Are AAT exams easier than 5,10 years ago?

EricaChenEricaChen New MemberPosts: 13Registered
Some friends who did AAT 5&10 years ago said to me the AAT qualification nowadays are less competent because the exams are easier.

When they studied AAT they used ruler and pencil on the exams. Now the exams are all computerised. They spent 3 years in college to complete level 2,3&4 now I am distant learning at home and passing 1 or 2 exams per month.

Who has compared the AAT modern standards with the past? Please let me know your opinion.

Thanks.

Comments

  • SpamkebabSpamkebab Well-Known Posts: 233Registered
    It's a hard one.

    When the exams were paper based you probably had a good idea from previous years exams, what the exam was going to be like.
    With the questions now being drawn from a question bank you have no clue what is going to be asked of you until you start the exam, you can't really compare your exam with your friends, there's no room for workings (so even if you do your workings a different way with the same end result, you cannot show this) which would have gained you a mark or two at least in paper based exams.

    But then there is the dumbing down of Financial Statements from September this year, i think this was not a wise move. Although they probably removed IAS/IFRSs that people setting up in practice would rarely use, it won't benefit anyone moving onto ACCA.
  • omega manomega man Trusted Regular Posts: 283Registered
    I was thinking it was easier too.The reason for this for me is that there is far too many AAT people out there chasing too few jobs and so you need experience to get anywhere.
    If like me you have manual experience and need say a work placement its hard,so we have to wait until unemployment drops and employers loosen there requirements.
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor Posts: 1,039MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    EricaChen wrote: »
    Some friends who did AAT 5&10 years ago said to me the AAT qualification nowadays are less competent because the exams are easier.

    When they studied AAT they used ruler and pencil on the exams. Now the exams are all computerised. They spent 3 years in college to complete level 2,3&4 now I am distant learning at home and passing 1 or 2 exams per month.

    Who has compared the AAT modern standards with the past? Please let me know your opinion.

    Thanks.

    I did levels 2, 3 and half of level 4 via the paper based method and I did the rest of level 4 via computer based assessments (cbe's).

    While I was doing the computer based assessments I used to think that AAT had got a lot easier, i.e. the exams are no longer 3 hours (which they were under the paper based system), the practice cbe's on the AAT website seemed to be pretty much identical to the real cbe, and there didn't seem to be as much long answer, written questions in the cbe's.

    However now I'm doing ATT I realise that AAT is easy full stop regardless of whether or not you are doing it via paper based method or cbe. Qualifications like ACA, ACCA, CIMA, CTA and to a lesser extent ATT are much more demanding than AAT.

    My personal opinion is that AAT should make level 4 harder, however I still think AAT is a good practical introduction to accounts if you have no prior experience and just want to test the waters.
  • omega manomega man Trusted Regular Posts: 283Registered
    Reader i am going to do ATT after my AAT too as you only need 4 exams and we get exemptions from one of those.
    I like the idea of doing inheritance tax as my option when i am doing ATT.
    How much more difficult is it?
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor Posts: 1,039MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    omega man wrote: »
    Reader i am going to do ATT after my AAT too as you only need 4 exams and we get exemptions from one of those.
    I like the idea of doing inheritance tax as my option when i am doing ATT.
    How much more difficult is it?

    It is only difficult if you don't put the time and effort in. If you put the time and effort in you'll pass with flying colours.
  • EricaChenEricaChen New Member Posts: 13Registered
    Thanks for everybody's input. Who knows if the depth of knowledge has changed any in the last a few years? In other words, are AAT qualified people nowadays more competent or less than in the past? Thanks
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