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Study Zone

Concern over reason for PDSY pass rates

Graham Hambly reports from the recent AAT event

July 2018

The AAT examiner is worried that only 30% of students who enter the Professional Diploma Synoptic Assessment (PDSY) have successfully achieved all three of the contributing units (FSLC, MABU and MDCL). This was a shock to many tutors at the recent Training Providersí Conference. The synoptic is supposed to assess a studentís knowledge of papers they have completed and mastered. How is this the case if 70% of sitters have such big gaps in their learning, asked one top tutor. He was not surprised that the cumulative pass rate was 41.2%.
The PDSY examiner also said that students need to improve their written skills. Generic answers donít go down too well, you must link your answer to the task scenario.
Other areas where students struggle are the detection of errors and what should/should not be included in cash flows. Knowing which decisions lie in the hands of directors and which require shareholders to decided also needs to be mastered properly.
Synoptic guru Catherine Littler (pictured) felt many students find it difficult to analyse an accounting task and use a spreadsheet to complete a task. In addition, students do not seem to be able to free write confidently and competently.
Along with poor exam technique, many students also do not appear to be prepared for the assessments they are sitting. And itís not always the student at fault. Littler felt that there is sometimes a lack of teaching for certain units, and an over-reliance on students reading textbooks.
There is also a tendency to teach to passing the assessment rather than understanding the content. Another problem area is the lack of computer room time, which is key in good pass rates.

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