What is needed to provide more support to students for the Level 3 Advanced Synoptic?

SteveA Registered, Tutor, MAAT Posts: 17

I am carrying out some research for a session I am delivering in May this year (2019).

I work for a private training provider and enjoy flexibility in how I teach and extra time I can give students. I know my colleagues from Colleges and Distance Learning Providers will face different challenges addressing the Synoptic than I do. Please can you take some time to provide your thoughts on the below questions? Please feel free to add any further thoughts or suggestions too.
  1. What are the challenges faced by Tutors when preparing students for the Advanced Synoptic?
  2. What are the challenged of integrating Spreadsheets and Ethics into Unit exam sessions?
  3. What resource would really help Tutors integrate Spreadsheets and Ethics into Unit exam sessions?
  4. What resource would help combine unit elements together to demonstrate to students the holistic approach required by the Advanced Synoptic.

Any thoughts, comments and answers are greatly appreciated. I want to ensure my session delivers real value to the attendees.



  • amandagarratt
    amandagarratt Registered, Tutor Posts: 11
    Hi Steve

    I really enjoyed your session at the conference and think your resources are fantastic. Do you have any more of these resources that you would be happy to share?

    I work in FE for a new training provider of AAT and have found the main challenges is the time to develop the indepth resources like you have done. The way I have planned in the spreadsheets and the ethics is by starting the course with an introduction to the synoptic, ethics and spreadsheets whereby the learners can learn the basics of spreadsheets and ethics before they start any of the other units. Then after each unit I have then planned in a synoptic workshop where they use the knowledge and skills from the unit they have just studied and apply it to spreadsheet tasks. So what I need to do is develop the tasks like what you have done to enable them to do this but I am struggling with how to start! Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Maybe AAT should think about recruiting you to support them with developing the resources that will help training providers!


  • SteveA
    SteveA Registered, Tutor, MAAT Posts: 17
    Hi Amanda,

    Thank you. I am really pleased you enjoyed the session. You never know how these things may come across.

    Your approach to the synoptic is great, tell them right at the start what is to be expected and continue to remind them along the way.

    Unfortunately, I am still in the development stage of our own resources. It took a while to get the first part in place and up and running, now I have a little more time to develop our own. FAPR is the first of these new resources.

    My advice would be to try and take an exam's content and think about what a work-based scenario of this exam would look like, the AAT's Real-life Scenarios are a good place to start for this, along with looking at the scenario that is provided within the practice assessments too. If you are able to get hold of the old paper-based exams (FRA) these can be a real source of inspiration too, not only for the scenario style but some of the written knowledge type questions they used to ask too. This is another area where students struggle in the synoptic, writing about the knowledge aspect of accounts.

    The above are good places to start, once you have a feel for what type of scenario you want to run with the next to identify how to test spreadsheets and where can you embed knowledge questions and ethics. With AVBK, for example, you can begin to demonstrate an understanding of the impact incorrect figures in the accounts can have, along with areas such as professional competence and due care, say, if they aren't able to complete Accruals and Prepayments accurately.

    I'm not sure what your level of spreadsheet knowledge is, if like myself you enjoy and are quite good with Excel, ideas will come to you when you look at the type of tasks you want to cover, if not, collaborate with the person who delivers spreadsheets and work through the AAT Skills List along with your task to see what you can come up with.

    I hope this has helped? Sorry, I'm not able to provide any further resources at this stage, however, I will be happy to do this once I have more, as I said in the session, we are all here for the same purpose, to give AAT students the best chance of success.

    Let me know how you get on.

    Best wishes,

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