ICAS - Confusion

Whirlwind Registered Posts: 249 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
Hi all,

I am just a bit confused about the timing of studying for ICAS.

In the latest AAT mag a student recommended starting the project early and not leaving it until the end of level 4 studies. However, BPP have always suggested studying one topic at a time, even their CBA schedule mentions only studying the project when 6hrs per wk can be dedicated to it.

My plan was to start the project as my final unit in October.

Any ideas would be great!!


  • guinea pig
    guinea pig Registered Posts: 402
    Hi Whirlwind, I studied at a college, the plan was to do the project alongside the other units, in the Autumn term, however I thought that this would be too much, as I work full time. I actually did the project last summer in the college break, I took 2 months over it, and enjoyed doing it. In retrospect, I am so pleased that I did, as I found the units quite challenging, and could not have coped with the project at the same time! I was also ill during the winter, which didn't help, and missed nearly 2 months of college.
    I can understand the plan, that after completing the rest of the course, you will have gained lots of knowledge to help with the project, however, as I work in a finance office, and have also ran my own business, I felt ready to tackle it first.
    Good luck with whatever plan you follow,
  • Flakie
    Flakie Registered Posts: 24 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐡 🌟
    Hi Whirlwind

    If it helps, what I'd did was allocate a few hours per week just tackling your project in bite size chunks. I started mine at Christmas and completed it about 3 weeks ago. Doing it this way enabled me to concentrate on getting through my other exams but at the same time chipping away at the dreaded project. At least if you start now you can just finish off the mapping etc in October. Good luck x
  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525
    Hello Whirlwind

    I left the project till last following the guidance from BPP. Having studied the other modules I'm glad I was able to focus on each of them 100% and therefore allowing 100% focus to the project and complete within the allocated time (12 weeks?).

    I'm sure it is possible to study other modules at the same time however I took the decision based on guidance from my college.

    Hope this helps.

    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • janwal
    janwal Registered Posts: 1,189
    Hi Whirlwind

    I am just coming to the end of Level 3, next week is our last college day, we have a 2 hr talk and Level 4 to prepare us and have been advised to start the project over the summer break, as it takes so much time away from other college subjects and also would mean having to spend extra time there.

  • Sailorgirl
    Sailorgirl Registered Posts: 40 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    Hi there,

    I need mine over one weekend. Read through it several times, made notes, and then went in for the kill. I submitted it twice to my teacher, having had to make small amendments, and am now awaiting results. I think it depends a little on your experience and comfort in writing reports as to how much you 'enjoy' it, but it was far more pleasant than we were led to believe.
    After I had written it, I studied for Credit Management and Auditing, both of which would have been very useful to do prior to writing it, but I wasn't prepared to go back and re-write. Keep reminding yourself of who you are meant to be, so that you approach at a different angle.
  • Sailorgirl
    Sailorgirl Registered Posts: 40 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    That should read ' I did mine over the weekend'.
  • NicF
    NicF Registered Posts: 108 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    I've left my project till last partly to put it off but also partly because if I don't get it done before I move to Australia I can always finish it off there, but I can't sit any of my exams there. I couldn't do it at the same time as studying the other modules as I just couldn't focus on two things at once. This is probably an age thing though as this was never an issue for me when I was at Uni in my late teens / early twenties. I'd say go with what ever will work best for you and don't worry about when everyone else does yours. The important thing is just to get your project written and all your exams passed - it doesn't really matter what order you do it all in.
  • Chelle
    Chelle Registered Posts: 163 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    We were advised by our college to get it over and done with as soon as we could which is exactly what myself and my friend done. We are so pleased we did, as we have finished college today and do not have that hanging over our heads whereas everyone else in our class has.

    Everyone is different though and you know your own capabilities with learning/studying.

    Good luck with it.
  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525
    I think it also depends on whether you attend a FE College or a training provider.

    It seems to me from the posts I have read that a lot of FE Colleges request students complete the project during the Summer break, whereas students who attend training providers or study as a distance learner can choose when they want to undertake the project as there appears to be more freedom in the choice of modules and the order you sit them.

    A couple of friends on here attend a FE College and if I recall correctly they both completed during the Summer break and I think Jan (Janwal) attends an FE College and will be completing the project during the holiday.

    I don't think there is any right/wrong time or order, however I do think completing the project without studying other modules is probably a good idea as you can focus on it more, and if you have completed all the other modules, you may have gained additional knowledge which you can include in the project, as mentioned in another thread above.

    Good luck whatever you decide.
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Whirlwind
    Whirlwind Registered Posts: 249 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    Thank you all so much for your input!!

    It does seem that there is no exact way to do ICAS, which is great as this leaves me to choose what suits, which is definitely when the other units are out of the way!! Also, I will hopefully have more information to fall back on. Although the last time I wrote anything of any length was in the 80's GSCE's!!

    I studied online for API, APII & FNST, before I thought I'd give self study a try. EXA nearly killed me, but the flexibility of the schedule was key, I gave myself 5wks to study, revise and sit exam for each unit - no delays outside of my control (but also no one to blame if i dont learn!!) I work as a part time bookkeeper/assistant accountant at a practice, so it isnt as lonely as it could be.

    But just abit concerned as Flakie mentions 'mapping'. Ummmm ... what is this?
  • Flakie
    Flakie Registered Posts: 24 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐡 🌟
    Hi Whirlwind

    Please don't worry about the mapping. It's just a document that goes with your project that makes sure you have covered all elements required in your ICAS project. It's, I feel, actually the best bit cos it means you finished and there's light at the end of the tunnel and not some bloke with a torch!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, didn't mean to add to your confusion.

    Best wishes x
  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    I did ICAS at the same time as EXA.

    It made a lot of sense to me to put these two units together as both have a core theme of looking at how accounting systems function, and the possible weaknesses within the system.

    I used Osborne books - the EXA textbook has a breakdown of each of the main accounting systems and also a list of possible weaknesses in the system. These are great to use a inspiration/a starting point for analysing the accounting system given in your project.

    If you are doing the ICAS case study I would also highly recommend the BPP textbook. The sample projects are very helpful.
  • Whirlwind
    Whirlwind Registered Posts: 249 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    Thanks for that!!

    Flakie ... I'm guessing the list of info covered that is in the front of the BPP books have been referred to as a mapping document. It will be fine, I'm looking sort of looking forward to a different study plan as so bored of memorising numbers, formulas and key words for the explanations!!
    Uknitty ... I'm studying the BPP so that's a result if their books are extra helpful!!

    Thanks again and I can guarantee this won't be my last post about ICAS. I will be back moaning about it from October!!
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