New CBA Exam Timetable

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AAT Level 3
AAT Level 3 Registered Posts: 75 Epic contributor 🐘
I have recently received my timetable for Level 4 tuition and exam dates, the thing that is concerning me at the moment is the fact I have tuition for Personal Tax, Business Tax, Financial Statements and External Audit from September and then all four exams are one day after the other in the week before Christmas.

Has anyone else had a similar situation to this. I cannot logically see how I can sit 4 exams in 4 days and perform well in them especially when the tuition for two of them are in September.

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  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Hello

    Who are you studying level 4 with? It sounds like a very intensive study schedule.

    Good luck.
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • AAT Level 3
    AAT Level 3 Registered Posts: 75 Epic contributor 🐘
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    I'm studying with Kaplan. Really not happy about the timetable but I do not have a choice as it is through work.

    The major problem seems to be there is one week of tuition for business and personal tax in September then the exam prep is the end of October. It just seems like a ridiculous set up.

    Are there exam days on Saturdays? I am thinking it would be easier to get business and personal tax done on Saturdays straight after the exam prep so I only have two exams to worry about in December.
  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Hello

    Have you spoken to Kaplan about this yet, if not it may be worth speaking to them and letting them know of your concerns.

    Hope things all work out for you.

    JC
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Just a thought... did you book the mandatory units and optional units together with the intention of studying them at the same time?

    I raised a question on the forum when I was due to start level 4 about studying mandatory and optional units together - I was advised by people here and a couple of tutors to complete the mandatory units and then the optional units.
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Yes - that is what it looks like to me - you have 3 "optional" units there and 1 mandatory. Really you only need to do 2 optional to gain the AAT qualification. I appreciate you are doing the extra optional units to qualify for your ACA exemption but you don't need to do all three right now !

    As I have already got CMCC from the old standards I am going to do Audit as my optional and then just sit the ACA tax paper. If you do the two taxes with AAT you will still have to pay £120 to claim the exemption (or rather your employer will :D) so for me I don't really get any benefit from doing the tax papers at AAT level. I may as well just pay to do it with ACA !

    You'll definintely need to do your FNST and maybe just pick one of your "optional" units for now ? AAT 4 in a year is enough of a challenge without trying to fit in an extra two optional units and the law paper for ACA. I'm targeting myself on 12 months for level 4 and then 6 months to do the additional ACA papers. 18 months for both qualifications is still going to be hectic !

    The ACA accounting top up paper is only in June and December anyway and you can't sit it until you have finished AAT 4. My opinion is you are best of getting the minimum units required to pass AAT so you are ready to do your ACA top up next June (so AAT in year and the top up paper) then 6 months to do law and tax via ACA.

    If you try and do all the modules at AAT to qualify for exemption you are either going to have to pass them all by April next year or you are just going to end up waiting til December to sit the top up paper. No point giving yourself a mini meltdown if you are going to have to wait until December next year to do the top up anyway!
  • AAT Level 3
    AAT Level 3 Registered Posts: 75 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Thanks guys for the response but you have honestly confused me even more now.

    I didn't book the optional units on my own this is what my employer booked and what Kaplan advised to them would be the best option to gain the ACA exemptions. A fellow employee started AAT in September and will have completed by December so they are fine to sut the top up paper in June.

    My problem comes in in that I will still have Budgeting, Financial Performance and the Project to do after Christmas so I am not going to be finished AAT until June 2012. This is where my frustration is coming in in that I only have 2 exams to sit after December and will then be six months behind and have to sit the top up paper in December 2012.

    I have asked Kaplan if I could sit evening classes for the extra two classes but they said it would be too much.

    I really am confused right now as I did not anticipate that AAT was going to take so long but if this is what my employer has set out then I don't see why they would try to hinder the speed of my exam taking?
  • AAT Level 3
    AAT Level 3 Registered Posts: 75 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Another question that I did have was if I qualify with AAT in June 2012 do I then sit the first two ACA application papers in September to December and then the top up paper in December.

    From what I am reading it seems that i would be best doing Budgeting and Financial Performance instead of the two Tax modules in September. I can't for the life of me understand why Kaplan would set it up that way when it seems a lot faster the way you have detailed it.
  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
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    Hello

    Sorry for any confusion caused by myself :)

    I can't answer your question about ACA application papers but am sure someone else will.

    You may be better placed completing Financial Statements, Budgeting and Financial Performance followed by the two tax papers or whichever optional papers you decide/your employer decides you take.

    I studied Financial Statements over 6 weeks - attending college on a day release basis and putting in a lot of work at home in the evenings after work and at weekends. It was very intense and I sat the CBA the following week - not sure I would advise this unless you feel really confident in your knowledge etc.

    I think my Budgeting and Financial Performance both have 3 lessons day release and again the same for the tax papers.

    The speed at which I will complete level 4 will be down to when I book to sit the CBAs.

    It may be worth asking if the CBAs can be rescheduled or even the modules you are going to study.

    Apologies if this confuses you further.

    JC
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591 Epic contributor 🐘
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    The exemptions you can claim for ACA very much depend on the optional units you sit at AAT. You can do all the optional units if you want to - but I don't think many people would expect you to , and certianly not in a year !

    Thinking about this logically, the only exam that has a time contstraint is the ACA top up paper. In order to do that as quickly as possible (i.e. June 2012) you need to have finished AAT 4. You will find it much easier to finish AAT 4 in time for this deadline if you only do 2 of your optional units as opposed to the 3 your employer proposes. I'd say the primary objective is getting AAT out of the way in time for June for the top up. You need to do as few exams as possible, and the easiest ones.

    If I was in your position I would drop Auditing for now. Do Financial Statements and the two tax units and put in the groundwork for your project. Self teach personal tax if you have to because it is apparently the most straightforward unit.

    After Christmas do Budgeting, Financial Performance and complete the Project. You will need to sit your papers no later than April in order to be signed off as competent for June.

    Do the June top up paper, then finish off with auditing as an "extra" to claim your last exemption. Should get you done for about September so a year from start to finish from both.... it will be absolutley manic, and you are going to have to self study loads.

    Its just my opinion, but I think the December Top up is a safer bet, and you should spread out your workload according to that deadline not the June one.

    ETA Seems like Jo is thinking along similar lines to me :) You need to put auditing on hold, focus on the mandatory units and self study the tax ones because those are the most straightforward !
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Another question that I did have was if I qualify with AAT in June 2012 do I then sit the first two ACA application papers in September to December and then the top up paper in December.

    From what I am reading it seems that i would be best doing Budgeting and Financial Performance instead of the two Tax modules in September. I can't for the life of me understand why Kaplan would set it up that way when it seems a lot faster the way you have detailed it.

    Yes this would be a more managable way of doing it.

    Concentrate on getting the mandatory units out of the way with Kaplan. You can self study the tax units and come back to auditing after you have "completed" level 4.
  • AAT Level 3
    AAT Level 3 Registered Posts: 75 Epic contributor 🐘
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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I can't do anything with the project now I don't have the workshop until 23rd December.
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591 Epic contributor 🐘
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    OK, well just focus on Financial Statements, Budgeting and Performance. You can't do anything about the project until December, but you can start to self study tax. Those are all the bits you need for level 4 :)
  • Nikdoug
    Nikdoug Registered Posts: 69 Regular contributor ⭐
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    If that's the way your employer and Kaplan have agreed I would just go with it. Personal tax is a fairly small unit and some will overlap from business tax and, personally, I found auditing to be quite a lot of common sense. All that said, I am waiting for my personal tax and auditing results now. I do agree with you that the gap between the tax workshops and exams seems a little excessive and, as you have said, it might be a good idea to see if you can take the tax exams straight after the exam prep days, after all, that is one of the benefits of CBA's, you can sit them when it is convenient.

    I found that, bar financial statements, budgeting, financial performance and the project are the more "meatier" subjects and therefore may be best to leave for the longer period of study after Christmas.
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