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Foundation Failed

liner2006liner2006 Just JoinedRegistered Posts: 1
My son has failed his Foundation course and the college he is attending have told him he can't start the Intermediate course until he has retaken his Foundation in December. Is this right?


  • clazaridisclazaridis Feels At Home Registered Posts: 30
    we were told that we couldn't start Technician level if we failed at intermediate, i think it's a standard ruling with a lot of colleges that you can't go to the next level if you haven't passed the one before.
  • PAMDILLPAMDILL Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 716
    If you look on other threads a few folk have said they have been able to carry on to the next level and resit any unit they failed in the next sitting.
  • 80sGuitarSolo80sGuitarSolo Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 21
    Sounds like a college rule, not an AAT rule - you can (in theory) sit any AAT exam you like at the next sitting, you just pay the fee and there you go.

    The college may be unwilling to provide tuition for the Intermediate level until a student has completed Foundation, but there is nothing to stop your son continuing via homestudy, or at another college/provider, and maybe sitting an Intermediate exam in December alongside the Foundation unit/units.

    Might be worth giving BPP or Kaplan a ring to see.
  • speegsspeegs Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 854
    Dear 80sGuitarSolo

    I have just completed my AAT and what you have been told is complete rubbish. Sorry to be abrupt. THis is definitely a college rule. You can start AAT at Foundation or Intermediate level, and as long as you eventually pass levels 3 (intermediate) and 4 (technician) you WILL qualify.

    I studied with BPP London and although I started with Foundation many students did not bother with foundation and went straight on to the Intermediate level.

    I think you should definitely contact another college. I hate to say it but it sounds to me like your sons college are trying to fleece you.

    I would also recommend appealling against your sons exam result. You will probably not succeed in getting the result changed as this rarely happens but you will be told were he went wrong so he can at least brush up on that area ready for intermediate.

    In the meantime, if your son it stuck on anything in particular please do not hesitate to PM (private message) me and I will see if I can help. I am not a tutor but I am willing to help students wherever I can.

    Please wish your son the best of luck and definitely investigate another college.

    Speegs :thumbup:
  • Jon_1984Jon_1984 Well-Known Registered Posts: 186
    My college operate on the basis of its down to the course leader to decide so it may be worth talking to them as soon as they are back in after the summer.
  • vishavisha Well-Known Registered Posts: 218
    For What I am about to write, I am sure I will get a lot of disapproval.

    The Skills tests for Unit 1 Unit 2 and Unit 3 are more involved and in-depth assessment.

    Failing the exam is no excuse. AAT foundation exams are fairly straight forward and easier then skills tests. Unless there extenuating circumstances, failing the exam means that the student does not have a good understanding of double entry and day books.

    At intermediate level, unless the building blocks are solidly in place the students will really struggle to comprehend the detailed topics of FRA. Therefore if a students fails PLB it is viewed that this student is not capable to successfully achieve level 3 (at least in two goes) and certainly will not achieve Level 4 at all (99%).

    The notion of seating PLB and FRA exams sounds fine. But in practice it simply doesn’t work.
  • garry_coombsgarry_coombs Well-Known Registered Posts: 108
    Not an AAT Rule, but does tend to be a rule at some colleges, not at mine tho.

    To be honest though, it is possible to skip the foundation level, so I don't see why anyone would stop you when, in reality, you dont need the foundation level at all.

    I would say just skip the first year if he feels he is competant enough to do so, there are people in my class who passed intermediate without doing foundation.

    Of course one was working in practice and the other had done the first year of a degree, but with the knowledge learned he should be able to skip.

    I dont know if it'd work, but it is another realistic option.
  • jkcjkc Well-Known Registered Posts: 166
    my college told us that if we did not pass at foundation they would not allow us start intermediate untill we resat and passed in december. we would then re -join our class mates at intermediate level. They have the whole thing worked out so that people joining intermediate in december from the foundation resits dont miss any work.
    hope this helps
  • Gentle JesusGentle Jesus Well-Known Registered Posts: 241
    to skip the foundation you need GCSE's at grade C or higher i fink its 5 u need then u will b able to go strate in to intermediate i fink that is the case ....
  • speegsspeegs Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 854
    Visha are you a tutor? If you are then you should know that the double entry is revised in unit 5 at intermediate. Although I do not entirely disagree with you, I started straight at intermediate level at did not have any problems with passing my exams first time. Also with the exam covering so much at level 2 surely it is possible that the candidate in question could have failed on something other than their double entry?

    I am not putting down your post, but I think if you attend a decent college as I did there is no reason why you cannot start at intermediate level (even having been unsuccessful at foundation).

  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    'Fraid I'm with Visha on this one Speegs and I think a reality check is needed here as harsh as I know that sounds.

    The Foundation exam is such an easy one to pass - and we all know it never gets that easy again - that I'd be concerned for anyone who failed it to launch in at Intermediate regardless. From what I remember, one of the first things you cover in FRA was the ETB therefore if you're not fully competent at completing the ITB from Foundation, you're handicapped from the beginning and will inevitably struggle. Of course, he could have failed on section two - the bank rec and Q&A stuff but that's not exactly tough either. So it's either a lack of double entry knowledge or a lack of basic accounting knowledge - or both - neither of which will prepare you well for the higher levels.

    Since most of successfully completing PLB is understanding the fundamentals of double entry, it's a fair assumption that a failure in the exam is a failure to understand the core principles. While it's true that control accounts are briefly covered again at FRA, I think it's expected that most students will already have a fair grasp of double entry - otherwise why call it the Intermediate stage?

    While I'm not saying the OPs son shouldn't start FRA, I would suggest he gets a very quick heads up on being proficient at double entry and the ITB up before even attempting FRA. Not doing so would be potentially ill advised, a waste of money and could be damaging to the students confidence.
  • 80sGuitarSolo80sGuitarSolo Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 21
    Speegs I am perplexed - I said it was a college rule, not an AAT rule.

    Please read posts before proclaiming that one is "complete rubbish".
  • speegsspeegs Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 854
    Sorry 80sGuitarSolo,

    You are completely correct and I am wrong. I meant to say that what liner2006 had been told was rubbish. Please accept my apologies. I am sorry.

    It is definitely a college rule and not an AAT rule.

    I am a silly sod.


  • shuurowshuurow New Member Registered Posts: 6
    hi sorry that your son has failed

    I know how you feel realy, but every college wants to take the best students to the exam to boost their status. I would advice your son to do home study and do the exams in december at the mean time enroll the intermediate in another college or private tuition centre such as Bpp or Kaplan
  • speegsspeegs Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 854
    I agree with shuurow
  • sebastianforbessebastianforbes Well-Known Registered Posts: 172
    i'm more than happy to appear unduly harsh...

    generally speaking, failure at aat level comes through lack of understanding, lack of effort or a combination of both. i don't believe in "i'm so unlucky".

    secondly, who's paying the bills ? if the student is paying then let them make their own choices... it is, after all, their own investment.

    but if someone else is paying, then you must insist on a step by step, logical progression. see some results for your investment !

    i've seen people quit aat after/during level 3 because they thought that they were good enough to go straight to first year cima. then they quit cima and have absolutely nothing to show for it !!!

    also... unless you're a genius, it's difficult to study and have a social life.

    'nuff said :001_tt2:
  • jorja1986jorja1986 Well-Known Registered Posts: 210
    I can not believe some of these posts. :confused1:

    Exams are not easy, they put you under pressure to perform and there is only one chance, not like a skills test were you can get an additional assessment if your answer or strategy is not suitable.

    Foundation level is "easier" than intermediate or Technician, but it is all relative. I am studying Technician and I know the theory standing on my head. But put me in an exam situation you might as well give me a fail when I walk in the door. I panic and all the months of preparation and exam practice go out the window, I have tried many things short of going to the Doctor so I just keep pluggin away and one day everything will come together and I won't panic and I will pass. My other half did not one ounce of revision sat in the exam hall and passed. Cant say he worked hard can you!

    So I disagree that people who fail are always unprepared. Yes some are, but there are a few of us who can not get over the block that sitting an examination causes.

    I would say to your son to look at a different provider. I am sure with the correct amount of hard work and revision he would be able to pass intermediate and foundation exams he will sit in December. :thumbup:
  • sebastianforbessebastianforbes Well-Known Registered Posts: 172
    as i said before...

    "generally speaking, failure at aat level comes through lack of understanding, lack of effort or a combination of both. i don't believe in "i'm so unlucky"."

    now, if you want to discuss success ?.. please feel free to continue the discussion elsewhere !
  • garry_coombsgarry_coombs Well-Known Registered Posts: 108
    I would like to sum up a bit....

    AAT Foundation level is very easy in comparison to other levels and a fail(unless a very unexpected fail, unexpected from all parties including teachers) is a big deal and hard to overcome without either re-doing the whole year or working very hard, even then the sucess rates are low.

    If your son can put the work in now to ensure he is proficient in double entry and understanding where debits and credits go for all occasions, then he'd have a shot.

    The second year does cover the basics but only briefly and if you don't pick it up quickly you can easily fall behind.

    If the student is very intellegent and has a logical brain, which does help in this course, along with the determination to pass whatever the sacrifices, then going on to the second level could work.

    It would take a lot of work and is a risk, but it would save up to a year of education, overall it is the students decision, but advice should be seeked from his teachers and be aware of the work that he will have to put in on his own.

    I would suggest looking at books and past exams for intermediate and see if you think there is a certainty to be able to catch up, but it is up to you.

    If I failed the first year I would have carried on regardless, but then again this type of maths is my bread and butter, if I'd failed the second year I would have carried on also, but even my teachers would have been shocked at me failing.
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,954

    If I failed the first year I would have carried on regardless, but then again this type of maths is my bread and butter, if I'd failed the second year I would have carried on also, but even my teachers would have been shocked at me failing.


    I'd say he should concentrate on the foundation stage. If he's struggling he needs to spend the time getting his head around it and be in a stronger position when starting the following year.

    Or, maybe its time to consider a change of career?! If he's struggling or just not interested in it, better to find something else sooner rather than later.
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    Sorry to say but people who do not work in accounts and dont have proir knowledge in some aspect of double entry will struggle with the foundation stage of AAT

    Double entry as am sure you will all agree is the basic building frames to accountancy and as quoted by my director who is and has been for 25 years a practising accountant and also a tutor this to be the hardest thing to learn.

    I totally agree with PGM and maybe your son needs to look again at the exam and yes maybe re-take after all yes it will mean repeating the year but at least he can focus on what he didnt understand and struggled with foundation year and also brush up on what he did know and maybe improve ready for next year.

    Yes it is true you can skip and go straight to second year but if this is the tutors advising i dont think they are doing it to get at your son as they do work on results.

    And this is coming from someone who was advised to do a 16 week NVQ bookeeping and accounts course before going for AAT and it helped.

    I wish you and your son all the best for the future please let us all know what happens.

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