Revised TPE terminology

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Are you sitting or re-sitting TPE? Find out how TPE terminology was revised in 2017 to ensure the qualification remains relevant for accounting profession needs.

There have been changes to the terminology used and this article includes helpful definitions of what examiners will be looking for when asking you to analyse or describe a situation.

Students should be reassured that there have been no fundamental changes to the way that TPE is examined. Instead, these changes in terminology bring into line the terminology used for our exams, with the terminology in the ICAS syllabus.

TPE terminology

Old NewTPE Example



Knowledge & Comprehension (K&C)

Statement of fact or issue – e.g. You have highlighted to the client that Capital Gains Tax will need to be considered and explain why.




Application & Analysis (A&A)

Evidence to support why you reached your conclusion / recommendations (can be computational eg ratios, or narrative, eg SWOT) – eg analysis of business risks/analysis of project information




Synthesis & Evaluation (S&E)

Making recommendations & considering the implications of recommendations – eg the mitigation for risks previously analysed / Recommending if the project previously analysed should be undertaken.

Meanings (from ICAS syllabus): 

Knowledge (K): Remembering of previously learned material (recall of facts).

Comprehension (C): Demonstrate understanding of facts and ideas by organising, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions and stating main ideas.

Application (A): Use new knowledge. Solve problems to new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different way.

Analysis (An): Examine and break information into parts by identifying motives or causes. Make inferences and find evidence to support generalisation.

Synthesis (S): Compile information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions.

Evaluation (E): Ability to judge the value of material for a given purpose.


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