Here are Denitsa’s tips on how to succeed in the AAT advanced synoptic exam.
My name is Denitsa and I have just successfully completed AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting with 97% Distinction. The Advanced Synoptic result is my biggest success as I have achieved 100%! Yes, this turns out to be possible, although I still find it difficult to believe!
I already work in accounting and have decided to study AAT to improve my knowledge, gain new skills and to improve and progress in the job I love. Plus I would also like to have a recognised qualification for my skills and experience.
I have prepared for each exam not just to pass, but I have always been aiming to achieve a high grade. I feel this is an indication that I have mastered the knowledge successfully and will be able to use it at work. After Level 3 Synoptic I have learned so much about ethics and have improved my Excel skills tremendously. Excel is a very powerful and time-saving tool and it is a must have skill for every accountant. Every accounting software allows you to import and export data in Excel. You can prepare management reports, budgets, graphs, check data and the Excel knowledge gained in this qualification will help you to achieve this.
The challenge for me was to find the time to study with work and two kids. However, my husband and my employer have been very supportive. Friday and Saturday evenings (going into late nights) worked best for me to study and I have even read on a plane to and from our summer holiday.
THE STUDY MATERIALS
For my preparation for the Advanced Synoptic I have only used the First Intuition textbooks self-studying and the study resources available on the AAT website.
The First Intuition textbooks in Advanced Bookkeeping, Final Accounts Preparation, Management Accounting Costing and Advanced Synoptic have given me the necessary knowledge to achieve this amazing result. The chapter I found most useful in the four textbooks for my preparation is the Task Bank. It gives you concise information on everything you need to know for each task and several practice tasks for each question in the order they appear in the exam. The detailed answers to all these questions have been very helpful for my preparation.
I have taken full advantage of the AAT study support as well. The green light tests in Ethics and Advanced Synoptic, the two practice assessments, the examiner report and the two Excel study support webinars have been all very useful for my preparation.
I did one practice assessment on AAT for Advanced Bookkeeping, Final Accounts Preparation and Costing as part of my revision.
THE PREPARATION FOR ADVANCED SYNOPTIC
I started with just reading the Ethics twice without trying to memorise the material. Then I did the green light test for Ethics on AAT and looked at the first part of the first practice assessment on AAT to gain an idea how the material will be examined. I left the detailed study for Ethics for just before the exam; there is a lot of theory that needs to be memorised. I wanted it to be fresh in my mind for the exam.
Then I moved to Excel in my Advanced Synoptic textbook and did all the exercises and the mock bank. At this point I have covered once all the new material for the Synoptic exam and moved to revision.
THE MANDATORY UNITS
For each of the mandatory units I did the Task Bank chapters in the textbooks and one practice assessment on the AAT website to check if I need to go back and revise further. I also read the revision notes and the assessment objectives for these units in my First Intuition Synoptic textbook. I studied the theory required for the writing tasks for each of these units. Then I highlighted it in my textbooks to come back to and revise the day before the exam. For some of the examined assessment objectives I had go back to my textbooks from the previous exams. Sometimes I felt more information will be required than what I had in the Synoptic textbook.
I did the mock bank for Synoptic in my textbook, the synoptic green light tests on AAT, watched all the e-learning videos and Excel tasks on AAT. The examiner report has also been very useful to read.
After the revision of the previous units I went back to Ethics to study in detail. I then read the practice questions and answers in my textbook. I also revised the material I have highlighted for the written questions and did the two practice assessments on the AAT website.
This order worked best for me. I always like to first just read the material and know what I need to cover and then go back to study everything in detail.
I always book my exams when I know I will be ready. I have always allowed myself a break from studying between two exams as a reward for my hard work.
Learn and revise everything and expect the unexpected for the Advanced Synoptic. Read and reread the questions carefully and leave enough time to save and upload your spreadsheets.
Try to not stress. I couldn’t!
I wish everyone all the best in your studies and a very successful Advanced Synoptic exam.
You can do it! Good Luck!
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We also have a blog on how to pass the professional synoptic exam here.