Synoptic Help :/

Hi All,

I've recently had my results back for my Level 4 synoptic assessment and have failed for now the second time :( (59% & 63%)

I've booked in to re-sit the assessment in May but i'm struggling to see myself passing this exam... It's the first synoptic I've attempted as level 2 and 3 was passed using the old syllabus. Does anybody have any revision tips or exam tips which could help me pass third time lucky? I've read on previous discussions on here i should always talk about the pre-release material but unsure how i would do that for every answer.

I just feel I've hit a brick wall with this topic and don't know where to take it next, any advice is highly appreciated!

Thank you.


  • Norvydas
    Norvydas MAAT Posts: 272 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟

    I'll give you an example of how to incorporate pre-release material into the exam question.

    Pre-release material;

    Lets say you're reading the pre-release material and it tells you that the company has been struggling to source enough Labour hours as there are not enough workers, overtime is possible but employees will have to be paid 1.5x their normal hourly rate. Also there has been issued with our main material supplier as they went into liquidation and are not able to supply the materials, therefore we've found alternative supplier which charges more for the same materials but the quality is worse off than before.

    Okay, so lets say the above is only a little snapshot of what could be included in pre-release material.


    For example you get a budgeting question, which asks you to analyse the budget, prepare the variances and analyse the variances.

    You go through each variance and see whether they are adverse or favorable, and you stumble across Adverse variance for Materials and Labour.

    Your Answer; (I have made up figures)

    Materials; From the variance analysis, we can see that Materials has adverse variance of £3,000. (Budgeted £10,000 Actual - £13,000 = £3,000 Adverse). Having such large variance will affect companies profits drastically. By looking at the pre-release material, we can see that the usual supplier went into liquidation, therefore the company had to source a new supplier. The new supplier charges £2.00 more per 1kg of material, and the material are not as good quality as it used to be previously. This tells us that we are spending more money on the same materials, therefore this gives us an adverse Material price variance, in regards of material usage, the materials are not as good quality as they used to be, this results in excess wastage which means we have to use more materials to produce same amount of units, this affects our Material usage variance adversely.

    Looking at the above, I would recommend the company to seek for an alternative supplier which would have a better quality of materials and have lower prices, if this however is not feasible then I would recommend the company to try and negotiate the material prices.

    This is only a brief example, in actual exam I wrote more than that. You should be getting now of what do you need to write and etc.

    Kind Regards,

    Norvydas Valavicius.
  • ConnorL
    ConnorL MAAT Posts: 14

    Thank you very much for this example, it's much appreciated. I shall make sure to answer some practice questions using the pre-release material .

    Thanks again
  • Norvydas
    Norvydas MAAT Posts: 272 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟

    No worries. I went through pre-release material and highlighted potential questions the AAT could ask that could relate to pre-release material. Then after that I would go and think what could AAT ask me and practice the question. Of course you will not guess all of the questions what AAT can ask from pre-release material but I think I managed to guess 1 or 2 questions.

    Oh and the other thing; make sure you read the question very very carefully!! Me being me, I scanned through the question (Budgeting question) and I was like oh god this is simple, done the question, finished the exam had around 15 minutes left to re-look my answers, came to the same question that I thought was simple and it came out I totally misunderstood what AAT asked me to do... so in 15 minutes I re-wrote as much as I could, and because of this I managed to pass the exam, it was only task that I got Exceeded in the exam.
    Kind Regards,

    Norvydas Valavicius.
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