Home > Uncategorized > Test case: the CTA law e-assessment

Test case: the CTA law e-assessment

The working New Year begins today, with a VAT rise and sore heads all round. However, in my professional life my main concern this morning was the CTA law e-assessment. (Fortunately, having passed the ATT recently, I am exempt from taking the ethics e-assessment.)

As part of the preparation I, as usual, used a well-known search engine to try and gather some reliable intel and extra practice questions, with limited success, so I decided I would try to share my experience with you to hopefully benefit anyone similarly preparing to take the test.

The premise is simple, and familiar to anyone who has taken the driving theory test: 60 multiple choice questions, one hour, 40 correct to pass. However, when I took the driving theory test, all the possible questions for the test could be purchased in advance (my friend at the DfT informs me this may soon no longer be the case). For the e-assessment, the questions are based on everything contained within Essential Law for the Chartered Tax Adviser, and can therefore be endlessly reworded.

As with any test, practice is key. I used the questions from within the book, of which there are about 200: up to 5 questions within the text of each of the 25 chapters, and a further 5 or 6 at the end of each chapter. I also obtained BPP’s i-pass CD which has a bank of a further 272 questions.

The book questions are mostly multiple choice: four answers, choose one. There is also the odd ‘multiple-response’ question: four answers, choose two, say. On the CD the format is similar, with a few more multiple response questions with three correct answers: there are also a couple of ‘write-in’ questions – fill in the missing word to bag your point.

Essential Law has come a long way from the fourth edition, which was my first experience of it. Now in its sixth edition with a seventh just about to become current, the layout has improved; definitions and examples are well highlighted; and key terms and references are emphasised. However, at 350 pages of fairly hefty and unfamiliar material (to anyone who hasn’t done law before), it’s still not the easiest thing to digest. I didn’t use specific tuition for the e-assessment, but all the major tuition providers do offer this: you may find this is of benefit, but it is unlikely that all the material can be covered by your tutor.

The major benefit of the i-pass CD, I found, was getting used to doing questions on-screen, and easy feedback on your results. You get an overall percentage and question-by-question right and wrongs, with a fair amount of explanation on each question. You can do as many questions as you like, from any or all sections of the syllabus, or do a mock test. From this I found I was averaging 79%, or 47.4 out of 60 – happy days.

The actual exam went smoothly. You book and pay online through the CIOT website, choosing your centre, date and time. On arrival at the test centre 15 minutes before my scheduled start I needed photo ID to sign in, and then was asked to lock away all my possessions to avoid all possibility of cheating (I left everything but my ID in the car for simplicity). After a quick bit of housekeeping I was in front of the computer: mine was mouse controlled but you can choose touchscreen if necessary. I then sat through a short tutorial to familiarise myself with the computer, and then started the test proper.

At the beginning of the test I had to agree not to disclose the contents of the test: this goes some way to explaining the dearth of info and practice questions on the web. However, the structure was as advertised, although I personally had no multiple response questions. I was able to mark specific questions on the way through, which I used to flag up those I wasn’t certain about. Once all 60 questions are complete you view a list showing which questions you’ve answered, not answered, and marked. I then went back to review all my marked questions – as I’d flagged 21, I was concerned that I needed to get at least 1 of them right, assuming the other 39 were correct!

A little over half an hour into the test, I was convinced I could do nothing more, and ended the test. I was then presented with a short feedback questionnaire. The final screen had a comments box to type in specific feedback: I had heard that some people who’ve taken the test didn’t have keyboards! Although I had a keyboard, I declined the opportunity, as I just wanted to get going.

After signing out and receiving my print-out, I opened it to find I’d passed, with 44 correct, or 73% – a little lower than when practising, but a relatively comfortable pass. Unfortunately, there was no detail on which questions I got right and wrong, in order to protect the test material, so if you’re the sort of person who likes an in-depth play-by-play inquiry after an exam (which I’m not) you’ll be disappointed.

One question structure which is present in all of the book, CD and e-assessment, is the ‘multiple statement’ question: a scenario is established, statements 1-4 are made of which none, some or all are correct, and you are asked which are correct, the four possible answers being combinations of the statements (say, for example, A: none, B: 2 & 3, C: 1, 2 & 4, D: all 4). The result of this it that marks are less likely to be gained for blind lucky guesses, but you get no partial credit for recognising the correctness or incorrectness of some of the statements. It is advisable to read the question and all the statements even more carefully, as it is easier to make a silly mistake.

All in all, I’m thankful the task is done, as now my focus can switch to the ‘proper’ exams in May. If you’re taking the e-assessment in the coming months, I hope the above has been of some use, and good luck!

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. AnnaB
    January 10, 2011 at 10:29

    I have mine in March and have studied from home am really worried I have missed something important from not going to college!

  2. February 11, 2011 at 18:28

    *sigh* I have my e-assessment ethics on monday, I am not looking forward to it. I had my law early 2010 and passed. I just can’t wait to get it over and done with and hopefully pass first sitting so I an focus on OMB in time for the exam in May.

  3. AnnaB
    February 28, 2011 at 14:04

    Law and Ethics E assesments sat and scraped through this morning.

    They were really gross! I found the questions a lot harder and a lot more specific to small parts of the legislation and documentation that had been on the BPP CD. I also had loads of the multi statement questions!

    Anyway I got 40 in law (eek) and 44 in ethics even though I thought the ethics one was harder.

    Down to working on the real ones now!

    • abubakr
      January 1, 2013 at 22:00

      I recently passed my ethics e-assessment and now I am going to attempt law in a couple of weeks time. I only have essential law book with me. could you please tell me which study material you read for law e-assessment or any other thing that would help me.

  4. Nakeeb Atheeq
    February 18, 2012 at 18:02

    Hi Dan and the rest,
    I am sitting for the law e-assessment on the 28th and just got to know that I have to prepare from the Essential law book as well. i have been practising the i-pass cd only.

    Do any of you guys have the essential law 7th edition for sale?

    I know this is last minute and would really appreciate your help.
    Please reply me on nakeeb123@yahoo.com if you still have the manual.

    Your co-operation will be highly appreciated.

    Kind regards,
    Nakeeb

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