Home For AAT student members AQ 2016 Advanced Diploma in Accounting Synoptic Assessment - Advanced
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Level 3 synoptic tips

For anyone worried about Level 3 synoptic assessment i have a few tips for you. In particular tip number 2.
I sat this exam on the 1st of December, i found it surprisingly straightforward. I didn't struggle on any questions and found it very similar to mock exams. The excel part i found very easy and i even finished with an hour to spare a few tips i would suggest for the exam are as follows

1) Practice as many mocks as possible, this will get you familiar with the layout of the questions (helpful when reporting OAR & inventory calculations etc).

2) with the excel part of the exam i created a copy of the tab with the instructions in a new workbook, and then split my screen in two. i personally do it at work all the time when i need to switch between programmes constantly. for example have the instructions on left half of screen then worksheet on right ( on keyboard hold windows button and press left or right to quickly align screen). This will save you so much valuable time because you wont need to keep flicking between instructions and worksheet.

3) Ensure you know goal seek, Vlookup, how to absolute reference and to use pivot charts & tables. Familiarise yourself with how to make a appropriation account, the mocks on your AAT account will help with all of these

4) make sure your confident in calculations for break even & margin of safety, the questions may present the data in form of a chart or only give some of the information but as long as you know the formulas this shouldn't be a problem.

5) Be comfortable writing about limited companys, the definition, good points, bad points etc.

most of all just practice as much as you can, the mocks through AAT are very helpful and were similar to my exam. Obviously this may not be the same for you but it will give you a layout of the questions.

Good luck!
SONIA123

Comments

  • CSan89CSan89 MAAT Posts: 207
    Might be pushing the boundaries of talking about the material of live assessments.
    AAT Level 2&3 - 2016
    AAT Level 4 - 2017
    Personal Tax, Business Tax and External Auditing

    ACA/CTA -
    Certificate Level - Jan 2019
    Lucygsy
  • nds1991nds1991 Registered Posts: 3
    All the above information and examples are found in mock exams through AAT and my learning provider.
  • MultiplicatorMultiplicator Registered Posts: 116
    very pleased to hear that you had the wherewithal to pass the exam. Being able to do the three excel questions in thirty minutes is remarkable. Billy Whizz. - and I am glad your work place practice helped you in that. I think Gabhandy in another thread commented that he had done Excel for ten years everyday in his work place so paper 2 was no problem for him. Mark Farrar (CEO) in an email told me the examiners found the exam they had set was very easy too.

    - the rest of us dont have this sort of work experience and have to rely on the level 3 course instead. The exam is meant to grade or measure the material learnt ( or sort of 'value added') on the course for which we have paid - and not just pass those who knew it anyway from before. Mark Farrar may well say the exam is just a fee gathering exercise for AAT. I dont know.

    but thank you for your advice which I will doubtless use in my next retake in Feb 2018
    elvanaaa@hotmail.comif_only_I_could
  • elvanaaa@hotmail.com[email protected] Just Joined Registered Posts: 4
    Hi Multiplicator,I agree with you as you pointed out The exam is meant to grade or measure the material learnt ( or sort of 'value added') on the course for which we have paid but it seems the lay out of the synoptic assestment designed very badly i sit twice and failed both of them. Also i faced lot of technical glitches on my first exam which i done my first spreadsheet but i couldnt uppload to AAT site after i lost 15 min of my time finally uploaded than second spreead sheet completed and i faced the same issue again hence failed my first exam i was quite dissapoined than i recived a letter from AAT which they confirm they improved the exam system all i could see is they put the timer visible i couldnt see any other improvements done even on the second exam i faced same technical issues had a difficulty to upload so the obeserver in the room had to uploaded for me and yes i failed second exam too. Now i dont know what to do as long as their exam done in same way i will not be able to pass,Also it would be better if the questions on the second part given to us on a printed paper so we dont have to flick between screens as this is very time consuming and also has a negatif effect on my concantration. Failing twice i am very disapointed with myself and i am not ready to take another assestment, i am now hopping they will see the pass rate of 30% and AAT will do some serious changes to their synoptic assesment. I will retake once i feel ready to face it again

    And nds1991 pleased to hear that you passed your exam and thank you for your advice i will definetly use it on my next exam if you dont mind would you please give a instruction how to split screen in two, knowing this might solve part of my problem, Thank you in advance and Good Luck to all.


  • nds1991nds1991 Registered Posts: 3

    Hi Multiplicator,I agree with you as you pointed out The exam is meant to grade or measure the material learnt ( or sort of 'value added') on the course for which we have paid but it seems the lay out of the synoptic assestment designed very badly i sit twice and failed both of them. Also i faced lot of technical glitches on my first exam which i done my first spreadsheet but i couldnt uppload to AAT site after i lost 15 min of my time finally uploaded than second spreead sheet completed and i faced the same issue again hence failed my first exam i was quite dissapoined than i recived a letter from AAT which they confirm they improved the exam system all i could see is they put the timer visible i couldnt see any other improvements done even on the second exam i faced same technical issues had a difficulty to upload so the obeserver in the room had to uploaded for me and yes i failed second exam too. Now i dont know what to do as long as their exam done in same way i will not be able to pass,Also it would be better if the questions on the second part given to us on a printed paper so we dont have to flick between screens as this is very time consuming and also has a negatif effect on my concantration. Failing twice i am very disapointed with myself and i am not ready to take another assestment, i am now hopping they will see the pass rate of 30% and AAT will do some serious changes to their synoptic assesment. I will retake once i feel ready to face it again

    And nds1991 pleased to hear that you passed your exam and thank you for your advice i will definetly use it on my next exam if you dont mind would you please give a instruction how to split screen in two, knowing this might solve part of my problem, Thank you in advance and Good Luck to all.


    To split your screen is as follows:

    open something in excel, in example the AAT mock excel exams. They will include an instructions tab and another tab to enter the answers.

    right click on the instructions tab, select 'move or copy..'. Then tick the box to make a copy and from the drop down list select new book. (you may need to enable editing on the yellow bar at the top of excel to edit)

    then with the new workbook you have created hold the windows button on your keyboard and press left or right to quickly align the window, do the same with the original mock/assessment to the opposite side so you are able to see both.

    very simple to do but will save you valuable time.
    elvanaaa@hotmail.com
  • elvanaaa@hotmail.com[email protected] Just Joined Registered Posts: 4
    Hi nds1991,

    Thank you so much for the instruction first i will try this at home than i can use it on my exam yes you absolutely right it will save me lot of time to concentrate on my questions rather than flivking back and forwards.

    I really apprcaited for this , have a great evening and Good Luck with your Level 4 exams.
    nds1991
  • QilianQilian Registered Posts: 11
    nds1991 said:

    For anyone worried about Level 3 synoptic assessment i have a few tips for you. In particular tip number 2.
    I sat this exam on the 1st of December, i found it surprisingly straightforward. I didn't struggle on any questions and found it very similar to mock exams. The excel part i found very easy and i even finished with an hour to spare a few tips i would suggest for the exam are as follows

    1) Practice as many mocks as possible, this will get you familiar with the layout of the questions (helpful when reporting OAR & inventory calculations etc).

    2) with the excel part of the exam i created a copy of the tab with the instructions in a new workbook, and then split my screen in two. i personally do it at work all the time when i need to switch between programmes constantly. for example have the instructions on left half of screen then worksheet on right ( on keyboard hold windows button and press left or right to quickly align screen). This will save you so much valuable time because you wont need to keep flicking between instructions and worksheet.

    3) Ensure you know goal seek, Vlookup, how to absolute reference and to use pivot charts & tables. Familiarise yourself with how to make a appropriation account, the mocks on your AAT account will help with all of these

    4) make sure your confident in calculations for break even & margin of safety, the questions may present the data in form of a chart or only give some of the information but as long as you know the formulas this shouldn't be a problem.

    5) Be comfortable writing about limited companys, the definition, good points, bad points etc.

    most of all just practice as much as you can, the mocks through AAT are very helpful and were similar to my exam. Obviously this may not be the same for you but it will give you a layout of the questions.

    Good luck!

    Hey Nds1991, Thanks for your tips in terms of how to prepare for the synoptic assessment. It is good to find some actually posted some positive comments & how to prepare the exam. Good luck.

    Regards,

    Qilian
  • MultiplicatorMultiplicator Registered Posts: 116
    //It is good to find some actually posted some positive comments & how to prepare the exam. Good luck.//

    I am very gratedful to Ndds as well for tips to pass - he doesnt need luck: we do

    and altho I didnt post THEN - I will now about what I thought when I read it. I did not think " oo useful tips, jolly good show!"

    I thought : "I paid for a course in accountancy, book keeping and anticipated completely reasonably that I would tested at the end on what I had learnt. Instead I have to take on tips about going thro a " hands, knees and boompsa-daisy" routine in order to pass and quite honestly that isnt what I paid for!"

    and whilst I am at it: why is it good to see positive comments on a system which we all know is a dog ?

    multiplicator as Mr Very Grumpy
  • JF00025JF00025 Registered Posts: 14
    Guys please make sure you call AAT after the exam to confirm each and every task has been properly uploaded. On my December exam I uploaded all my tasks and double checked with AAT that all my works were uploaded properly. Although my exam was miles better than the first one I got 67%. This time AAT told me although my files were uploaded, my third task was blank, somehow task 2 and 3 were uploaded together. Hence they gave me a zero for the last task. After complaining to the customer support and the head of customer support, they remarked my exam and i passed. Apparently my examiner didn't notify the exam board that some thing was wrong with way my works were uploaded. And he/she was happy to fail me. I really hope what happened to me was a one of incident, but you never know.
    masie35zay1986
  • MultiplicatorMultiplicator Registered Posts: 116
    well this is an excellent example of how the caring sharing AAT responds to customer demands. - a complaint and a remark ! and a pass ! A rose in a bed on whiners and zeroes. Lucky JF can now progress to Level 4 - and I recommend him accessing the synoptic thread on Level 4 to see how they are getting on there ! I also figure.
    The problem about exam tips is that AAT forbid under pain of god-knows-what discussing the exam. But we all know now that the exam contains harder material we werent taught on - which we need to get to know in order to pass and therefore need to discuss..
    ho hum that is life - we go on retaking or appealing - and they go on ruling us in our best possible interests. How glad am I to have entered this system !
    masie35
  • MultiplicatorMultiplicator Registered Posts: 116
    retake week
    good luck everyone
  • masie35masie35 Registered Posts: 11
    I have sat the exam twice and failed both times. I only had ethics to sit to complete my course but then my tutor said I'd have more of a chance be transferred to the next year which I would then only sit the Synoptic exam. This for me was the biggest mistake I’ve done as it is the hardest exam to take. The AAT online exams do not give a true reflection on what the real exam is like. The exam is too broad and they could ask anything. However, both exams I got the break even questions which of course carried over to the spreadsheet side. This for me is one equation I have always struggled with and hence the failures on both sittings. If I don’t pass this exam by December my whole course is a fail! I don’t know what else I can do, no matter how much I revise the questions always trip me up. Especially the longer explanation questions and the breakeven, the last exam was about a hotel, how on earth do I figure out breakeven etc on that. I personally think they should pre-warn you of what section you are getting in the exam because like I said before it is too much of a broad subject. I have chosen to sit my exam on 23rd April in a test centre to give me plenty of time to revise but I haven’t had the time yet! ☹
  • JF00025JF00025 Registered Posts: 14
    > @masie35 said:
    I understand what you are going through. It's difficult to study a syllabus that's huge. I would suggest practice the mock exam on AAT website as much as you can. Also have a look at the feedback, it shows what particular areas within the syllabus you are being tested on. I wish you all the best for the next exam
    masie35
  • MultiplicatorMultiplicator Registered Posts: 116
    well of course I first want to say that the caring sharing AAT is listening to every word we write and discussing changes that are in our very best interest. - even as we speak ! I cannot stress how well the company is run and how mindful they are that they are there to aid people and improve their lot.

    Actually we have had some changes - indirect tax ( VAT ) is out - the exams are different times and the spreadsheet is down to two questions

    Look Mazie - it is now a fact of life for you and I that we are stuck in the system ( on the fail side ) and the only way out is to retake, revise resit and eventually pass. Everything else is subsidiary - the loss of confidence that students report, the sense they have wasted their money in that they couild have spent the same sum with greater and more helpful outcomes, and the sense that I have wasted my time in that I could have studied something else to greater effect, the lack of value for money and the idea that if I had information and not misrepresentation I would have gone elsewhere. That's an opportunity cost isnt it? haha! it shows I am ready for level 4 !

    so this is where we are and this is what we have to do to get out of it - endless revise rebook resit and revise again. One target: to pass. We did this to ourselves. May 2018 is the first anniversary of my having failed for the first time. Come to my party !
    masie35
  • if_only_I_couldif_only_I_could Registered Posts: 4
    Hello, can I ask the students that have resat the L3 synoptic (post amendments) - is it any less rushed? My biggest gripe was the fact that it had become a speed test rather than a test of my knowledge and ability. I originally sat in July 17 and need to find the heart the resit in the next few months.. Thank you in advance.
  • masie35masie35 Registered Posts: 11
    Thanks for your comment Multiplicator. I haven't been notified about the few changes, is this definite and going forward, will this be off on my resit? Or is that for the students who will start Level 3 in the next year?
  • TobleroneToblerone Registered Posts: 4
    Hi everyone and thanks for the tips. I am doing some revision for this exam and I noticed that the mock exams on the AAT website give you access to some Ethics information, is that the same in the exam? I know it might sound like a stupid question and the answer is probably yes but i just wanted to check.
    Thanks again and good luck to everyone with future exams :)
    masie35
  • masie35masie35 Registered Posts: 11
    Hi Toblerone, yes the the real exam has the Ethics information on it.
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