Original Research

How pre-admission characteristics affect the performance of CTA students at a South African university

Gretha Steenkamp
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 7, No 2 | a141 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v7i2.141 | © 2019 Gretha Steenkamp | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 December 2017 | Published: 31 July 2014

About the author(s)

Gretha Steenkamp, School of Accountancy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Full Text:

PDF (130KB)

Share this article

Bookmark and Share


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.


CTA students; Stellenbosch University; academic performance; accountancy; personality; extroversion; literacy skills


Total abstract views: 691
Total article views: 345

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.