|The ITC is an academic and technical examination.||The APC is an Assessment of Professional Competence in which you are required to carry out specific simulated tasks typical of those performed by an entry level Chartered Accountant.|
|You can “swot” for the ITC.||The APC requires you to analyse Case Study information prior to the Assessment. You would then identify specific issues apparent from the Case Study and prepare for those issues.|
|In the ITC, you could bring only your handbooks.||For the APC you may bring your handbooks but you may also summarise your preparation material and bring this material to the Assessment as long as it fits into a single standard Lever Arch file. Except for an 8cm paper thickness limit. There are no restrictions on what you may include in your file.|
|You received the ITC Scenario on the day of the examination.||You receive Pre Released Information (The initial Scenario) five days before the APC and thus get the opportunity to identify issues and prepare for them. You can work in teams with other candidates during this period.|
|ITC questions focus on Individual Subjects or Disciplines.||The APC is lateral and multi-disciplinary. In preparing for an issue, you would have to consider all competencies and all aspects that might be considered by a Chartered Accountant.|
|In the ITC, you could, to a degree, prepare “standard solutions” and “memory dump” these.||In the APC, you will have to analyse the requirement on the day and consider the context and to whom you are responding. You will then prepare a response (not a solution) that is appropriate in the context and for the specific audience.|
|You could “cram” for the ITC just before the examination.||You develop professional skills over a period. And there is nothing to “cram” although you will have opportunity during the pre-release period of five days to revise technical issues which are ‘triggered’ in the Pre Release information.|
|Technical is “everything” in the ITC.||Technical provides the foundation for your responses in the APC but many candidates display sound technical competence but still fail the Assessment because of a lack of attention to the context and the audience.|
|Any topic in the syllabus can be examined in the ITC.||SAICA uses the term “trigger”, in the sense that a topic cannot be examined in the Assessment, unless it is “triggered” in the Pre Release information.|
|The ITC is graded according to a table of marks.||There is often no “correct” or “incorrect” “solution to an APC task. The nature of professional competence is that two competent professionals may approach a task differently. Candidates are graded according to whether or not they provided an appropriate professional response.|
Proper preparation before the examination is critical and this is not “swotting”. It is analysis and research in the context of a specific scenario and then very specific preparation on an identified set of issues (issues resulting from the ‘triggers’ in the pre-release information).
Developing the professional skill of preparing an appropriate response is critical. This involves judgement, professional scepticism, an understanding of the technical issues and an understanding of context and audience.
Development of these skills requires you to gain experience and have regular communication with your peers and with course presenters. It is vitally important that you understand that these competencies must be developed in an environment which provides for healthy debate and different views. The APT Professional Development Programme provides these opportunities through a wide variety of activities including face-to-face classes, videos, online chatrooms, individual consultations and many more.
You have a lot to learn but we will enable you to develop these skills as the programme progresses.
But, first, you need to change your pre-conceptions about an “examination”.
And realise that you are NOT doing a Board Course. This is completely different.