TPS FAQs – essential info
We have put together the most frequently asked questions for the Test of Professional Skills level.
Will TPS classes and exams go ahead?
Yes, ICAS are committed to the continued learning and assessment of CA Students. All classes and exams will go ahead remotely as per the schedule published.
Will I still receive my printed notes?
ICAS are sending the printed class notes to each individual student at their registered address. Please ensure your contact details are up to date on ICAS.com. All notes are available on ICAS.com. If you have not received them a few days before classes start then please contact ICAS on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I don’t have access to a PC?
You will be able to access ICAS classes from any personal device e.g. Smartphone, tablet and a PC. If you have problems accessing a device please speak with your firm.
I have caring responsibilities at the scheduled time of classes, what should I do?
ICAS will record all classes and you can watch the recording at a time that suits you. We would advise that you should contact your firm to make them aware of your personal situation.
Due to my personal circumstance I do not feel able to study at the moment, what should I do?
Please contact your firm, where you should follow your firms process for raising personal circumstances.
When will I get the details of how to connect to the online classes?
You will receive an email invitation from ICAS (Scotland) or BPP (England) a few days prior to the start of your classes, if you have not receive this please contact ICAS on email@example.com.
I am having technical difficulties and cannot connect to my class, what should I do?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are in Scotland and email@example.com if you are in England for technical help. If it is not resolved, please view the recording of the class when you are able to.
How will mocks and exams be conducted?
ICAS will conduct all assessments remotely. More details are provided in the TPS Exams section.
I am unable to sit my assessments (mocks or exams) on the day prescribed by ICAS, what should I do?
We strongly encourage you to sit as scheduled. Please speak to your firm in the first instance.
What if I fail my exams in this sitting?
The ICAS policy in relation to exam attempts will apply to these exams. Individual employers will have their own position and all Students should consult their training principals on this matter.
When will I receive my results?
We will be attempting to publish results on the scheduled dates, however this is subject to change. Please refer back to this page as frequently as possible for updates.
I have applied for a time adjustment, will this be processed and as normal?
Yes, this will be processed as normal.
I have been awarded an exam time adjustment will this be applied?
Yes, time adjustments will be applied to mocks and exams as normal. If you have a reasonable adjustment in place you can view these in the student reasonable adjustments portal on ICAS.com in view my adjustments
Will I be given the opportunity to give feedback if anything impacted my performance during the exam?
Yes, ICAS will issue an electronic form for you to complete and be submitted up to 24 hours after the mock/exam has finished.
Do I need an O365 account to access classes?
No, ICAS will invite you as guests to classes being hosted on Teams.
Will I be able to resit TPS Exams in December?
Yes, TPS December exams will go ahead remotely on the scheduled dates. You will be contacted with more details in the coming weeks
Is TPS retake support still available?
Yes, the retake support services are being conducted as normal, please check ICAS.com for more information
How will the TPS exams in December 2020 be completed?
The FR, AFIN and TAX exams will be handwritten on paper, and submitted as a PDF unless you have been granted a reasonable adjustment authorizing the use of a computer for TPS exams.
The ABS exam will be typed in Microsoft word and saved as a PDF then uploaded.
Once the authorized exam period is over you will have a period of 30 minutes to submit your script to us.
The final exams and the Mock 3 and 4 exams will be remotely invigilated.
What material am I allowed to use in the exam?
The TPS exam is closed book. The only material you are allowed is blank paper and the supplementary materials.
What sort of paper should I use?
To support candidates ICAS will be attempting to send you a pack of ICAS paper to use for the December 2020 exams. This will be sent to your ICAS registered home address. If you need to update this address you must do so on ICAS.com. However we cannot guarantee delivery so therefore please have alternatives available (A4 lightly lined paper strongly recommended). The ICAS authorized paper is lined, but these lines are intentionally quite faint. This will allow you to use the lines to help with writing out workings, and it will mean that the paper will photograph well for marking purposes.
Does it matter what type of pen I use?
Yes. Please use a black pen for the December TPS 2020 exams. This is clearest for marking purposes.
Do I need an O365 account to access exams?
Yes, You will have received an invite to sign up for an email address @student.icas.com, this O365 account will be needed for your exam as it will give access to Microsoft Teams.
How will I submit my written answer to ICAS for marking?
You will take a photograph (likely with your phone or equivalent device) of each page you wish to submit for marking and combine these photographs into one PDF. You will then upload the PDF into Microsoft Teams. You need to ensure that the pictures are clear, that your writing is legible, and that the pages are all photographed in portrait (not landscape) mode. You also need to ensure that you include all pages that you wish to submit for marking. Please ensure that you practice this in advance. We expect this will take you approximately 5 minutes to complete if you have practiced the process in advance.
I have a scanner at home – can I use this instead?
Should you have a scanner available you can use this instead of taking photographs of each page, but again you will need to combine the pages into one PDF.
What sort of files am I permitted to upload?
You are only permitted to upload a PDF file. We will not accept or mark any other formats, eg zip files. You are only permitted to upload ONE PDF file (unless you have a reasonable adjustment award for the use of a PC). We will not accept or mark multiple PDF submissions.
How do I combine photographs into one PDF?
We will issue instructions taking you through this. All iOS and android devices allow easy combination of photos into one PDF.
Will I need to download an app to combine photographs into one PDF?
Not necessarily. We recommend the use of the free “genius lens” app, but for example some iPhone users find it easier to just use the phones functionality to combine. We recommend you thoroughly practice the process ahead of your exam to ensure you are comfortable with combining photos into one PDF.
How long will it take me to upload my script into MS Teams?
Our experience of mock submission onto Teams using the method outlined above is that students should expect it could take approximately up to 20 minutes to upload their scripts onto Teams. There will be a period of 30 minutes for students to photograph their pages and combine into one PDF (approx. 5 minutes) and then upload this onto Teams (approx. 20-25 minutes).
I’m worried about my internet speed at home – is there anything practical I can do to help speed up the upload process?
Please be aware of internet speeds at your exam location, and ideally set up your exam location in an area where the internet has a good signal. Your exam location is of your choosing and does not have to be your home.
If you are using shared internet with others in your household please ask them not to use the internet during your half hour upload period if possible – in particular they should avoid downloading, streaming or making video calls during the upload period.
Some students have also reported a faster upload via their 4g phone connection compared to using wifi.
How will I get access to the exam paper?
The final exam will be made available to you electronically on Microsoft Teams. You will receive further instructions about this in due course.
Am I allowed to print the exam paper?
If you have access to a printer you are permitted to print the exam paper before the exam starts. There will be a period of 15 minutes before the exam starts where you will be able to print the exam paper.
I didn’t get a chance to print off the supplementary material before lockdown, can I still access this?
Yes, you can either use a paper copy if you have a printer, or you can use an electronic copy of the supplementary material during the exam.
Will I be given any extra time for the December TPS 2020 exams?
Because you will be sitting the December 2020 TPS exams remotely, and in a different environment than originally planned, we have allowed an extra 5 minutes per paper of permitted exam time. This means that the TPS morning and afternoon papers will each have a duration of 2 hours and 35 minutes for the December 2020 exams. (See below for further information about FR).
I am resitting FR and in 2019 we were allowed to submit the exam paper for marking. Can I still submit the exam paper for the Decmber 2020 FR exam?
No – to ensure fairness between those who have access to a printer and those who do not, we are removing authorization for students to submit the FR question paper for marking in December 2020.
The main repercussion of this is that any extended trial balance (or other relevant workings) for the construction of financial statements (e.g., for consolidated financial statements) must not be written on the exam paper itself as this may not be submitted.
When creating an extended trial balance (or other relevant workings) in your answer, abbreviations are perfectly acceptable and are encouraged (to save time).
Please refer to consolidation schedules in the solutions to workshop exercises for consolidated financial statements to see examples of abbreviations that may be used (but note that any sensible abbreviations will be accepted).
Please note that abbreviations are not acceptable if you are requested to construct financial statements in accordance with IAS 1, IAS 7 or IFRS 5 – this must be constructed separately and after you have prepared your extended trial balance (if relevant). In such statements, presentation marks are awarded.
Will any extra time be awarded because I can’t submit the FR question paper for marking in the TPS December 2020 exams?
Yes. As per above, there is already 5 minutes extra per paper allowed for December 2020. In addition to this, for the FR morning paper in December 2020 there will be a further 5 minutes awarded. This means that the December 2020 FR morning paper will have a duration of 2 hours and 40 minutes, and the December 2020 FR afternoon paper will have a duration of 2 hours and 35 minutes.