Studying DFS, recommendations please!

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SoniaL7
SoniaL7 Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
Hi there,

I’ve been looking for somewhere to study the DFS module & was wondering if you guys had any recommendations for me. It’s always quite hard to establish if a place is a good or not just by their website.

I took a wee break from the AAT (about a year & a half) and need to sit this last exam before it’s no longer offered (due to the new syllabus), I think I might be better off in a class room... but most places just offer classroom study for the entire level (apart from Kaplan – who seems to be super expensive). However, if there are any exceptionally good distance learning places, I would consider that too.

Anyway, thanks for your help in advance,
Sonia

(Oh, I should mention... I’m based in London)
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  • Steve Collings
    Steve Collings Registered Posts: 997 Epic contributor 🐘
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    I think Eagle Education has a good reputation which might help you - though I am not absolutely sure if they do distance learning. There are also other distance learning providers (Premier Training springs to mind).

    Kind regards
    Steve
  • SoniaL7
    SoniaL7 Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
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    Thanks, I'll look in to them! : )
  • Marga
    Marga Registered Posts: 981 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Hi I am doing the technician level exams on my own without any learning provider

    I bought the kaplan books out of amazon and i am doing MAC at the moment ...soon to be tackling DFS (hopefully middle september)

    As DFS is an exam based i believe you do not need to be with any provider just pay the AAT fees and exam fee and you can sit it

    Kaplan books are quite easy to understand in my opinion and there is plenty of people here to help if you get stuck!
  • jilt
    jilt Registered Posts: 2,903 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I did the same as Marga really, I have registered with Premier Training, but until 2 weeks ago when I contacted them about unit 10, I don't think I've spoken to them for at least 18 months. Both DFS and MAC I studied at home and sat the exams as an external student.

    Of course I did get lots of help and advice from the lovely people on here :001_smile:

    Best of luck whatever route you choose.
  • SoniaL7
    SoniaL7 Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
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    Thanks Jilt & Marga! I wish I had the discipline to get it all done without having deadlines and homework and all that jazz. Although it’s really nice to know that if I do get stuck, this forum is can be called upon for additional help : )

    I’m going to go with Eagle Education as they seem to be good and I need all the help I can get to get back in to the swing of things and to pass DFS : )

    Thanks again guys!
  • Ampsie
    Ampsie Registered Posts: 145 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Hi Sonia,

    I have done all my AAT studies with Eagle Education. I have done it all distance learning and i can highly recommend them.
    Tutors are great and they give you a 'study buddy' course book that is really good. Breaks everything in the Osborne books down even further.

    Good luck!
    Ampsie
    :-)
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    past paper just do it all over again and again you will pass
  • Steve Collings
    Steve Collings Registered Posts: 997 Epic contributor 🐘
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    exam panic wrote: »
    past paper just do it all over again and again you will pass

    I think this is a bit of a risky strategy and I know some tuition providers do this! DFS has traditionally followed the same sort of traits over the last few sittings, but as the qualification is changing then so could the style of the papers (perhaps). Simply relying on past papers is something I would NOT recommend.

    I subscribe to the belief that it is important to know WHY something is done rather than just learn on the basis that it has always been done that way. You can only do this by practising a wide range of questions and understanding the various areas of DFS. After a few weeks of studying (certainly for new DFS candidates) it will become apparent where your weak areas are and what your strengths are. You cannot identify such areas just by relying on past papers!

    Regards
    steve
  • Barry
    Barry Registered Posts: 101 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    I am going to college to do it at night but I don't like the accounting standard part of the paper.any tips Steve on how to learn these.
  • Steve Collings
    Steve Collings Registered Posts: 997 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Hi Barry,

    I have met loads of students who spend a disproportionate amount of their study time trawling through accounting standards trying to learn them word-for-word as if they're in training for a role on Coronation Street! You need to know the basics of the standards and how they are applied but (as I have said a lot) the paper is called Drafting Financial Statements, not Drafting Accounting Standards!

    If you look at past papers there are only ever a couple of standards asked about in their entirety but you will need to get a basic knowledge of the examinable ones, though some of them you will learn by default e.g. the statement of cash flows (IAS 7), consolidated financial statements and the principles involved in their preparation (IAS 27) and goodwill (IFRS 3).

    For the ones that are assessable and could be asked about in their entirety, you should ensure you know the core principles e.g. in J10 the examiner wanted the elements of 'costs' which are to be recognised in inventory valuation and those costs which are specifically excluded.

    My tip is to ensure you cover the assessable ones and can write about them! Also (another important tip) - don't forget the Framework Doc provisions!!!

    Steve
  • Matt444
    Matt444 Registered Posts: 36 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Hi Steve,
    In your opinion, how big a step up is the ACCA F7 paper from the AAT DFS unit? I’m looking to start studying ACCA in January next year, but wasn’t sure if F7 was a good starting point or not? The June 2010 pass rate of just 28% isn’t very inspiring...

    Thanks for your advice.

    Matt
    PS: Found your tips prior to the June DFS exam very useful. They certainly help me plan my studies and pass the paper.
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Look at all past paper very much the same . they just change the lay out and the name of them .
  • taskey
    taskey Registered Posts: 1,800 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    exam panic wrote: »
    Look at all past paper very much the same . they just change the lay out and the name of them .

    i agree with you that they all are very much the same especially on the journals. but you do need to know the subject. the first time i too the exam, i failed because i did not know any of the written elements, but i knew the accounting side of things.

    my suggestion is to get either of the books written by Steve or Claire and just read them. I bought Steves book and just by reading each of the relevant standards over and over again, enough of it sank in to be able to pass both sections competently.

    Tracy
  • Steve Collings
    Steve Collings Registered Posts: 997 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Matt444 wrote: »
    Hi Steve,
    In your opinion, how big a step up is the ACCA F7 paper from the AAT DFS unit? I’m looking to start studying ACCA in January next year, but wasn’t sure if F7 was a good starting point or not? The June 2010 pass rate of just 28% isn’t very inspiring...

    Thanks for your advice.

    Matt
    PS: Found your tips prior to the June DFS exam very useful. They certainly help me plan my studies and pass the paper.

    Hi Matt,

    The DFS paper gives you good grounding for the ACCA F7 paper because it introduces some important concepts which you will come across in F7 such as consolidations and an introduction to accounting standards.

    I think if you have done AAT's DFS paper immediately prior to starting F7 studies then it's probably a good idea to run through some consolidations introduced at DFS and certainly the accounting standards.

    I would also make the point that you look at the content of the F7 paper in contrast to DFS and you will see that there is a lot to get through in the F7 syllabus so my suggestion would be to start as early as possible.

    Regards
    Steve
  • reddwarf
    reddwarf Registered Posts: 528 Epic contributor 🐘
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    I've got a copy of Claire's book if anyone wants it. £10 plus P & P.
  • jewels.p
    jewels.p Registered Posts: 1,774 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    I agree with Steve about the danger of just doing past papers. I am a Distance Learning student and have just passed DFS. When I started this subject I just couldnt get my head around pretty much all of it but with a lot of perseverance and help on here and from Steve's advice by the time the exam came around I understood the logic of it all. Consolidations were a nightmare for me in the beginning but by the end I actually quite enjoyed them! (dare I say that). I do not think I would have found the exam as easy as I did by just doing past papers again and again.

    I have recently started MAC and variances are the first thing in my book. I still cant get my head around them so have left it for the time being and have done performance indicators. I will go back and study variances again soon but find that if I spend too much time trying to understand something I get even more confused so if this happens move on and go back to the part you are struggling with at a later stage.

    That is the way I do things anyway.

    Good Luck with DFS!
  • Matt444
    Matt444 Registered Posts: 36 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Thanks for the advice re F7 Steve. I have found Claires book a very useful tool in learning alot of the assessable standards.

    Jewels, I completely agree with you. Doing past paper after past paper is not the way to study any unit. To fully understand the IASB framework, preparing group accounts, IAS and IFRS etc you have to learn from the text book.

    I heard a rumour recently that the chief assessor of DFS had changed. If that is the case, I would imagine he would want to put his own stamp on the paper by changing a few aspects.

    Matt
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    do you have time to do all of those things at college 4 hours a week .If you do all past papers you will learn anyway .
  • SoniaL7
    SoniaL7 Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
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    I myself have never been comfortable with just being able to pass a paper... I need to know that I actually have an understanding of the subject and not just an understanding of how to get a pass : )

    I’ve got my study material now, so it’s just a case of making sure the books doesn’t get too dusty! ; )
  • katz568
    katz568 Registered Posts: 93 Regular contributor ⭐
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    Exam panic, its not a case of doing just 4 - 6 hours a week at college to understand the subject, all the colleges i have attended have expected at least the same amount or hours - if not more - homestudy a week.
    Kids at school doing GCSE's and A-levels are expected to put in a minimum amount of homestudy so how can we not expect to have to do so too?
    Katrina
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    surely if you have a common-sense in maths you will pick up the way that accounting work I can tell you that because I never work as an accountant I did not go to school in uk either I finished my high school in the south east Asian which consider as sub quality education in the Uk and I didn't do foundation of AAT and I did level 3 and 4 and passed all of them first time .I did go to college but only 4 hours a week what can they really teach to be honest so you have to learn from home .The way you learn is doing past papers and reading books more you do it more you understand how it works .
  • Rachey
    Rachey Registered Posts: 589 Epic contributor 🐘
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    exam panic wrote: »
    surely if you have a common-sense in maths you will pick up the way that accounting work I can tell you that because I never work as an accountant I did not go to school in uk either I finished my high school in the south east Asian which consider as sub quality education in the Uk and I didn't do foundation of AAT and I did level 3 and 4 and passed all of them first time .I did go to college but only 4 hours a week what can they really teach to be honest so you have to learn from home .The way you learn is doing past papers and reading books more you do it more you understand how it works .

    You can go over past papers again and again and pass the exam..... if that's what you want! The majority of people who study AAT actually want to work in the accounting field, strangely enough. So...... You can pass an exam but can you work in accounts? Can you demonstrate that you know how to close end of month or year routines? Or in practice do a tax return?

    What i'm saying is that it's one thing to pass the exam by doing past papers but you need to actually study the modules!! And I completely disagree about the maths area. I passed maths with the highest grade, but I read in another thread someone actually failed maths, but still passed the exams as they put in the study hours and learned the theory behind it.
  • Julia
    Julia Registered Posts: 78 Regular contributor ⭐
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    I am a tutor at BPP and have been for a number of years and can categorically state studying just by doing past papers is a dangerous strategy. You need to go through the whole processes first to understand what you are doing.

    Steve mentions in one if his posts about providers teaching you how to pass the exam and he is completely right. This method of teaching is deplorable and we encourage students to learn the subject not how to simply pass the exam. That stage comes nearer the time of sitting the exam.

    Past papers are not a substitute for proper revision!
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Rachey wrote: »
    You can go over past papers again and again and pass the exam..... if that's what you want! The majority of people who study AAT actually want to work in the accounting field, strangely enough. So...... You can pass an exam but can you work in accounts? Can you demonstrate that you know how to close end of month or year routines? Or in practice do a tax return?

    What i'm saying is that it's one thing to pass the exam by doing past papers but you need to actually study the modules!! And I completely disagree about the maths area. I passed maths with the highest grade, but I read in another thread someone actually failed maths, but still passed the exams as they put in the study hours and learned the theory behind it.

    Yes I can do all of those things if I have a chance A problem I have at the moment My english not that good so I can't get a job in accountant due to recession I do understand concept of accounting I do tax return my self before for myself if you are really clever and bought up in uk and go to school in uk In my opinion you should not be in here
  • Rachey
    Rachey Registered Posts: 589 Epic contributor 🐘
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    exam panic wrote: »
    Yes I can do all of those things if I have a chance A problem I have at the moment My english not that good so I can't get a job in accountant due to recession I do understand concept of accounting I do tax return my self before for myself if you are really clever and bought up in uk and go to school in uk In my opinion you should not be in here

    I think i'll go and watch big brother now.
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Rachey wrote: »
    I think i'll go and watch big brother now.

    I'm watching tennis rachey I love this forum
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Rachey Can you be my partner to study ACCA
  • Rachey
    Rachey Registered Posts: 589 Epic contributor 🐘
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    exam panic wrote: »
    Rachey Can you be my partner to study ACCA

    I'm having a break at the moment because my children are young, I want to spend some time with them. I will resume my studies when my youngest is at school, not too long to wait. I'm doing a bit of reading in advance though, so if you need anything clarifying feel free to PM me and if I can help I will. That goes for anyone on here, especially DFS as that was my stronger paper, if I am capable of answering then I will.
  • exam panic
    exam panic Registered Posts: 157 Dedicated contributor 🦉
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    Rachey wrote: »
    I'm having a break at the moment because my children are young, I want to spend some time with them. I will resume my studies when my youngest is at school, not too long to wait. I'm doing a bit of reading in advance though, so if you need anything clarifying feel free to PM me and if I can help I will. That goes for anyone on here, especially DFS as that was my stronger paper, if I am capable of answering then I will.

    Thanks Rachey
  • Andypandy
    Andypandy Registered Posts: 526 Epic contributor 🐘
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    ^^^^^^^ "is the difference between the ACCA discussion forums & here."
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