Why does it take the students more than four months just to get their RAP result?
The RAP result process is very lengthy and complex to achieve thoroughness with a fair result. The work is not just marked once instead every piece of writing which has been marked failed by the first moderator will be reviewed automatically by a second moderator and lastly by the senior moderator. After being marked by the senior moderator the result may be changed to a passing grade in which case the result will be reviewed by the super moderator to assure the conformance of the marked grade. Along with that, sample work is also reviewed which has been initially marked passed by all the moderators. Additionally, since OBU is a UK university it is also regulated meaning that an external moderator from another UK based university will also e reviewing the sample of the work from different grades to make sure that the work meets with the expected standards of a BSc student. It is important that each stage must be completed before beginning with the next stage
What common mistakes are encountered when the students are producing their work?
It has been made clear many times that work should not only describe what has happened rather than how it has happened, for instance, in topic 8 only mentioning that there has been a 4% increase in the gross profit from the year before without talking about why the increase occurred in the first place. There is nothing smart about using he annual report only cite, doing a couple of simple ratio calculations or making a graph – especially not at all when a student is trying to portray an image of themselves having achieved the standard of a graduate. Therefore, work that is based on a company’s performance, or their budgeting process or even if it is all about their internal audit department will not pass the assessment criterion 3 of Evaluation, Assessment, and Conclusion until and unless the student works harder by digging deeper in order to bring his/her own drawn-out critical assessment and analysis of the situation.
Are certain topics easier than others?
Each topic in the theory has a similar passing chance to it as each topic is assessed with the same criteria. There are four possible reasons that could lead to a fail grade such as taking the wrong approach, producing work with inadequate evidence and research, insufficient valid evaluation or poor referencing. It is has been observed that these issues can be easily avoided in certain topics than in others, therefore the selection of a topic with that sense can help with attaining a passing grade.
Are there any topics that students should steer clear of?
Picking or avoiding a certain topic depends upon the information that is available to the student. There has been excellent work done on some of the most unusual topics. Which is why it all comes down to the availability and approach of the required information. For internal auditing, budgeting and costing techniques you will not be able to analyze their importance without having access to the internal data or an interview of the senior staff. You should never pick a topic only because you find the subject of the topic interesting without thinking about the necessary information that is required for the successful completion of the topic. This is important if you to prepare a survey or a questionnaire in order to get the required information.
Why topics that include surveys or questionnaires difficult to pass?
Such topics are difficult to pass because students do not have sufficient knowledge to successfully conduct operational research. This is also notified as a skill and if proper understanding and time is not incorporated in the planning stage then garbage in and garbage out is applied. In simpler words, if the questions in the survey are irrelevant, inappropriate or unambiguous then the answer to those questions as well as the analysis of the answers is going to be deemed invalid and unreliable. Therefore, it is very crucial to think cautiously before selecting a topic that would need a questionnaire and make sure that you are aware of the principles involved in producing an excellent survey. It is also important to ensure that you have access to the right people before you begin otherwise it is going to have an impact on your grade.
What are the common reasons behind failing RAP?
The simplest answer to this is that the students have not presented adequate analytical skills, research, and understanding. The majority of the times students will say in their work that they analyzed the performance of the company when in reality they have only presented certain ratios claiming that the company has outperformed the competitor company or the opposite. This is nowhere near a performance assessment but it is considered as making obvious statements that a graph will show. An analysis is defined as finding the reason behind the change in the gross profit figures or what strategies were employed by the management that leads to their outstanding performance. Giving the marker major portion of real analysis will present you with no problem in achieving the passing grade in the assessment criterion 3 that is evaluation, assessment and conclusions.
Any tips for the RAP?
you can read the article present on absolute mentoring .uk in which there are ways through which you will get an idea of what you should avoid. A thorough piece of work is going to be the first pick of your moderator because your marker does not want o look for the information and they expect a clear layout, basically if you help your moderator in reading your work, you in other way helping your own self in passing the test. It is also a good idea to begin with the SLS statement and the report simultaneously by noting down the approaches taken and the things that you have learned. The majority of the times students write their SLS statement just before submitting their report which is based on the same boring ideas mostly copied fro other students.
How to get an A grade in the RAP?
A better quality report is one simple way to an A grade. Moderators tend to focus more on the Analysis and the Evaluation section of the report because the initial part of the report is most likely routine. In the analysis section, it is checked whether the student has well-understood the topic and if they have done their research well or not. Whereas in the evaluation section thoughtfulness behind explaining the situation with various approaches using adequate references to underpin the matter shows excellent understanding along with appreciation towards the topic which will lead to a better grade.
What are your favorite topics?
Since I have taught corporate governance to the students of masters at the Oxford Brookes which is why topic 17 corporate governance is my most favorite topic of all.
Was it your idea to change the title of topic 17?
The change in the title of topic 17 occurred from the period 35 onwards and no, it was not my suggestion but I have welcomed it.
Why was the title of topic 17 changed?
The reason behind the change of title of topic 17 was because it had become a bit of a routine and there was also proof that certain mentors were encouraging their students towards a ‘tick-box ‘approach, for instance, presenting them with areas to look at for their work. In fact, the previous tuition platform for the old topic 17 was also a bit like this due to which final work submitted would have the similar underlying content with a different company name and somewhat changed facts. It is not something that can be labeled as unethical but due to this students were not getting encouraged enough to think for themselves because the entire purpose of a degree is to develop a set of thinking skills in the students so that they can think of things for themselves outside of the box as well as learn from research without having to rely on anyone else. The new title of topic 17 is not on the standard tick list which means that the RAPs that meet with the assessment criteria will present a better-graded graduate. This in the long term is going to help prepare the students with a more realistic approach to meet with the high academic standards. The changed topic title has a more dynamic approach as well.
For the topic 8 and 15, why are the industry sectors changed every year?
The reason for the change is similar to those that were for topic 17. The most popular topic is topic 8 and unfortunately in certain parts of the world, there is no proper understanding of the university student academic regulations due to which the sharing of the work is consistent. Therefore, changing the industry sectors is one way to make sure that the students and mentors have lesser opportunities for sharing the work. Also in some cases, there are students that are also unfortunately tempted with a commission to work on a third party project, again the change in the industry sectors makes it difficult for such incidents to occur due to the invalidity of the bank of essays previously written for topic 8 and 15.
Do the students have to worry about plagiarism?
Although plagiarism is one of the most serious issues for the majority of the universities, students worry about it too much. It is a simple thing to eliminate the dangers of plagiarism such as by refraining yourself from cheating or copying any other student’s work or pasting passages from different articles or books and also recognizing that plagiarism is not a good practice. There is no such thing as a right Turnitin score as certain times a very low score can be interpreted equally a bad as a very high score because it presents a very obvious picture of manipulated text for a low score. Therefore, the best thing to do it to avoid copying text from anywhere and rephrasing the text to reduce the score, although a score of 15% is considered acceptable only if it has been compiled from various sources.
Are there any new developments that have been proposed for the students of BSc Applied Accounting?
No, there have not been any new developments recently. Due to the Programme Lead, anyone taking a new role will have an impact on the new developments in order to materialize. Additionally, a new person will also bring with them fresh ideas but at the moment there has not been any new development. Maybe in a few years, there may be modifications but we are not expecting any major changes. Although this is not a guarantee just a personal view.
GBP 340 is currently the submission fee for the students – why is it so expensive?
I have no role in the university submission charges. But since marking as explained in the first most question is a detailed thorough process that costs money along with time. Along with marking the amount of checking for cheating and plagiarism has also risen the administration costs over the last few years. However, in order to keep these costs low, a resubmission penalty fee was also introduced which was twice the normal submission fee for the students that were proven guilty of any misconduct. So, hopefully, this will put a stop to the increases in the submission fees.
With your transition from a marker to mentor, what do you plan to achieve by this switch?
I believe that the presence of a former marker in the list of the mentors will likely raise the standards of student mentoring which is a good thing for everyone. I plan to improve the quality of the submitted work and I will be encouraging my students as much as I can to aim for a higher grade.
Is it difficult for the students to achieve a higher grade doing the RAP as well as studying for the exams side by side?
The most crucial thing is planning your work. Many students procrastinate and leave their work to the very last minute which means that are unlikely to secure higher grades and marks. The key to success is planning whether you are studying for the exams, researching or writing your analysis report. The majority of the students believe that they can do the RAP in a month, however, only those students who possess good written skills, as well as enough time with their other commitments, can prepare successfully for the RAP. It is critical to have a timetable and sticking to it is very important. In order to have the best chance at passing starting your preparation early is the way to go.
Why Oxford Brookes project does not produce pass rates as ACCA does?
There is no specific reason behind that however there is a specific marking scheme that the examiner has drawn up and marks can be gained over the entire paper. There is a specific criterion for assessment with the RAP and the UK Bachelor’s degree and if you do not meet with the specifications you will be failed, for instance, failing to upload a spreadsheet. Fortunately, every RAP failed student is given detailed feedback which highlights the failed areas along with advice for improvement in the areas, whereas in other cases the failed students are only told their overall marks. In other words, these are two different systems of marking.
Can you give an idea of the pass rates?
The pass rates vary from topic to topic. The pass rate in the period 35 is in the region of about 64% which includes all of the topics along with resubmissions and first submissions. Although for first submission alone this was near to 50%. Topic 8 normally achieves around 50% as well as some other topics. Topics such as the old topic 17 and topic 18 are higher than this and are near to 70% whereas the topics involving primary data are far lower. Overall topic 20 is higher than topic 8. The new topic 17 is a few points lower than in period 34 as it is more difficult; however, the text for answering the topic 20 is the same for both the old as well as the new titles.
What makes a good mentor – someone that can guide students to get a pass only?
It should not only be about passing, although this is what both the mentor and the student hope to achieve. But a good mentor will help his/her students in developing thinking skills as well as will also stretch them academically so that towards the end the students can look back and see all that they have achieved with their now broadened horizons. The students through this are able to move forward with confidence and they are also able to build on their future achievements.