Man with laptop studying for ADIT exam

Are you thinking about undertaking self-study for the ADIT UK Tax Certification? Find out how to plan for ADIT with these invaluable self-study tips.

If you’ve registered for ADIT (Advanced Diploma in International Taxation) the first step is to decide how you are going to study.  

When it comes to studying for ADIT you can either opt for online courses, classroom courses or do your own self-study.  

How long does it take to study ADIT?  

Once you have registered you have five years in which to take your exams. With all papers examined in June and most of the popular modules examined in December, it’s possible to get your ADIT qualification in under 2 years. 

To pass the ADIT qualification, you’ll need to pass Principles of International Taxation. This gives you a good foundation in international tax. You’ll learn about international tax law, residence, double taxation conventions and treaty interpretation transfer pricing, the work of the OECD and international tax avoidance.  

You will also have to select two other jurisdiction and thematic modules, or an optional module and an extended essay.

Thematic options include Transfer Pricing or Banking or you could choose to study the tax system in your own country or countries like Hong Kong, US or Australia.  

You can find a copy of the full 2022 ADIT syllabus on the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s website.

In our experience and that of our students, it can take around 4-5 months of studying for each paper, requiring approximately 5-7 hours each week.  

Woman sat at desk with folder and ExtraTax Self Study tips.

Now you know what’s involved, how do you get started.

We’ve listed a few top tips to help you plan your ADIT self-study journey. 

Get familiar with the ADIT syllabus 

Before you dive into studying make sure you become familiar with the entire syllabus.

Then buy all the permitted texts early on.  

There are also a lot of recommended books that can support your study. Before you buy, take some time to research which are the best ones for your learning journey. 

Joining the ADIT Professional Group on LinkedIn is a good way to meet current and past ADIT students and ask for their advice. 

Make an ADIT self-study plan  

To achieve your ADIT goal, we highly recommend creating a study plan. Make sure you add in enough time for covering each subject in depth.  

Leave 4 weeks for your revision phase. Revisit important topics, attempt past paper questions and work on your exam technique.  

Don’t forget to plan in breaks. We find that keeping to regular mealtimes and keeping up with exercise routines can help you stay focussed and maintain your wellbeing while you’re studying. 

Use video in your self-study  

It can be good to have a break from constant reading and switch learning mediums.

Why not try ADIT YouTube videos. Watching videos can help immerse you in the subject matter much more than just reading printed materials. Your brain can respond much quicker to visuals and you are more likely to retain an image in your mind.  

Study ADIT past papers 

Studying past papers are a great way to ensure you are prepared for the format of the exam. Using ADIT past papers will get you used to the style of questions and how to plan your time accordingly.  

In the UK Tax and other jurisdictional papers, you will be challenged on your ability to extract information from scenarios. Although your knowledge is key, knowing how to decipher the question and answer it to extract the maximum marks is also key.  

Use past papers to practice how you will answer as well as what the answer is. For the best results, don’t passively read the questions and suggested solutions. Actively attempt the questions by writing out your response. 

Practice your exam technique with your own mock exam 


For the Principles of International Taxation exam, you will have a mix of essay questions and scenario questions. During your self-study time, make sure you plan in time to practice your exam technique

For essays: 

  • Structure your answer and make sure you answer every element
  • Don’t use long paragraphs. Make it easy for the examiner to see and check off each correct point you are making
  • Use bullet points to make your answers clearer  

If you are working on ADIT UK Tax past papers or other case study questions then follow these useful tips: 

  • Read and re-read the scenario, using a blank page to note any key facts and sketch out what is happening 
  • Check what you are being asked to do. Some questions may lay out exactly what they are looking for, whereas others may be open-ended such as – ‘write an email to X advising on 
  • If there is an element you don’t understand, don’t be put off. Just focus on the bits you do know and then move on.

ADIT Self-Study Top Tips from ExtraTax Training

How to achieve ADIT success – UK Tax  

If you are choosing to self-study for ADIT using only the textbooks and free resources, you may find you have a good theoretical understanding but not enough real-world examples that will help you in your exam.  

It’s also a good idea to use different source material to build up your understanding of a syllabus topic.  

ExtraTax Training provides a fully comprehensive online manual with study materials that cover the full ADIT UK syllabus in an engaging and easy-to-read way.  

We also include lots of case studies, resources and support from international tax experts so you can be sure you have a complete perspective on each topic area.  


ExtraTax Training Distance Learning Example

The materials have been developed with Catriona Loughran FCA CTA ADIT and other experienced tax professionals including:  

  • Lorraine Nelson, International Tax Director at Grant Thornton 
  • James Heathcote, Private Client Director at Lancaster Knox 
  • Jane Lee, Head of Employer Solutions at Grant Thornton 
  • Hannah Hurley, Corporate Tax at Blick Rothenberg 
  • Ciaran McGee, VAT Specialist and Founder at CJM Chartered Tax Advisers 
  • Sarah Blakelock, international tax and dispute resolution advisor 

While self-study is an excellent way of preparing for your ADIT exams, supplementing it with a specific ADIT study manual focussed on exam success could dramatically improve your chances. With ExtraTax we offer distance learning support as well as access to a tutor. You get the benefit of self-paced study while being able to clarify your understanding with an expert and join our revision classes.  

We offer two distance learning options:  


Distance learning option

for £950

This includes an online study manual + a mock exam + tutor support 


Distance learning plus revision sessions option

for £1,450 

This includes an online study manual + mock exams + tutor support + revision classes. 

ExtraTax Training is one of the recognised ADIT course providers. We offer comprehensive online study packages with live webinars or self-paced distance learning.  

Book now, or contact us for more information.  


error: Content is protected !!