Please help..... motivation fading fast

wmchic Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸

Help please.... i have re-sat my Financial Statements exam 3 times now and failed each one, i feel so fed up with it know! i only have this and the personal tax exam (which again i am having to resit) to do to pass the level and i am stuggling big time.

I just dont seem to know where im going wrong. The last resit i did i left the exam feeling like i actually did good only to find i failed and now my motivation to carry on the course if fading fast.

I have no additional help as i am no longer at college and my tutors aren't bother they just keep say "keep trying you'll pass it soon".

I took part in one of the AAT Saturday study days and found it really helpful and thought yeah i can do this but obviously not.

So i am asking all you out there if you have any hints, tips or advice on how i can revise and learn the info to help me pass this exam.



  • Diddy Mau
    Diddy Mau Registered Posts: 238 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Hi wmchic,
    Sorry I dont have any advice. Just wanted to say stick with it, you only have 2 exams left and then thats it.
    I've just started level 4, I have Financial Statements in 2 weeks and personal Tax in January.
    It might have only been one question that you failed on the last time. I'm finding it hard to remember all the information, I read it and think, yes this makes sense. Do the practice exam and think, bo idea

    Good Luck
  • reader
    reader Registered Posts: 1,037 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Hello wmchic

    I'm really jealous of your situation because it sounds like you have passed financial performance and your project (I'm struggling big time with these).

    If you have managed to pass financial performance and the project you are more than capable of passing financial statements and personal tax.

    I passed financial statements and personal tax by reading the text books over and over again until every calculation was firmly embedded in my mind, and I also did loads of past paper questions over and over again until they became second nature.

    Keep practicing (over and over again)

    Good luck
  • niccham79
    niccham79 Registered Posts: 16 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    Please try not to stress. I'm in exactly the same situation as you as i've also failed FS 3 times now and it's very disheartening I know!
    I've just found out something great tho! I emailed my old tutor (i'm also no longer at college) and she could email AAT with my account number and find out basic information about how I did (whether i'd exceeded, met or did not meet the criteria). It was actually very helpful to know which bits I really need to work on so might be worth getting in touch with them to see if they are able to do it for you - it is very nice to know which bits you "do" actually know even tho you prob think you don't!
    Easy to say but stick with it! You'll get there eventually (so will i!)
  • Henry
    Henry Registered Posts: 56 Regular contributor ⭐
    Hi there,
    I have never really shared my experiences on the forum but if this will be of any help here goes. I completed AAT Level 4 on the old standards (paper-based exams) in June 2011 and I was doing it distance learning. Though a tutor was available for support I didn't bother to make use of them so I was basically self-studying. Financial Statements to you was termed Drafting Financial Statements (DFS) on the old standards. I passed this paper at the third time of asking but there are good reasons why I failed the first 2 times. The first time I decided to sit 3 papers including DFS though I knew I wasn't fully prepared for it. I passed section 2 but failed section one then because there was a whole question there that I didn't even attempt. The second time I passed section 1 and failed section 2 as I ran out of time due to the invigilator at the time insisting that students could not start the paper in the reading time contrary to the AAT's exam rules.

    Anyway how did I pass the paper the third time? Because I work full-time and have a family I find I can hardly find time to read my books at home. It takes me about 1hr 30min to travel to work and sometimes 2hrs to travel back from work. I decided to use my travelling time to read through the DFS (Osbourne) book. I didn't make notes or underlined anything. I simply concentrated on trying to understand the concepts and the calculations. It was my intention to work through the questions at the end of the chapter at home but just never really got the chance to study the way I wanted to. Approaching exam time I book a few days off work and go into the library and then revise through each chapter (maybe two chapters per day) by selectively reading some of the important sections and then working through the case studies. I find that if you understand the case studies in the Osbourne books you can do well in the exams as the case studies builds up your knowledge gradually up to a level which exceeds what is required in the exams. I might then look at a few of the questions at the end of each chapter - but only those questions with answers in the book. I didn't spend hours upon hours practising past papers as I didn't have that luxury anyway. I only looked at the previous two exam papers. Sometimes it is not good to over-revise as overanalysis equals to paralysis. You can therefore study too much which in itself causes you to fail. When you study also don't think too much about trying to remember what you studied. The brain has a way of burying things in your memory banks and recalling them in the exam. You can also eat lots of almonds when studying - they help your memory - no kidding!

    The night before the exam try to relax and if possible avoid studying and the same should apply the morning of the exam. Don't think or worry about whether or not you have remembered something. If you previously studied it and understood it you will remember it in the exam. In the exam, plan the paper. Try not to exceed the allotted time for the question. If the balance sheet doesn't balance don't waste too much time trying to search for the difference. It might just be down to a simple error and you can still pass the question even if it doesn't balance. The same applies to the cash flow statement. Do as much as you can for each question and once it hits the maximum time for the question move to the next question and leave some space in case you have time at the end to make revisions or add anything else. Attempt every question. Even if you think you don't know the answer to some of the written questions try to think of something - for example if you don't know the definition of "assests" as per the appropriate standard or Framework Document just think about what you kown about assets and write it down. You will get marks for putting something down but you won't get anything if you haven't attempted the question and just a small part of one question could be the difference between competent or not yet competent. Most importantly, believe in yourself - if you start doubting yourself then you are already on the way to failure. Good luck in your next sitting!
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    The looking forward to the good feeling once the exam is over was enough for me :D

    Thats the one thing I miss!
  • geek84
    geek84 Registered Posts: 568 Epic contributor 🐘
    Thanks very much for sharing your story, Henry.

    So, you reckon eating almonds improves memory? To tell you the truth, I haven't heard of that before, but I will sure give it a go, especially if it helps me to pass my FNST exam, which I am also struggling with at the moment.
  • Makkusu
    Makkusu Registered Posts: 94 Regular contributor ⭐
    I'm yet to sit my FNST but I'm happy with my practice exams and still got 7 weeks of revision left.

    I think the key to this unit is understanding the process and reasons behind all the calculations/standards. I can usually get away with just remembering things but you'll find it much easier if you get your information from various sources because sooner or later you'll find that one explanation which really makes something click in your head. You can read a book 100 times over but if certain sentences aren't structured to your brains liking it'll have a hard time getting in.

    ^^ is a great book for the IAS's, makes it much more digestible without having to sift through pages of useless stuff to get that one bit of info you need. Also comes with highly useful study cards at the back which I've cut out and made a little flick book with.

    As Henry said if you find yourself stuck with something that doesn't balance/isn't complete then don't be afraid to flag it, move on then come back to it later. Your mind clears up a bit and the other questions may trigger something.
  • Henry
    Henry Registered Posts: 56 Regular contributor ⭐
    geek84 wrote: »
    Thanks very much for sharing your story, Henry.

    So, you reckon eating almonds improves memory? To tell you the truth, I haven't heard of that before, but I will sure give it a go, especially if it helps me to pass my FNST exam, which I am also struggling with at the moment.

    You are most welcome. It might be little known but it is a proven fact that almonds do help the memory. Just google it. I think almonds contain zinc and magnesium and these are the basic elements in stress tablets. So it should help you to destress as well which is very important as if you go into the exam a nervous wreck and you freeze because you are stressing over it you will most certainly fail. All the best in your exam.
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