Home For AAT student members AQ 2016 Professional Diploma in Accounting General discussion - Professional level
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Struggling with level 4

Like many people, I breezed through level 2 & 3, passing all exams first time without too much trouble.

I've now been studying level 4 for over a year and have still only managed to pass 3 exams (Budgeting, Financial Statements and Credit Management). I am still waiting on results for my last go at the Synoptic, but have not yet competent results for Indirect Tax and Decision and Control. I have taken resit after resit, and just keep missing the mark by a few percent.

My college have now said that my time as a student with them has ended, and if i wish to resit again, I need to go and find another training provider to sit with.

I understand that giving up now would be a waste of this year, and a waste of all of the money that I have put in to the course up until now, however, I have lost motivation and well, quite frankly, hope.

I was just curious to know if anyone else is, or has been in a similar position, and what they did to push themselves to the end.

I have used all revision materials available to me, and have felt confident going in, and coming out of the exam.

The tax results i received today, i was confident about getting, as i felt that I had done everything to the best of my ability, but again, I missed the mark.

I'm just extremely fed up, as I was confident that I would be qualified by the end of 2017, but the end doesn't seem even close yet.


  • tinkerbell0406tinkerbell0406 Registered Posts: 58
    Welcome to my world. I have budgetin, credit contol and external audit done. But cannot seem to get the rest. Waiting for my synoptic and just failed my decision and control again. I don't know where to start, then went to see about a job in accounts and was told I basically had no chance because I don't have practical experience. :s
  • Lauren_QuickLauren_Quick Registered Posts: 11
    edited January 2018

    Welcome to my world. I have budgetin, credit contol and external audit done. But cannot seem to get the rest. Waiting for my synoptic and just failed my decision and control again. I don't know where to start, then went to see about a job in accounts and was told I basically had no chance because I don't have practical experience. :s

    Thanks for the response! I'm lucky, as I already have a job in accounts so my job isn't relying on the exam results, but i'm just desperate to get it all done now!

    Do you feel confident when you take the exams? As that's the point that annoys me the most - I always feel like I've nailed it, but end up failing.
  • tinkerbell0406tinkerbell0406 Registered Posts: 58
    Yes, first synoptic I thought that's that one sorted failed 65%. Last time I sat decision and control the same, even though I was a bit pushed for time. I walk away thinking I had sorted that then got 55%. I have till the summer to finish.
  • BecxoBecxo MAAT Posts: 32
    Hi Lauren,

    I'm so thankful that i'm not the only person in this situation.

    I work full time in Management accounts and study part time in the evenings. Like you my Level 4 course started September 2016 so I have been a guinea pig for this new AQ2016 syllabus. The lessons I sat through at college no longer relate to the updated material, the exams are almost harder to pass now that my lessons are over and I'm going it alone!
    As we know there are 6 exams to pass.. I've now sat a total of 13 exams and a further 2 to resit with one lot of results outstanding.

    Financial statements i passed on my 4th attempt ( 44%,56%, 64%, 82%)
    Management accounting: Budgeting - 1st attempt (71%)
    External auditing- passed on my 1st attempt (76%)
    Cash management i have just failed for a 3rd time and now have to resit. (57%,57%,61%)
    Decision and control i have just failed for a 3rd time and now have to resit. (47%, 59%, 65%)
    Synoptic i have sat twice and am awaiting results (due next week) (67%......)

    How did i do so badly at D&C and Fin Stat and then get 67% on my first synoptic attempt.. no idea.

    We've come so far, and you should be so proud of yourself that you are doing everything you can to better yourself and create a brighter future, giving up now would be silly.
    It's rough and I'm also finding it very difficult and disheartening but the end is near!!

    Just know that you're not going through this alone!

    Bec x
  • tinkerbell0406tinkerbell0406 Registered Posts: 58
    Hi Bec, This is quite interesting, you seem to be around the same point of frustration as me.
    I to failed my first synopic without passing D&C or financial statements with 65%.
    So I wait like you till Friday to see if I passed this time round. I have just failed my D&C again (couple of weeks ago with 55%. I am finding it soul destroying because I do not know where I am going wrong.
    Good luck for Friday.
  • Lauren_QuickLauren_Quick Registered Posts: 11
    Hi Bec,

    It seems like we are in more or less the same position!

    I have only passed 2 exams (Budgeting and Credit Control) first time, and then passed Financial Statements on my 3rd attempt. I have now attempted Decision and Control 3 times, most recently failing with 67%, and Tax 3 times, never getting any higher than 60%, although I felt so confident going in and coming out of the exams.

    On my last synoptic attempt I also failed with 67%, which is a strange coincidence!

    We just need to keep pushing on, as we will get there in the end. It's just frustrating to have to keep going through the process of revising, paying to sit the exam, waiting for results, failing, and repeating all over again.

    Good look with your synoptic results today. Hopefully we will be one step closer after today!


  • Lauren_QuickLauren_Quick Registered Posts: 11
    @becxo @tinkerbell0406 How did you both do in your synoptic? I got 69% and i'm devastated. I can't believe I got so close, but am still going to have to go through it all over again.
  • BecxoBecxo MAAT Posts: 32
    Hi Lauren, I did worse than my first attempt at 55%! Don’t even know how to feel. Completely losing interest xx
  • tinkerbell0406tinkerbell0406 Registered Posts: 58
    Oh dear Bec and Lauren.....i failed with 58% worse than last time. I going to give it one last go then that's it.....have u read news about decision and control exam?? If they do the same with synoptic it may be worth holding off for a while! Xx
  • BecxoBecxo MAAT Posts: 32
    edited January 2018
    Ah I’m sorry

    How annoying I just typed a whole message and lost it

    We’re about to buy our first house which is going to be my main focus, there’s no way I can resit exams at the same time. I’ll redo them but probably after we’ve moved now. My college are not supporting me- they’ve had my money and they’re not interested in helping now.

    Could you link me to the D&C news as I’ve not seen it! I would definitely leave synoptic til last x
  • BecxoBecxo MAAT Posts: 32
    Lauren, 69% is fantastic. Well done!!!! You’ve clearly done so well, I know it’s upsetting but you’ve honestly done brilliantly there, have you considered appealing or are you just resitting? X
  • tinkerbell0406tinkerbell0406 Registered Posts: 58
    Hi bec
    I am almost sure they will do a similar thing with the synoptic.
    I am now going to get going on my fin stat, my college has bin really great and enrolled me on an online course to finish as we now have no tutor. So i will keep going and this time pass. Xx
  • tinkerbell0406tinkerbell0406 Registered Posts: 58
    Ps good luck with the house move
  • VS1VS1 Registered Posts: 71
    Just did my Decision and Control exam today, thought I was 110% ready but can't believe I felt I did worse than the first 1 (67%). The questions were so difficult, I felt completely lost in there.

    Despite the additional bonus of reducing the number of questions that will be applicable from March onwards, I wonder what they would do in terms of difficulty.

    I still have 3 more exams to do besides this one. Giving up in not an option as I have come this far but if the questions carry on being the same difficulty level for Decision and Control, I don't know how many attempts would it take before I nail it/barely pass it. Very stressful.
  • Steeleyg94Steeleyg94 Registered Posts: 5
    edited January 2018
    Hi all, I'm really struggling with the synoptic too

    I passed the decision and control with 83% and I believe it was the Kaplan revision set that really helped with that!

    It will be my third attempt on the 14th Feb at the synoptic and I really don't know what to do

    I'm also sitting audit on the 7th Feb :(
  • Lauren_QuickLauren_Quick Registered Posts: 11
    Hi all!

    Very interesting to read the news about Decision and Control! That's one of the exams that I am still yet to pass, so I will definitely hang until after the changes.

    Bec, I think i'm going to give an appeal a go. I've read that it's very rare for more marks to be given, but I know that if I don't give it a go, I will wonder if I should have.

    Steeleyg94, I feel the same! No idea what more I could possibly do.

    I have Synoptic, Decision & Control and Tax still to pass, so I'm going to focus on Tax next while I wait for my appeal to be processed, and for the D&C changes to happen. I'm determined to be done before the summer, so I guess I just need to stick at it! x
  • BecxoBecxo MAAT Posts: 32
    edited January 2018
    Hey everyone,

    Lauren- Let me know how you get on with the Synotpic appeal, I really hope it goes in your favour. I'm going to focus on Cash management, then D&C after the amendments, then Synoptic last.

    Steeleyg94 - Thanks for the advice, i may look at the Kaplan material when i come to D&C again. Good Luck for Synoptic & Audit.

    VS1- Keep going, you can do it!

    Tinkerbell- Thanks for the link, i'm going to have a mooch now!

    Does anybody know which two questions are being taken out of the MCDL exam??

    1. Standard costing and product costing
    2. Standard costing and product costing
    3. Standard costing and product costing
    4. Operating statements and absorption costing vs marginal costing profit and loss accounts
    5. Statistical information
    6. Standard costing and variance analysis (report)
    7. Key performance indicators
    8. Decision-making
    9. Cost management techniques
    10. Decision-making (report)

    Becci x
  • tinkerbell0406tinkerbell0406 Registered Posts: 58
    Lauren read the decision and control appeal thread. I did nit know this but borderline passes are reviewed by another marker. I have appealed twice and got nowhere. Personally i would not waste £30. Tb
  • Lauren_QuickLauren_Quick Registered Posts: 11
    Tinkerbell - Thank you for the heads up! I think i'm going to go ahead with it anyway, as I will only wonder what if, if i don't. After 3 attempts, I think the extra feedback would also be useful to me.
  • BecxoBecxo MAAT Posts: 32
    Can I ask how much you guys have to pay per exam for resits? Mine are £50 each!
  • Lauren_QuickLauren_Quick Registered Posts: 11
    Bec - At the college I studied at they were £43, apart from the synoptic which was £52. I'm having to find a new exam center to continue at, as my time as a college student is up. The closest one I have found to me also charges the same.
  • mergenmergen Just Joined Registered Posts: 105
    £50 or £43? Have to pay £80 in Leeds
  • VS1VS1 Registered Posts: 71
    Oh wow, that's not as bad, I have to pay £88, maybe because I am not doing this via a college. Also I self-study and give the exam in the nearest exam center once I am ready.
  • Lauren_QuickLauren_Quick Registered Posts: 11
    I didn't realise it was so much more expensive in other places!! That's madness. I am having to book in at an exam center near me for my next attempts and they still only charge £40 something regardless of whether you have been to college or home study.
  • VS1VS1 Registered Posts: 71
    Wowiee, where might this be?
  • Lauren_QuickLauren_Quick Registered Posts: 11
    I live in the Midlands. I went to college in Nuneaton, but the nearest centers for me to sit my exams are in Coventry and Leicester. I don't think I will ever moan about having to pay again, given how lucky we seem to be here!
  • BecxoBecxo MAAT Posts: 32
    I live in Coventry & went to College in Leamington ( Midlands)

  • JoJoMisJoJoMis Registered Posts: 50
    Oh wow, I pay 92-95 pounds in Edinburgh/Glasgow for the synoptics and about 82 for regular assessments. Plus 12 pounds (off peak) for train tickets when I have to go to Glasgow.
  • VaderVader Registered Posts: 13
    80 quid in London.
  • Lauren_QuickLauren_Quick Registered Posts: 11
    I got my results back from my synoptic remark today, and they have upped my 69% to 70%!! Very shocked, as it didn't seem like many remark appeals are successful, but i'm very pleased! What a relief!
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