hours and 30 mins (except Awareness, which is 3 hours and 15 minutes).

Tuesday 4 May
10.00 AM – CTA Awareness  

Wednesday 5 May
2.30 PM – CTA Application and Professional Skills (all six options)

Thursday 6 May
2.30 PM – CTA Advanced Technical Domestic Indirect Taxation/Human Capital Taxes/Inheritance Tax, Trusts & Estates

Friday 7 May
10.00 AM – CTA Advanced Technical Taxation of Owner-Managed Businesses

Monday 10 May
2.30 PM – CTA Advanced Technical Cross Border Indirect Taxation

Tuesday 11 May
10.00 AM – CTA Advanced Technical Taxation of Individuals

Wednesday 12 May
10.00 AM – CTA Advanced Technical Taxation of Major Corporates

Enter for the CTA Exams