How to tackle TPS assumed knowledge work

By Lauren O'Brien, TPS Level Controller

17 April 2018

Aimed at students who will be sitting their first attempt at TPS exams in June 2018, TPS Level Controller Lauren O’Brien explains the ins and outs of the TPS pre-course work.

This article explains the approach for Assumed Knowledge from TC. Look out for a follow-up piece on Pre-Course work for TPS.

All students coming to June exams will now have received their joining instructions and pre-course timetable.

The recommended pre-course study hours vary from subject to subject. Everyone needs to complete all four TPS subjects at some point, so don’t worry; if you have a larger number of hours for this course, it will even out on a later course.


Recommended study hours


68 hours

FR / Tax

55 hours

Afin / ABS

59 hours

Afin / Tax

41 hours

Afin / Fr / Tax

73 hours

Read on to find out why it’s hugely important to spend time on the TPS pre-course work before coming to class.

Why TPS pre-course work matters

The TPS pre-course is split into 2 areas:

  1. Assumed knowledge from TC
  2. Pre-course work for TPS

Remember that everything from TC:

  • is assumed knowledge at TPS,
  • is built upon at TPS; and
  • can be examined in the TPS exams.

The lowdown on FR assumed knowledge

Those of you who have recently completed TC FA are in a great position. You should already be really familiar with lots of this material. Ask yourself though: Do you think you scored 100% in the exams?

Were there some areas that you didn’t feel totally comfortable with, that perhaps you might not have completely understood? For example, sometimes students struggle with PPE revaluations in FA.

Well, at TPS FR, PPE revaluations are back and they are going to get more complex!

And for those of you that didn’t do TC FA, consider when was the last time you really worked with journal entries? For some this could have been as long as 3 years ago, so it’s unlikely that your assumed knowledge is fresh in your mind.

At TPS FR, you’ll be expected to be completely comfortable with journal entries and able to create a full set of financial statements from the first day of class.

The lowdown on Tax assumed knowledge

All of you will have completed TC PoT, although if you sat your PoT exam before September 2017 then you will need to do a little bit of work to update your knowledge. There is an update pack available to help you do this.

When studying PoT you will have practiced how to do parts of calculations in isolation. At TPS Tax it’s vital that you can bring these elements together to answer a larger linked topic.

There will be practice “step-up” questions available to help you to bring these individual concepts together into one bigger scenario for TPS Tax.

The lowdown on Afin assumed knowledge

The Afin assumed knowledge builds directly on the TC Finance course, albeit there are also parts of TC Business Management that are also required. The vast majority of TC Finance is required for Afin, both calculations and narrative elements.

For example, we need you to be confident carrying out an investment appraisal, and completing a cashflow forecast. In TC finance you might have had one objective test question asking for WACC, and another asking for a NPV analysis. At TPS Afin we would need you to link that together – so calculate the WACC and then use your WACC as the discount factor in a NPV calculation.

For narrative elements of the course, it’s really important to have a good grip on all of the different sources of finance. We will build on your knowledge gained at TC so that you can advise in more complex situations at TPS.

The lowdown on ABS assumed knowledge

The ABS assumed knowledge builds directly on the TC PAR course, albeit it's relatively important to have a good grip of the TC Financial Accounting course too. TPS ABS looks at how to audit a set of financial statements, and as such Financial Accounting plays a pivotal part in understanding those financial statements.

It’s really important that you can take the basic knowledge from TC PAR (e.g audit process, risks, controls and substantive testing) and be able to apply your knowledge in more complex scenarios. It’s not uncommon at ABS to analyse several pages worth of information about a business, and then make recommendations regarding the risks and controls for that business.

Testing your assumed knowledge

Your assumed knowledge is so important that we require you to complete a test of assumed knowledge (‘TOAK’) for each subject. This will be electronic – you will sit it using the same Surpass system that you might have used for some of your TC tests and exams.

Three tips for getting started

1. Don’t panic

We’ve given you step-by-step guidance for each of the pre-course weeks, identifying which of the TC modules are most crucial for all the TPS subjects. Check out the recommended timetable you received with your joining instructions to see what we recommend you do and when.

2. Use CABLE

We’ve also given you access to assumed knowledge quizzes on CABLE. Your approach should be to try all of these quizzes before looking back at the TC modules.

If you get at least 80% in a quiz you shouldn’t need to revisit that TC module in detail. If you get less than 80% then you need to go back and address your weaknesses in that TC module before coming to TPS.

3. Don’t forget to do the TOAKs!

It's as simple as that! The results will be reported to your firm.


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