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Marking - Manual Bookkeeping Level 3

  • Fellow PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 14 posts
  • # 72251

Am I the only one who thinks the marking of the on-line exams is a bit unfair?!

I have just done a mock exam for Manual Bookkeeping Level 3 and although I passed it, I lost 8 marks for one mistake. I calculated a depreciation figure incorrectly and because it fed through into numerous totals, I got all those wrong aswell. I think you should still get a mark for totals if the correct fields have been added/deducted properly (even if one of these figures is incorrect) and that one mistake should only be penalised once!

I understand that the online exams are more efficient and that we get our results quicker, but I am just not that happy with the way the marking works.

I am more on edge now for tomorrow when I am sitting the exam in one of the exam centres. Wish me luck..!

Edited at 16 Jun 2011 10:03 AM GMT

  • 180 posts
  • # 72253

Hi Charlotte.

Firstly the fact that it was a mock was not really disastrous for you - if you had lost that many marks in the actual paper then it could be the difference between a pass and a fail.

Second - hopefully this has made you more alert to checking your work before pressing the button.

Remember that in the real world a lot of what we do is at the press of a button and figures follow through. An example is the self assessment return. I always carry out a manual calculation of a clients liability, then complete the tax return and save it. I then check to make sure that the liability for tax & NIC is the same as my manual calculation. Most of the time it is. When it is not it is always my manual calculation which is incorrect.

So if I make a mistake on the return and submit it then find that my client has a penalty and/or interest, or pays too much tax - I am going to have to pick up the pieces.

Manual marking is the same - I lost a mark on my VAT return because I put 0.00 instead of NONE. The VAT return says "put NONE".

Marking down is for a reason.

I am sure you won't make the same mistake in the actual exam!!

  • 3 posts
  • # 72279

Hi charlotte, that does seem a bit harsh, but at least it was only the mock!

When i did my mock for level 2 i got loads wrong simply because i had put the negative numbers in brackets! which is how we are taught to do it. very valuable lesson and i was glad i had learnt it in the mock and not on the final paper! Did annoy me though!

I have my level 3 in just over a week. Am very scared as i feel i dont know any of it properly.

Hope you get on ok, im sure you will be fine. The best thing is to try and relax about it, read everything with great care and just triple check everything. Advice that i normally fail to follow!

Good luck! let us know how you get on.


  • Fellow PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 14 posts
  • # 72350

Hi Hilary and Geoff

Thank you very much for your responses! And thank you both for your encouragement, I checked, checked and double checked everything I put down and it has paid off, because I passed! I got 98% so I was very, very pleased. I did cram the studying in though and found that the level III is quite a step up from Level II. The key for me was practising questions (mock and previous exams). I thought the kit was good, but the questions were almost a bit too complex - more complex than the exam anyway.

Good luck Hilary for this week and let us know how you got on!


Final note: I still think you should only lose 1 mark for one error/ommision. If you are asked to calculate a Net Profit figure for example, you should get a mark if you get the calculation right, even if the figures you based your calcs on are not. Water under the bridge for me now, but for those who will take the exam in future it would be fairer!

  • Fellow PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 104 posts
  • # 72354

Hi Charlotte

Although I agree with you wholeheartedly that to lose so many points does seem harsh, and I agree with you that if you carry the figure over correctly (albeit incorrect at source) again you shouldn't be penalised. If you were taking a paper based exam that was marked manually I dare say this would be taken in to account, I know it certainly is in CIMA and ACCA exams.

However, Geoff makes some valid points too especially about checking and rechecking work as a mistake in the real world could cost you dearly! Seeing as many people who have taken the ICB exams are either now running their own practice or aspiring to, it is a vital part of learning that we all need to make sure we do.

End of the day though, you took on board what was said and I'm so pleased you passed. Well done! 

Hilary - good luck to you too! 

  • 3 posts
  • # 72526

Edited at 25 Jun 2011 09:59 PM GMT

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