A Prospective AAT Student Looking For Advice & Information

Clockwork Registered Posts: 6 Regular contributor ⭐
Hello all.

I've just signed up and I'm so annoyed it's taken a DAY! yes a day to get out of the moderation queue
and have the ability to post! :crying:

I've casually browsed through the site while waiting and I've found it very inviting and the members
seem welcoming, knowledgeable and I can tell you guys are going to be extremely helpful. Nice start!

I am a 20 year old, unemployed guy who wants to make something of his life. I finished College when I
was 18 and left with average grades. The parties ruined me! :crying:

I've always had aspirations of holding down a decent job in the finance sector - possibly as an accountant. I picked accounting for my second year at college and aced through to score an A! However it
was only one year so didn't get the full A-Level and couldn't progress to the second year of it. The college made it quite clear that I've out stayed my two year welcome.

Now I've read quite a lot of ACA Chartered Accountancy. It's a qualification I'm extremely interested it. One of the routes to it seems to be the AAT Qualification, so here I am! :laugh:

I'll bullet point the questions I have - forgive me, I'm completely new.
  • How many units/modules/parts are there to the AAT? I know there are four levels but what are the sub units?
  • Will I be able to self-study at home without paying the extortionate fees that colleges seem to charge?
  • And after studying each unit/module will I be able to just go to a local centre and pay just for the paper I sit? If so what is the rough cost?
  • What are the functions of centres such as Kaplan, Premier etc I hear quite a lot about them. Would I be able to pay a centre such as Kaplan for the exam paper when I sit?
  • How long does it take to finish each Level?

I will no doubt have further questions as the thread grows (fingers crossed!)

Much love and thanks to those who reply/


  • liveprincess
    liveprincess Registered Posts: 214 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    1. Most people start from level 2, from what you say I think you will also start from level 2, so you have 3 levels to do. Modules in level 2: Basic Accounting 1 & 2, Basic costing, Working effectively in accounting, computerised accounting. Level 3: Accounting preparation 1 & 2, Indirect Tax, Cash management, Cost & revenues, Spreadsheets, Professional Ethics. Level 4 Budgeting, Financial statements, Financial performance, project, + 2 units to choose from 4: personal tax, business tax, credit management, auditing.

    2. yes you can study at home, all on your own, or with support of training provider such as Kaplan, Premier Training itd. They send you books, you study at home, and when you get stuck contact them and your tutor will help you. THey do all kind of different courses: distance learning, online etc.

    3. If you study on your own or distance learning you book your exam in the nearest centre when you're ready, pay the fee (depends on the centre Kaplan £53, others I'm not sure) and then go and sit it. You get your results straight away in level 2 & 3.

    5. It's up to you how long it takes. I'd say on average level 2 and 3 units take 1 month each. Level 4 - 2 months.

    Hope that helps.
    Good luck with whatever you choose
  • SamiH
    SamiH Registered Posts: 179 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    This might help you :)


    We had unemployed people in our level 3 college class who had their education funded by the state :)
  • aaron0121
    aaron0121 Registered Posts: 422
    Hi Clockwork,

    Welcome to the AAT forum :)

    tbh achieving an A grade in accountancy at A level is by far not average, actually quite impressive :thumbup1:
    It's a shame you couldn't progress onto the second year, is there an option of you maybe doing your
    second year at a different college? I was also thinking about doing an a level in accountancy but decided not to,
    so I'm not quite sure on the syllabus for A level accountancy but it may be worth you considering going onto
    AAT level 3 straight away. I would advise you to have a go at the AAT skills test
    http://www.aatskillcheck.org/home.aspx, the test will help give you guidance on the right AAT level to start at.

    Level 2 - 2010
    Level 3 - 2011
    Level 4 - 2013


    F4 - 2015
    F5 - 2015
  • Clockwork
    Clockwork Registered Posts: 6 Regular contributor ⭐
    Thank you Liveprincess, aaron & Sami for taking the time to reply!

    So I see Level 2 is the place where most people begin their AAT course. I definitely want to study by myself at home and just pay for the exam. I think I am disciplined enough to take this path.

    How do I go about starting? Do I just purchase the books for level 2 and dive straight in or do I have to register myself somewhere? Could someone privately message me a some sort of rough guide of the level 2 syllabus?
  • liveprincess
    liveprincess Registered Posts: 214 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Yes you can buy books and start straight away. To be able to sit exams you will have to be registered with AAT as a student - pay booking fee and a year's membership. Then just find the exam centre and contact them to book exams.
  • Clockwork
    Clockwork Registered Posts: 6 Regular contributor ⭐
    Do you have to take an exam for each module in a level? or just one exam for the whole level?
  • liveprincess
    liveprincess Registered Posts: 214 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    one for each unit
  • janwal
    janwal Registered Posts: 1,189 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Hi Clockwork

    Welcome to the Forum.

    You do an exam at the end of each module, they are computer based exams and the results are available for most straight away in level 2 and 3. Level 4 you wait 6 wks for results.

    Once you have registered with AAT there are practice exams available on each moduls so you can get some idea of what the exams are like..

    I am now on level 4 and have studied on day release at local college. Level 2 is an introduction to double entry etc, although I work in finance and have a Diploma in Book keeping and accounting I took the skills test and it advised level 2 start. I'm glad I did as 1 or 2 in our group started on level 3 and found it a struggle.

    Good luck in waht you decide.

  • MarkT
    MarkT Registered Posts: 302
    Welcome Clockwork,

    I've scanned through the answers that you've been given so far, and they're all solid. However, there is one small issue with the need for registering with a training provider / college.

    At level 2, I'm not 100% certain, but I believe there is a unit that requires human marking. Level 3 SPSW module definitely does as does the ICAS module (and various others) on level 4.

    This means that for the most part, yes, you can self study, but you will require the services of someone like BPP, Eagle or a local college.

    Either way, you've made a brave step towards securing your future, it's a shame that not all 20 year old's have your mindset!
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