Home For AAT student members AQ 2016 Professional Diploma in Accounting Synoptic assessment - Professional
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Whose sitting the synoptic this week? W.C. 09/03

Just sat this morning. I felt so well prepared and confident and like I would ace it.

Questions were not as I expected them at all.

Feeling like I might pass, but not ace it like I had hoped.

Anyone else sit this morning and slightly thrown by it?


  • Fee2019Fee2019 Registered Posts: 25
    edited March 9
    Hi @Kara

    Was this your first attempt at the synoptic? I have my exam on Thursday and am really worried as to what might come up. I have read the examiner report over and over so I'd like to think I have a pretty good idea what will come up however, seeing the questions were not as expected is even more worrying!! :#

    Fingers crossed you have done well!
  • studentstudent Registered Posts: 44
    I sat today as well for the 3rd time every time I prepare myself according to the latest published books but apparently aat is one step ahead. everything was new for me should think about 4th attempt I think.
  • studentstudent Registered Posts: 44
    I am realy fed up and given up hope there is no way I can pass this one I have pass the rests 2 years ago and I only have this module left😢
  • KaraKara Registered Posts: 35
    @Fee2019, I read the examiners report, spent hours taking the green light tests on the AAT website and all the mock assessments and I was honestly quite surprised with what came up. I kind of left feeling like I’d massively missed something. Focus your studies on decision making and not just limiting factors but other aspects of decision making.

    I’m quite frustrated with the AAT resources available. The green light tests kept throwing up questions regarding consolidated statements which I didn’t think was going to be tested so spent 6 hours over the weekend ensuring I had that nailed, but don’t think it was meant to appear in the green light questions at all which meant that I wasted hours focusing and panicking about something that I didn’t need to. The mock exams didn’t reflect remotely what would appear, and none of my Kaplan or Osborne books and practice questions reflected it either!

    I’ve come away really doubting myself. I’ve passed every exam first time so far with merits and a distinction. This is the final exam for me and I’ll be gutted if I fail
  • aroonazaroonaz Registered Posts: 51
    @kara what did u get under decision and control unit?
  • aroonazaroonaz Registered Posts: 51
    did u get swot or cba for question 6.
  • studentstudent Registered Posts: 44
    I had studied all books as well I also had only merit and distinctions in other modules but nothing is more frustrating than this one and obviously AAT does not want to do anything to improve the pass rate!!
  • aroonazaroonaz Registered Posts: 51
    @student what did u get?
  • aroonazaroonaz Registered Posts: 51
    tomorrow is my 5th attempt..
  • studentstudent Registered Posts: 44
    Wish you best of luck I had swot analysis for q6 and CBA for q4
  • aroonazaroonaz Registered Posts: 51
    cba for the q4. cba supposed to be q6.
  • studentstudent Registered Posts: 44
    It was decision making for q4 sorry
  • studentstudent Registered Posts: 44
    And two for each in q6.
  • aroonazaroonaz Registered Posts: 51
    ok thanks . lets see what i get tomorrow.
  • KaraKara Registered Posts: 35
    I’ve been driving myself mad churning around in my head how I missed explaining something! ARGH. When the question came up, I even thought there is nowhere to explain why I am choosing the figures that I am choosing- but there was a box directly below to analyse your answer. Instead of explaining why I chose certain figures and not others before writing about my findings, I just analysed the figures. It literally would have taken one sentence to say ‘that is a sunk cost. That is not relevant so I haven’t included them’ ARGH. I knew when calculating that it was to do with that, but didn’t consider acknowledging it in my answer. 😣. Shows how thrown I was by the question and how ALL the materials I have come across regarding synoptic practice didn’t remotely reflect what comes up on the exam
  • KaraKara Registered Posts: 35
    @student do different exams come up? I had identifying fraud for Q6! There was no SWOT at all for me. I’ve identified weaknesses and identified fraud but no SWAT. I didn’t even get to demonstrate my knowledge of SOAP SPAM as the way the question and answers were structured it
  • KaraKara Registered Posts: 35
    @student and now I’m hind site I probably could have. I needed to identify a weakness and what the resulting fraud could be. I could have said ‘no authorisation for A B C’ not segregation in X Y Z’ but I just identified a weakness
  • RlettsRletts Registered Posts: 6
    @kara your not alone I thought I had prepared so well for this exam got over the 70% in all the mocks that I took and then on the day the questions were nothing like any of the mocks even the ratios question was in a completely different format. I felt the whole exam was really hard and in the scenarios there didn't seem to be enough information to go off to come up with a credible in depth explanation in relation to what they were asking for. I can feel a resit coming on for this one but it is the first time I have sat this exam so I will prepare for the unexpected next time.
  • KaraKara Registered Posts: 35
    @Rletts are you a self studier like me? I’m wondering if a tuition provider would have been able to prepare me better. Absolutely gutted but will hope for the best- as long as it’s 70% at minimum I don’t care, a pass is a pass! When did you sit? Yesterday or today?
  • Ducky96Ducky96 Registered Posts: 10
    Hi Kara,

    I have my synoptic coming up this Thursday.

    Do you recall what type of budget you had for Task 2, Cash Budget or Operating Budget, and for Task 4 the decision making task, you have said not to focus solely on limiting factors, did you get a make or buy or something different?

    This is my last exam to pass too, after having passed everything else first time round.
  • KaraKara Registered Posts: 35
    Hey @Ducky96 it was an operating one.

    It was opportunity cost. There’s a red herring in the question that I focused my answer on, but brush up on sunk, relevant and opportunity costs. And revolve your calculation around that and the evaluation around the costs you have calculated off for eg
    ‘X is a sunk cost, so it is not included when calculating the opportunity of (the context of the question). Y will incur regardless of the decision made so does not need to be included here. (Add more info about your findings such as margin) and conclude with an analysis of the opportunity cost of the decision
  • Ducky96Ducky96 Registered Posts: 10
    edited March 10
    Thanks @Kara I have been looking over Sunk Costs, Relevant Costs etc, but not looked at Opportunity costs, I wouldn't have thought that would be something AAT would test on.

    How did you find the internal controls and accounting systems for Task 1, and Ratios for Task 5?
  • KaraKara Registered Posts: 35
    They were no problem at all. I’m already starting to forget what came up on those.

    Might be worth reminding yourself of the control accounts (I spend time on the level 2 study support revising purchase ledger and sales ledger control) and ensuring your double entry is down to a t (I’m sure it already is). The ratios task was no bother at all- id go as far as to say it was a welcome relief from the rest of the exam!

    I would also say, I am usually very quick at my exams but yesterday I finished with 90 seconds to go, so be prepared to utilise the full 3 hours
  • KaraKara Registered Posts: 35
    ‘Down to a T’... did you see what I did there? I’ll just get my coat 😂
  • Ducky96Ducky96 Registered Posts: 10
    "Down to a T" that was a good one!

    I guess thats a good sign, I'm planning on doing those two tasks first, so I'm not strapped for time at the end, when they tend to be the easier marks to achieve.

    On your written questions did you come across any areas were you could link your answer into any of the pre-release material, that always seems to be my problem.

    I always answer the question based solely on the information they provide in the Task, and don't actually relate any of it back to the pre-release material, when I probably could.

  • KaraKara Registered Posts: 35
    With every single written question just consider ethical principals, sustainability, SOAP SPAM and the pre release materials as you read each sentence. I would write notes in the boxes as I’m reading through the context.

    The issues that relate to the pre release material jump out quite hard in the questions so it’s difficult NOT to relate back to it!
  • Fee2019Fee2019 Registered Posts: 25
    @Ducky96 I'm in the exact same situation as you, where I find it really difficult to refer back to the pre-release material. Out of all the test questions out there, I have only found a handful where they actually refer back to the pre-release mateiral, and this worries me as that seems to be the key to a pass!
  • KaraKara Registered Posts: 35
    I suppose it’s easier to refer to in the ‘non financial factors’ to consider when given a task- for eg,

    ‘is it possible to do this sustainably in line with the mission statement without incurring high renovation costs’

    ‘This ratio could be part explained by the low staff morale’
  • Ducky96Ducky96 Registered Posts: 10
    Ohh right okay, thanks @Kara
    Did you also get weaknesses for Task 3, and the potential problem for the company?
    I'm panicking thinking they are going to change this and just throw me off completely.

    Hi @Fee2019, Yeah the last time I sat the Synoptic, I just completely forgot about the pre-release material and only used the information in the actual scenario they provided in the Task.

    I've this time though analysed the Pre-Release material, basically know off by heart every key aspect and the SWOT analysis they provided, so I don't have to keep checking, and this also gives you a much better understanding of the company.

    I think with Task 3, if it is weaknesses for an internal process, it's easy to say the company is large, not evolving internal controls, segregation of duties is an issue etc, then I will find it easier to link this to the pre-release but with tasks 2, 4 & 6 I think its much harder, depending on what they ask.
  • IshratIshrat Registered Posts: 43
    Hey @Ducky96 I too experienced similar problem as you. I was not able to refer back to pre release as much or hardly made any reference last time. What I was so disappointed even though I remembered key points from the pre release but still not mentioned. I was so much thrown out by the amount of additional information provided in each written questions that I actually went blank re the pre release. I'm feeling nervous about the same thing again this time but fortunately since I have seen the real exam structure compare to practice papers, which is more harder so hoping I won't panic as much. When is your paper, I have on Thursday?
    Thanks @kara for your feedback on the paper.
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