Opinion on the new CBA's

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EdYorke
EdYorke Registered Posts: 12 New contributor 🐸
I sat the budgeting exam yesterday at 1:30pm (Level 4) on the new computer-based assessment system. Although I did not find any problems with the questions, the number of technical issues experienced were ridiculous!

I was in a room with about 20 other students taking part in the exam and I don't think a single one of us was able to complete it without experiencing technical difficulties.

To begin with there was a delay of a couple of seconds between the time you type a character and the time it appears on the screen. This can be a major pain when you have to keep checking the correct number of 0's have been input.

Also, after completing 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 I hit the "next button" to proceed to 1.4 and the exam froze up. This resulted in a reboot and when I re-entered the exam all my answers to question 1.3 were gone. I had to re-do the question again. This happened twice on the same question!

I think throughout the entire exam, the whole thing froze up about 5 times. I was quietly confident when I entered the exam room and not too stressed, but by the end of it I was really frustrated and pulling my hair out... all because of the technical issues.

I am all in favour of a computer-based system for exams as I prefer keyboard to pen and paper. However, I think this time would have to be an exception.

I truly hope that AAT sort out their technical problems before I have to sit my next exam, because I really don't want to have to go through this again.

One final thing - I was under the impression that when you complete a CBA exam, it's supposed to give you a provisional pass/fail on screen. Why is it then that when you confirm completion, the whole program just closes leaving the user at the desktop screen feeling a little confused and concerned that it was all just a waste of time? Are we to now wait 4-6 weeks like usual for our results?

Not a happy chappy.

Comments

  • tinkerella
    tinkerella Registered Posts: 45 Regular contributor ⭐
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    I have mine tonight. Someone in my class sat the ECR CBA in June and he said the screen closed down when he finished then had to walk over to reception where they printed his results off. ( He said it's like when you do your car theory test.

    I'm hoping i get my results straight away tonight :S

    x x x
  • blondeturtle
    blondeturtle Registered Posts: 13 New contributor 🐸
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    As were on the technician level and some parts of the exam have to be marked by a human and not the computer then we have to wait up to 6 weeks for results.

    I also have taken an exam last week and my page kept freezing every time i wanted to go onto the next page. Other people in the room kept getting chucked out of the exam and had to keep going back in and sometimes their answers would get deleted! It can be really stressful!
  • tinkerella
    tinkerella Registered Posts: 45 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Do you not even get a provisional result then?


    x x x
  • EdYorke
    EdYorke Registered Posts: 12 New contributor 🐸
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    Well I certainly didnt. When you confirm completion the program just closed and went back to the windows desktop. At which point I gave up bothering to ask questions and just left :-(
  • keane155
    keane155 Registered Posts: 404 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Technician exams are around a six week wait for results because of the human marked answers.
  • Abbie28
    Abbie28 Registered Posts: 42 Regular contributor ⭐
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    last july i did a cba but this was in intermediate level fra as told previously it will not come up straight away on your screen like it does using the practice exam on this website, like previously said you have to wait a bit then it gets sent over .... first to the exams team then to your tutor in intermediate i recieved this later on that day....however you do have to wait atleast 6 weeks for the written part, as this is human marked. Although with the issue i think it will most probably take a little longer.... but fingers crossed
  • Craig9
    Craig9 Registered Posts: 69 Regular contributor ⭐
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    I had exactly the same problems today when sitting the BGT exam. What an absolute nightmare. It froze after question 1.3, which I had to re-do. Then it took an age for what I typed to go onto the screen.

    I really don't see the need for these computer based exams at Technician level or level 4 or level 8 which it's called in Scotland. Any other names for this AAT level out there by the way? If you still have to wait for six weeks, then what is the point in doing it on a computer that crashes every two minutes anyway.

    People in the exam room had tests where the time was still counting down on the test clock but their screen was frozen so they had to rush when it re-started.

    Very poor effort from the AAT, you would think they would have tested this to make sure the exam day would be as stress free as possible for the students.
  • Craig9
    Craig9 Registered Posts: 69 Regular contributor ⭐
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    And another thing while I am in rant mode. Has anyone else studied the Financial Statements section from September to December being told the exam was to be held in December. Then to be told the AAT haven't actually made the CBA for it yet so the test can't be sat until this is done.

    What an absolute waste, we should have been told this at the start of the course so we could have done a tax unit alongside the budgeting unit and sat both of these exams in December
  • kimmie1986
    kimmie1986 Registered Posts: 39 Regular contributor ⭐
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    hey craig you didnt happen to do your test at edinburgh telford college today? i had a nightmare with mine today and also got told about financial statements being moved to next year :(
  • Craig9
    Craig9 Registered Posts: 69 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Yep, I sat it in Telford today. I also thought the sensible thing would have been to wait until next week to sit it because of the state of the roads with the freezing weather. It took me and hour and a half for a normal 15 minute journey. I really am in rant mode lol

    How did you feel you done?
  • kimmie1986
    kimmie1986 Registered Posts: 39 Regular contributor ⭐
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    yeah it took me 2 n half hours to get from penicuik bloody nightmare. I think I done ok but expect to fail for some reason. what desk were u at? I was at 25. I would of been quite happy to come back and do it again but no we had to continue
  • Craig9
    Craig9 Registered Posts: 69 Regular contributor ⭐
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    I was at desk 19. I was up for leaving and coming back to do it another time but at least it's out the way now. I messed up a couple of questions on task 1.1 as I dragged to the wrong section and didn't realise you could un-do the mistake by double clicking so I just left it wrong lol Apart from that I found it o.k. so hopefully can scrape a pass.
  • kimmie1986
    kimmie1986 Registered Posts: 39 Regular contributor ⭐
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    you must of just been behind me then. yeah i didnt like 1.1 either but hopefully got it right,i wonder when financial statements will be scheduled for, not looking forward to that one either but i really didnt like doing budgeting at all didnt really interest me
  • Craig9
    Craig9 Registered Posts: 69 Regular contributor ⭐
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    I'm not really looking forward to Financial Statements either, hopefully it will be in January as if it's any later I will have to re-read the whole book again.

    I've found this year that budgeting and financial statements doesn't interest me, so from this I have gathered I don't want to do accounts lol
  • welshwizard
    welshwizard Registered Posts: 465 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Craig9 wrote: »
    And another thing while I am in rant mode. Has anyone else studied the Financial Statements section from September to December being told the exam was to be held in December. Then to be told the AAT haven't actually made the CBA for it yet so the test can't be sat until this is done.

    What an absolute waste, we should have been told this at the start of the course so we could have done a tax unit alongside the budgeting unit and sat both of these exams in December

    Hi there

    Believe me, the people delivering these new qualifications are more than ranting about these issues - but most of us are also realistic and know that as much as possible is being done to get things working as quickly as possible!

    Don't blame the providers, the AAT gave provisional dates for assessment release but as with many IT projects these dates have been pushed back because of technical issues. I agree it's frustrating etc. but why not concentrate on the next Learning Areas and just keep those skills you have gained in FNST ticking over by practising your techniques. At the end of the day, you're not studying AAT just to pass exams and then forget it all, are you? You need to use these skills every day to keep them current. Ask you tutors for soem material to keep you going - past papers from the NVQ route DFS exams, questions tetsing your knowledge if the IAS's, management ratios - all this will be good practice - especially ratios which crop up again and again at Level 4! Alternatively, keep plugging away at the ICAS report as this will be the part of the qualification that will trip people up because, as with unit 10, accountants don't like words and so shy away from written reports!

    As for saying the AAT haven't actually 'made' the assessment yet, I am sure that really they are trying to ensure that the whole assessment works well before releasing it, otherwise there may be significant technical issues when they do go 'Live'. I am very cross about many things in this whole process but I also recognise the benefits to the students - particularly no more June/December exams - you sit tests when you are ready (usually). Also some areas have been broken down to make studying easier and more logical. In fact, in most ways, the Revised (QCF) qualification is far better than the old NVQ and this is coming from someone who has passed all three levels of the NVQ and does not actually like sitting computer based assessments!

    As for comments here about technical issues - every new computer system suffers teething problems - without exception, but I know everything is being done to minimise the impact on the most important people - the students!

    I am sure all the CBT's will be up and running soon (CBT is the new name for CBA by the way) and you will be able to get FNST under your belt.

    Good luck.
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