Do the AAT exam writers listen to students?

osb2403osb2403 Settling In NicelyPosts: 27Registered
Out of all the exams I have taken through this AAT course I found that PEV and PCR have been the most difficult to understand. I am not stupid and study extremely hard and have not failed an exam until now. All I ask is that the exam papers are written with the understanding students will be very nervous so it would be nice if they were straight forward and easy to comprehend in such stressful situation. I do struggle to understand even with lots of study and practising with prev exam papers. All the other exam papers seem to be so well written and understandable. Yes I am disappointed and even my tutor was shocked and I am not writing this because of that it is something I have noticed over the last three years. I just hope the AAT exam writers do listen to students with some level of understanding. I know exams are to test students competence and knowledge but they don't need to be written so that you don't understand the question so you are bound to get it wrong. I will try again in December and hope I pass so I can get my full membership but I hope this helps others in the future. If there is any one with any tips for PCR that will get me through, please let me know or email me at [email protected]
Thanks for reading me post:thumbup:
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Comments

  • JamesJames Settling In Nicely Posts: 24Registered
    How did you get on with PEV?
  • osb2403osb2403 Settling In Nicely Posts: 27Registered
    Ello
    James wrote: »
    How did you get on with PEV?

    I did pass but I think only by the skin of my teeth, I really struggled to understand the first section of it.
  • JamesJames Settling In Nicely Posts: 24Registered
    I failed, feel really cheated! I have appealed, are you going to?
  • JamesJames Settling In Nicely Posts: 24Registered
    I will do, which college were you at, how did the rest of you find it?
  • osb2403osb2403 Settling In Nicely Posts: 27Registered
    james
    James wrote: »
    I failed, feel really cheated! I have appealed, are you going to?

    I looked at the appeal process it cost £42 to get a script of your marking and then you have to appeal and becaused i really didn't understand parts two and three of section one I do not think i would get anywhere. If you really feel that an appeal will help you go for it and let me know how you get on.
  • osb2403osb2403 Settling In Nicely Posts: 27Registered
    James
    James wrote: »
    I will do, which college were you at, how did the rest of you find it?

    I go to south kent college in ashford, kent but not going to get much help from them to get ready for the retake.
  • osb2403osb2403 Settling In Nicely Posts: 27Registered
    osb2403 wrote: »
    I go to south kent college in ashford, kent but not going to get much help from them to get ready for the retake.

    everyone I have spoken to has said how section one was so difficult to understand.
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Posts: 624Registered
    Examiners will take previous feedback from students into consideration when preparing future exams. I've been around these forums for quite a while and each sitting there are lots of students who either disagree with the contents of the exam and those that disagree with the clarity of questions.

    There seems to be confusion with PEV on a more or less continuous basis because the official answers which are published often differ from those that tuition providers or even candidates produce - though full marks are still available for producing an answer that differs with the official answer. As long as your approach is clear to the marker then marks can be awarded.

    However, the June sitting in particular has produced a lot of controversy on the forums over the last couple of days - especially with task 2.2 on PEV. After each sitting there is the opportunity to submit your feedback to the AAT to tell them whether you thought the paper was fair or not - this feedback is (apparently) taken into consideration when the scripts are marked.

    A lot of people seem to be concerned about the clarity of 2.2 PEV but (without making myself unpopular - and (with respect to those who have failed) I'm being brave here) - I personally cannot see how the question is badly worded - unless I am misreading the requirements??? Could students perhaps outline why they think the question was badly worded? I have to say that I would be extremely surprised if, given the number of unsuccessful candidates, the AAT had made a mistake in the marking process.

    Kind regards
    Steve
  • osb2403osb2403 Settling In Nicely Posts: 27Registered
    Thanks Steve
    peugeot wrote: »

    I don't disagree with you but with BTC & DFS there was al least some continuity with the way questions were laid out. I passed PEV and at the time voiced my concerns over section one and now have failed PCR section one. Both times I got confused over exactly what they were asking for. Whether people passed PCR or not alot have voiced there terror over the way the questions were written. I hope that I will pass the next time round as I do not want to give up when so close to full membership but I do feel that there is no point in carrying on if I am not going to be able to understand the part of the paper. From your experience do you think that BPP books are better for PCR than OSbourne books. Our tutor decided to use Osbourne for these two subjects when we had used BPP for all others over the last 3 years. I did not find them as good as BPP. do you know of any other text that may be useful.
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Posts: 624Registered
    Hi OSB,

    It's a very long time ago since I did my AAT and I have never used Osbourne Books but I used to work on the basis that publishers such as BPP, Kaplan and Osbourne were as broad as long.

    I think (and please, correct me if I am wrong here) the main problem AAT has is that certain papers (as you said in your thread above) continue a trait. Take, for example, DFS. Before I continue I would just like to point out that this is purely MY opinion given the fact that over the years I have done suggested answers for students for DFS.

    DFS has been known (and still does) follow a pattern. If you look at DFS papers over the previous years and compare them, you will find that some of them are identical. This is where (I think) students are becoming to expect a continuing trait for ALL papers, because DFS (and other papers seemingly) may have set a precedent.

    What normally happens, when a paper goes off track and is tested in a way that candidates are not used to there is uproar. However, a professional body such as AAT cannot set exam papers that follow a consistent trait for EVERY sitting because that would (a) lead to question spotting, thus not encouraging students to get a basic knowledge of the full syllabi and (b) discredit the qualification because the exams will be deemed too easy.

    I fully understand students anxieties in failing exams (I have failed exams in the past and know how people feel). However, I think sometimes students have to take responsibility as well and cannot push the blame entirely on the examiner - they simply cannot expect papers to be set which follow a similar style - that would defeat the object. At the end of the day, the examiner will set a paper that is within the standards examinable and, rightly or wrongly, the examiner is entitled to examine any aspect of the syllabus in whatever fashion he or she deems reasonable as long as it is examinable.

    Good luck for your next sitting. Don't give up just because you have failed a paper this time around - you're so close to finishing it would be a shame to give up now.

    Best wishes
    Steve
  • osb2403osb2403 Settling In Nicely Posts: 27Registered
    peugeot wrote: »

    Thanks for that, steve although I think I may have given the wrong impression as I wasn't laying the blame on examiners after it was I who took the exam. I know it is recommended that students use past papers to practice on not take in hoping that similar question will be asked in future exams I think I was trying to say that its the way the question is worded or laid out. Perhaps I am totally wrong but I do feel the question can be laid out more understandably and still gain the students knowledge and understanding. At the end of the day I do not lay the blame on anyone apart from myself for not understinding the question in PCR section one.

    Thanks anyway for your comments and I will now hit the books for the next 3 months to ensure I get passed. This AAT qualification is so important to me

    With thanks
    Simon:thumbup1:
  • DianneDianne Settling In Nicely Posts: 18Registered, Tutor
    Peugot

    I have been following with great interest your posts regarding PEV 2.2.

    I too have failed this exam, in section 2, after passing everthing else over the last three years.

    I myself could not understand exactly what they wanted with this question, and I know I did not complete this to my best ability, and I feel it was this question alone that accounted for my fail, as I had no problem with the other questions in part 1 and 2, I just did not realise that 2.2 would have such a large mark towards the paper.

    I fully understand your feelings on the papers following the same theme each year, but surley with the amount of people failing this section, does that show that there was some problem with the wording of this question.

    I was undecided about appealing, but surley one question can not constitue you failing after working so hard for three years?

    Am I wrong ?

    Is it a waste of time appealing and contacting AAT to express concerns?
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Posts: 624Registered
    Good stuff - you've got the right attitude! You'll get through in December.:thumbup1:

    My advice to you is to practice as many exam style questions as possible as soon as possible. Of course the past papers are a good source of exam practice, but try and get a practice and revision kit from your tuition provider. Those kits will contain a mix of 'study' questions i.e. questions that will brush up your skills and technique and 'revision' questions which are often exam standard questions.

    By dealing with a broader range of questions it will definitely help you understand and interpret different styles of questions and what they require.

    Best wishes
    Steve
  • osb2403osb2403 Settling In Nicely Posts: 27Registered
    Dianne wrote: »

    Hello Dianne

    Although I had similar problems with PEV I did pass but I think more with luck than anything else. But I have just failed PCR section one but this I feel was down to the same problem I did not understand the question clearly, may be that was me although from what other people have said from college and on here that is a common problem.

    We can only try again and hope that things become clearer (or they make them clearer!)

    Unfortunately I have now finished college and can't get the tuition support so its hit the books hard (or burn them LoL).

    I hope you give it another go and good luck, I don't think it would have been just down to one question alone I am not sure how they do the marking and what % you need to get in each section.

    Good luck with your next attempt and lets hope we both get passes.

    Simon
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Posts: 624Registered
    Hi Dianne,

    Sorry you failed PEV - by the sounds of it your one of many on here. I don't think 1 question being wrong constitutes a fail, but I think it might be candidate's approach to a question that may have caused the fail.

    My opinion is that students are not wrong when they claim that a question is badly worded - to them it may well be. To the examiner, it may be perfectly worded. This is where student/examiner often clash. As you continue through your students (maybe onto chartered after AAT) I will be extremely surprised if you don't come across this situation again, whereby you struggle to interpret what the examiner actually wants. Indeed I did when I was studying ACCA.

    This is what I would do in your situation re the appeal.

    Is there a deadline for submission of your appeal? If it can wait a few weeks, have a look at the examiner's answers when they go on here. If you are still not happy and you think you need to know why you failed, then I would appeal. You won't get a remark, but if you feel that strongly that you felt you should have passed, then maybe an extra £42 is worth it to get a pass next time because then at least you know where you stumbled.

    Also, I know things are still a bit 'raw' but December will not be far off (we're in September soon) so by the time you get back to studying, you'll have forgotten about how you feel now!!

    Good luck anyway.

    Best wishes
    Steve
  • PoppyPoppy Well-Known Posts: 105Registered
    I take on board what you say about taking responsibility but does it not seem odd to you that only one in two people have passed the PEV exam when others have a pass rate of 70-80%

    I can't imagine anyone can tell you exactly how hard they found this paper without being sat there doing it again, I personally sat there and had no idea what 2.2 wanted. Perhaps an example would have helped. We're not asking for them to stick to a trend we just want to know what they're looking for. Perhaps we should answer each question every way possibly just incase we eventaully stumble across what the AAT want. It's so frustrating not to be able to demonstarte your understanding for not having a clue what they want, how hard would it be for them to make these questions clear!!!

    :mad2:
  • PoppyPoppy Well-Known Posts: 105Registered
    Also I don't think we're just feeling a little ' Raw', I took a week off my own leave plus a week of works time to prepare for this. I learnt this and worked hard on it. I don't think we should all have to put ourselves in our boxes till december and redo it like nice little students when some of us worked are behinds off for the June one.

    I also don't believe I'll know anymore in December and will now have to put all that effort in again. Not something I take lightly!!!!
  • DianneDianne Settling In Nicely Posts: 18Registered, Tutor
    Would you suggest going back to college, or just keep practicing past exam papers and revisiting the osbourne book on this section, as I had no reason to go back to college as everything else has been completed.

    Thank you for your advice on the revision kit, I will contact my past tutor and see if she has these, if she does not where else would I obtain one from?

    But, you did not answere my question about appealing and contacting AAT. Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    Thank you .
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Posts: 624Registered
    Hi Poppy,

    The pass rates for PEV will certainly be interesting.

    It could have a been an abundance of reasons why students failed - not necessarily task 2.2. It could be anything from lack of technical knowledge to a complete misunderstanding of the whole section. Anything is possible - only the markers know what happened and the Chief Assessor will put this in his feedback.

    PEV is the paper that always receives the most criticism and the one that students often find to be the most challenging.

    Best wishes
    Steve
  • PoppyPoppy Well-Known Posts: 105Registered
    I have been advised by this forum and my friends college that it's 56%, I think that is awful. On speaking it's the turbine question, this must be addressed.
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Posts: 624Registered
    Hi Dianne,

    Maybe go to a revision class to brush up your skills but you can never do enough question practice!

    I thought I did answer your query re appeal.....

    I would see when the deadline for appeals are, if you can wait for the chief assessor's report to come out, have a look at his answers and if you still feel you did the paper justice then appeal. At least you'll get feedback as to where you went wrong.

    Best wishes
    Steve
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Posts: 624Registered
    Poppy wrote: »
    I have been advised by this forum and my friends college that it's 56%, I think that is awful. On speaking it's the turbine question, this must be addressed.

    From reading the messages on here 56% surprises me - I had estimations far lower!!
  • DianneDianne Settling In Nicely Posts: 18Registered, Tutor
    Thank you.

    I have every intention of taking the exam again in December, I am not getting this far and giving up, I don't think anyone should, I know my own struggles in taking the AAT qualification and everyone should be PROUD of themselves in passing any exams.

    I suppose it is just very hard to accept, when you have passed everything else. And 2.2 was (for me) so complicated in the way it was presented. I would like to be able to see how many different interperations of the answere to this there was.

    Thats why I feel the question was a bad one, I dont think the rest of the answere's to the paper from students differed too much, as we all had an understanding, from past papers and the tuition we had.

    I personally don't feel any amount of revision would have helped me understand that question, and answere it in the time given.
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Posts: 624Registered
    Dianne,

    You are 100% correct not to give up. It will be interesting to see what students opinions of the examiner's answer is when they go on here. They usually go up about ten days after the results release.

    Kind regards
    Steve
  • DianneDianne Settling In Nicely Posts: 18Registered, Tutor
    Sorry, you did answere the question, but I think I was posting a reply to something else and missed your posting.

    Thank you for all the imput.
  • umerali2003umerali2003 Trusted Regular Posts: 400Registered
    its not aat for me any more ..................................... its mission aat 4 me now and mission will be accomplished in dec sitting................. steve your posts are really helpfull keep posting untill dec sittings
  • ms-nee-neems-nee-nee Settling In Nicely Posts: 24Registered
    i took PEV in June.... I spent 3 months revising for this exam as wit all my aat exams i wanted to pass first time round. i took btc and ptc aswel which i spent about a month and a half revisin.... out of the three exams i found pev quite easy... with the wording and with what they were asking....
    but the exam i revised most for, i ended up failing{pev section 1}!!!

    honestly i am still shocked and confused at where i might have gone wrong because when i look back at the paper i still know what i did, and i know i answered what the questions were asking for.
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Posts: 624Registered
    Thank you - I will help where i can!!

    I know there's lots of appeals going on at the moment but I think the best thing is to look forward not back. I would be focusing on getting through any failed exams in Dec together with any additional exams you might be doing rather than dwelling on things that (the chances are) you cannot change.

    I'd get a study plan together now and stick to it. Start studying as quickly as possible (even if you're classes don't start until September - at least you've got a head start). The sooner you start studying the syllabus the sooner you can start Q practice. I would suggest after each session of study (especially if you are homestudy) then do a question to test your understanding. Try not to do study for 3 months and then Q practice afterwards - I don't think that really helps.

    Also try and read articles/material other than study material relevant to your exam. For example, I write technical articles on IAS/IFRS which examine the core technical aspects which will help students. Examiners will write articles in AAT mag - read all these as they often offer tips and advice for the exam.

    Kind regards
    Steve
  • welshwizardwelshwizard Trusted Regular South WalesPosts: 465Registered
    I would second what Peugeot said - keep an eye on the Accounting Technician magazine for clues to what is coming up - I have found a few when I have looked back at the exam papers and the magazines from the earlier exams I sat. Also, I believe that sometimes you get lucky with a paper and whilst your numbers may not add up to the right answer completely, you may well score huge points for your written answers and arguments when explaining your results - I think that what happened with mine because there was no way on this earth that I passed s 2.2 of PEV purely on my numbers! It would be good to see how the marks are distributed throughout the paper when the answers are posted - but then I beleive that would not happen because they then act as precedent for future exams.

    Keep plugging at the studies and I am sure you will all get there very soon!:thumbup:
  • umerali2003umerali2003 Trusted Regular Posts: 400Registered
    i am agreed here with steve ... and i will bin my forms i printed other day 4 review .. i spoke 2 the aat lad and he told me the minimum time they will take 4 the review is 4 weeks but due to the burdon of reviews it can be more then 4 weeks so its nearly end of august now it means we will get the review at the end of sep or 1st week of oct and i think its 2 late and then u r left with 2 months for the exams ............. this weekend will going to be the last one 2 hang out with my frnds and from this monday i will get my self back 2 the books and practice practice and practice .....................
    :001_tt2:
    uMer AlI
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