Spreadsheets exam help

yummyfudgeyummyfudge Just JoinedRegistered Posts: 3
Hi Guys

My first time posting here, as I have only just discovered these forums!!

I am one exam away from completing my level 3 and that exam is spreadsheets! I study one day a week at my local college alongside a full time job, and so far I have not had too many problems, having passed every exam first time. Then along came spreadsheets.....

This year the college have worked from the kaplan textbooks (used Osborne when I completed my level 2) and I am finding the spreadsheet textbook a little difficult to understand. It is quite vague and doesn't really explain what we're trying to achieve in the task. I feel that if I could understand the purpose behind certain actions then I might be able to grasp them better!

Unfortunately, my tutor at college isn't very good, in fact the class have not had any teaching from her for this module. Having a look through previous threads I am going to take the advice from others who have recently completed spreadsheets and will pay attention to the AAT practice exam.

The main areas I am struggling with are "consolidating" and "pivot tables".

Any advice would be much appreciated! My exam is planned for 19th June but I am thinking of maybe postponing this until I feel more confident!

Many thanks!
Kayleigh

Comments

  • amyjayne27amyjayne27 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 314
    Hi Kayleigh,

    I am in a bit of the same situation with Spreadsheets. I have my exam tommorow and I have struggled quite a bit with the AAT practice exam. I am using the Osborne books and I found it quite straight forward and got through the books quite quickly and then I did the practice exam and it really threw me with how vague it was.

    With the help and advice I have had on here I am trying to imagine the exam in a practical way, as if I had a business and had to use Excel to run it.

    Also, what do you mean by Consolidating? You have worried me now as I havent come across this!

    Good luck for the exam
  • yummyfudgeyummyfudge Just Joined Registered Posts: 3
    Hi Amy

    There is a chapter in my Kaplan textbook called "Data consolidation". It basically involves linking data to the worksheet that you're using from two or more other workbooks. Me and my boyfriend (who is a software tester I might add!) have been unsuccessful in trying to complete the textbook activities on this subject and it was driving me crazy! However, having had a quick glance over the mock exams I have not seen a question on this. I am hoping that that be the case in my actual exam!

    I'm thinking I might try and get a copy of the osborne spreadsheets textbook as it may help having a different perspective! I will be checking the college library out on Tuesday for that!

    Also, I have just completed the walkthroughs on AAT, and one of them includes COUNT, COUNTA, COUNTBLANK, COUNTIF, SUMIF and RANK formulas that weren't even mentioned in my Kaplan textbook, so now I have even more to remember!!!

    Good luck for your exam tomorrow, I hope everything goes smoothly :001_smile: Please be sure to let me know how you get on

    Kayleigh xx
  • janwaljanwal Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,189
    Hi Kayleigh

    I did the spreadsheet exam end of last year and it's not as bad as you think. Non of those formulas were in my exam and I don't remember even learning them at college. We had the same problem a tutor that forgot how to teach. The formula I did have was the "IF" statement. It was nearly the same as AAT practice exam. Have a look on YOU TUBE there are some great walk through vidoes to follow., especially on pivot tables, as long as you know the data needed you can normally work it out.

    I made a few mistakes but still managed to pass.

    Good luck both of you with the exam

    Jan
  • katsutlieffkatsutlieff Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 459
    Have a look on Youtube. There are a few Pivot table tutorials. I always find learning practical things like this are so much easier if you can see how it works and then you can physically work though it yourself.
    I am terrible at excel and did level 3 under the old standards so managed to side-swipe this unit.

    I have recently purchased an Excel online course via Groupon though which has been excellent and was only £19 so a bargain. I realise that this might not be any good to you, but check out YouTube

    X cross with janwal :001_smile:
  • SarahJSSarahJS Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 272
    I agree, some of the questions in the Kaplan book aren't clear at all. In the exam they are much clearer I found.

    My hint for pivot tables is just to keep 'playing' with them until you get the figures you think you should get in the table. The Kaplan book does a dreadful job at describing how to use them so have a look at YouTube as suggested above.

    With the real exam just check your answers all seem sensible and you should be fine! Good luck!
  • amyjayne27amyjayne27 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 314
    I know I didn't start this thread but thanks for everyones advice it has really helped me!

    Very nervous at the moment as I am unsure what revision to do now but fingers crossed things will be ok tommorow!
  • omega manomega man Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 283
    I think you might mean data validation and also conditional formatting,both of these are quite different.You will find some helpful videos on the AAT site 5 scenarios in total.
    They are very good and i have done all 5 of them.
  • MWAUGH1983MWAUGH1983 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 420
    I think people that worry about this unit are doing so unnessarily. I did very little study and managed to pass; the marking will allow some slips and there was 3 questions which I failed including IF statement so done worry.

    I used the osborne book and thought that was great!

    Martin
  • amyjayne27amyjayne27 Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 314
    Hi Kayleigh,

    I have just done the Spreadsheets assignment and thought it was ok. It was a bit tricky and I was unsure of a few things but it was quite similar to the practice exam so as long as you are familiar with that you will be fine.

    Just have to keep my fingers crossed now!

    Martin, I don't think I worried unnessecarily, if I hadnt revised thoroughly and done the practice exam I probably would've done alot worse and really got myself in a mess! It is best to be over prepared than under prepared I think.
  • MarkTMarkT Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 302
    Martin's point is pretty accurate I'm ashamed to say. It turns out that I dropped marks as I had used some wrong figures in my exam piece but for the most part the exam was relatively easy - one thing to remember is that when you print out the sheets is that you always put a footer with your name and AAT #, ALWAYS make the sheet fit one page and ALWAYS justify the columns so that everything shows - especially when you have to show the formula (CTRL + ¬) Yes... I failed for that.

    The Pivot is really easy and my exam just wanted to see if I really could do it, it didn't ask for me to create a bells and whistles sheet - also, practice IF statements.

    Yummy - consolidating is where you have large tables of information and where there are columns with defining numbers for the data - cost centre for example and by using the tool for subtotal in the data tab - it helps group items and relative data. But, I do not recall this being an active part of the exam as the time for creation of a large table would make it near impossible to complete the exam in the timeframe

    ETA:

    Good luck to you both and please let us know how you got on :001_smile:
  • Denise4Denise4 Just Joined Registered Posts: 1
    Hi Kayleigh
    Linking data from what I have seen is:- on the worksheet you want to see the date click in cell enter = sign then go to info you want to link highlight and press enter and it will take it to your worksheet
    Denise
  • yummyfudgeyummyfudge Just Joined Registered Posts: 3
    Thanks for your advice everyone.

    My exam was today and I think it went well.

    After practicing the mock exams I became familiar with pivot tables and the exam only asked for a simple one. With regards to the consolidation, it was an advanced topic which although it was in the textbook, wasn't on the actual exam.

    Just have to wait a few weeks now whilst exam is marked, but fingers crossed I will have achieved my Level 3 Diploma now!

    My advise for others who are yet to sit would be not to worry and to familiarise yourself with the practice exams!
  • Rebecca498Rebecca498 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 33
    Hi All,

    It's reassuring to read that others found the Kaplan books difficult. I've used Kaplan for all level 3 (and level 2) and never had any problems before, but for some reason their spread sheet book is confusing me.

    I felt fairly confident about this exam as I use spread sheets a lot, but the books have confused me. I've done AAT's green lights which were really good and I will do their mock exam over the weekend.

    I'm fairly anxious about the different format from the other exams and having to print stuff out - I can just visualise so much going wrong, I often break printers just from being in the same room as them!

    Good luck to all those sitting this exam :)
  • HaysahHaysah Feels At Home Registered Posts: 80
    janwal wrote: »
    Hi Kayleigh

    I did the spreadsheet exam end of last year and it's not as bad as you think. Non of those formulas were in my exam and I don't remember even learning them at college. We had the same problem a tutor that forgot how to teach. The formula I did have was the "IF" statement. It was nearly the same as AAT practice exam. Have a look on YOU TUBE there are some great walk through vidoes to follow., especially on pivot tables, as long as you know the data needed you can normally work it out.

    I made a few mistakes but still managed to pass.

    Good luck both of you with the exam

    Jan


    I agree with the above, I have just passed this exam and it is very close to the practice assesment on here. Know your IF function, Absolute($) function. Practice auto SUM for max, min,average, also formating cells numbers and know how to put in graphs Pivot table. and merge cells. I would also say remember to put in footers or headers on every pg which ever the exams says they are all marks. Make sure you save often as well. Good Luck!!

    H x

    Hay
  • SarahJSSarahJS Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 272
    Rebecca498 wrote: »

    I'm fairly anxious about the different format from the other exams and having to print stuff out - I can just visualise so much going wrong, I often break printers just from being in the same room as them!

    Good luck to all those sitting this exam :)

    If you have any difficulties with things like printing/uploading make sure to ask the invigilators and they will help if it is a technical problem/you want to check you are uploading correctly :)

    Good luck :)
  • Rebecca498Rebecca498 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 33
    Hi All,

    I've just gone to start the practice exam for this and one of the documents available is a "mapping document".

    I've not seen or used one of these before. Is it something I will have to use in the exam as well?

    I think I am worrying too much about this, with it not being the same format as previous exams. Plus Kaplan sending me a 26 page PDF on how to upload everything at the end of the exam didn't help!
  • Jo ClarkJo Clark Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,526
    Hello Rebecca

    I didn't need to use the mapping document in the exam.

    The upload process is quite straightforward, however if you have any problems the invigilator may be able to help you.

    A little tip for when you sit SPSW - When I completed the SPSW assessment, I created a folder on the desktop and saved all my files in this folder so it was easy to locate when it came to uploading to e-learn. Only a small tip but you and others may find it useful. Oh, and remember to save regularly!

    Good luck.


    JC :)
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Rebecca498Rebecca498 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 33
    Thank you for all the advice, I think I'll do the same and will save it to the desktop, and won't forget about footers/headers.

    It's good to know about the mapping document as well, thank you!
  • Rebecca498Rebecca498 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 33
    Sorry for another post, I have just realised I don't know how long this exam is!

    Kaplan book says 90 minutes, whereas AAT practice exam says you have 2hrs 30mins plus 15 mins reading time.

    Does anyone know how long you have please?

    Thanks,

    Rebecca
  • Jo ClarkJo Clark Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,526
    Hello Rebecca

    I think I was allowed 3 hours, but it may have been 2 hours 30 minutes.

    How long does the sample assessment on the AAT website say and have you checked with your tutor?


    JC
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Rebecca498Rebecca498 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 33
    Thanks Jo. I should know by now not to pay attention to Kaplan books if AAT papers say something different.

    I don't really have a tutor, but the AAT Muddlestone paper says 2 hours 30 minutes plus 15 minutes reading time.

    I'm really dreading this exam for some reason. When I did the Muddlestone practice exam I had laid out my data differently to the answers. We had the same answers and formulas but our spread sheets looked completely different! I hope this doesn't matter too much.
  • James PattersonJames Patterson Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 281
    Hi Rebecca,

    As it is marked by hand, common sense by the invigilators can step in, so the layout of your data does not matter to much; as long as its correct.
  • Jo ClarkJo Clark Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,526
    Hi Rebecca,

    As it is marked by hand, common sense by the invigilators can step in, so the layout of your data does not matter to much; as long as its correct.


    Agree 100%

    I did something similar to Rebecca so I queried with my tutor. The reply was that as long as the answer is the same not to worry too much but try and remember the layout/format used in the sample paper.
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Rebecca498Rebecca498 Feels At Home Registered Posts: 33
    Thanks both. I was assuming this would be the case as the answers and formulas did match AAT's answer spreadsheet.

    But yes I will remember the layout of the practice one too.

    Thanks for all your help, i feel less panick-ey now!
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