oa Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences - How pre-admission characteristics affect the performance of CTA students at a South African university

Volume 7 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1995-7076



The completion of a Certificate of Theory in Accounting (CTA) is an essential and challenging part of qualifying as a chartered accountant (CA) in South Africa. The objective of this research was to determine how certain pre-admission student characteristics impact CTA performance at a South African residential university (Stellenbosch University). Current CTA students were asked to complete a questionnaire, which requested information regarding the characteristics that they possessed upon admittance into the CTA programme. Past performance in undergraduate studies showed the strongest correlation with CTA performance, and is thus a valid admission criterion. Characteristics that relate to reduced performance in CTA studies include: not completing the undergraduate programme in the minimum amount of time, being an extrovert, underdeveloped literacy skills and focusing on the details rather than the big picture. Such students are at risk and could benefit from targeted interventions.

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