Eight quick tips to conquer the TPE exam

Photo of someone conquering a mountain

You have done the study work and practiced your case studies, but what about tackling the TPE exam on the day? TPE level controller Cat Devaney shares her timely advice on how to tackle questions and pick up extra marks.

1. Planning is key; don't jump in until you have made links between the different parts of the scenario.

2. 'Get into the numbers' and sense check your figures – what do they mean / how do they impact on the business in question? Analyse the information in the paper.

3. Always ask yourself,­ so what? Imagine that the client is sitting across from you -­ what would they ask/want to know?

4. Keep a commercial head on always; don't go for every opportunity unless it makes sound business sense.

5. Be aware of key business and economic circumstances leading up to the exam date.

6. Always think about ethics, and perhaps have a special ethics colour for highlighting. Ethics competencies will link to the fundamental principles of the ICAS code and you should remember – what is the issue and why; who is impacted by this issue and what are the implications; and what action(s) should be taken. Don’t miss it out!

7. Go with your gut feeling on a case study.

8. Be clear, concise and decisive in your executive summaries; the worst place to be at TPE is on the fence!


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