Cutting out the errors

September 2020

The Premier Training team can help you pass your AAT Foundation Certificate Synoptic assessment. So read on…

Are you starting to worry because your AAT Foundation Synoptic assessment is approaching? Don’t panic, you are not alone. Marks are lost due to the simplest mistakes that can easily be avoided.

A Synoptic assessment can seem daunting because it is seen as being ‘the big one’, but remember how far you have come already. You do have the knowledge, you can do this and you can gain your AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting qualification.

Here are some of the most common mistakes (and solutions) to bear in mind ahead of your assessment – and good luck!

1) Read the instructions and questions thoroughly

Mistake: Lack of attention and not reading the instructions or questions properly.

Solution: Make sure to read the instructions carefully. Don’t skim over; take your time and re-read them so that you are clear on what you need to do.

Make sure you completely understand what the questions (tasks) are asking of you. Do not skip words, and do not assume that you know what the question is asking. Read and read again until you are absolutely sure of what you are being asked. Take your time to analyse the questions in front of you and remember to relate your answer to the given scenario.

2) Communication skills

Mistake: Communication skills not up to the required standard.

Solution: Simply stating one word answers is not acceptable; you must back it up and explain or expand your answers. Remember that all the units are related; review what you have learned previously. Describe and explain your answer based on the scenario given.

3) Spelling and grammar

Mistake: Poor spelling and grammar – students lose countless marks due to poor use of spelling and grammar.

Solution: When you are happy with your answer, re-read it. Read it to yourself to ensure it makes sense and double-check your spelling.

4) Lack of revision

Mistake: Lack of revision!

Solution: Do not lose your knowledge. Review all previous units. Make sure your double entry bookkeeping is still fresh in your memory. Do not assume you will remember your earlier units and do not just focus on the areas of the course you liked.

Remember to re-read your study materials; complete the practice questions again to refresh your memory. Do not try to revise everything last minute. Give yourself plenty of time and contact your tutor if you are unsure about something.

5) Exam date

Mistake: Booking an exam on a personal/ occupational busy day is not a good idea!

Solution: Choose your exam date wisely and smartly. Ideally, an exam should be booked on a personal/occupational stress-free day.

6) Out of time

Mistake: Running out of time by panicking and not time managing properly.

Solution: Manage your time and keep calm. If you don’t understand a question – do not panic, move onto the next question and go back to it at the end. Use the marks available to help guide you on how long you need to answer a question.

If it is only worth two marks then there is no point spending 10 minutes on a two-mark question. Keep your eye on the time but remember it’s not a race and the AAT have provided enough time to complete the exam in a good steady pace.

7) It is not a race

Mistake: Rushing through the exam.

Solution: There are no brownie points for finishing your exam in the quickest time! You must take your time and answer each question to the best of your ability.

• These top tips were supplied by the Premier Training tutor team.