If you were disappointed with your Management Accounting: Decision & Control (MDCL) result, this news affects you. Students who didn’t get the required grade and paid to sit the test again may be liable for a refund if your grade has been uplifted to a pass mark. PQ Magazine also reported that students who are deemed “competent…after the remarking process,” will receive a £50 goodwill gesture from AAT.

AAT is changing the Management Accounting: Decision & Control (MDCL) module for the second time this year, as a response to students around the UK consistently coming up short in the assessment. A statement on the AAT website acknowledged there was an apparent issue with the assessment and that they had received “complaints from students and training providers about the difficulty of the assessment and the high number of students rated ‘not yet competent.’”

The previous update addressed the “alignment of assessment content”. Tutors posting on the AAT forums in January 2017 expressed concerns about the difference between the preparation students had made through textbooks and the questions they found in the examination. One tutor commented: “They looked shell-shocked when coming out and stated the questions were nothing like those in the practise papers.”

Reasons for the issue appear to have been a result of a breakdown in communication between the AAT and the course book publishers.

AAT addressed the issue by reviewing the MDCL assessment and prior exams that students had completed and temporarily suspended this particular examination.  

Latest Developments for MDCL

The latest development appears to be in relation to the difficulty of the assessment. The feedback from staff and tutors resulted in an internal investigation where AAT compared the new AQ2016 Management Accounting Module with the equivalent Financial Performance module from AQ2013; AAT stated that when comparing the two assessments “the demand expected of a student in MDCL is higher.”  

The investigation resulted in a change in the grading boundaries for the Management Accounting: Decision & Control assessment. Students who have already completed the examination are having their grade uplifted by AAT to reflect parity with grades students received from the comparable assessment in AQ2013. Future assessments have also been adjusted to better reflect the education students receive, as well as their ability.  

Future Training Needed

Regarding the developing situation, PQ Magazine commented: “leading tutors said…AAT should allow some training providers to take part in a standardisation exercise, so all training providers can have confidence that the written tasks are being marked fairly.”

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