Exam advice

Vlee Registered Posts: 136 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️

I'm trying to book my first exams and it's proving a little tricky logistically - I have to post a form due to lack of technology at home and it takes five days to process the request and may result in me losing the date. Is this how most centres run or can anyone recommend an alternative? I'm also surprised at how far in advance I have to book, I am almost ready but have to wait nearly three weeks - I am ok with that as I'm a little scared.

I'd also love any tips or information about what to take into the exam, how to prepare and any strategies etc. I haven't taken an emma of any sort for a long time. I am looking to take Spreadsheets and Ethics on the same day. Does this sound doable?

Thank you!


  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    Yes, one of my centres insisted on booking forms too. I used to fill it in, scan it and then email it to them, (I try to avoid the post as I never have stamps, envelopes etc etc). Could you do that, or get to a library where you could do it? That aside, they used to provisionally book my place as soon as I rang so at least I knew I wouldn't lose my place.

    It's a bit of a pain about the wait for the exam though. I can see how lucky I was now being able to ring up and sit exams the next day (apart from a few weeks during CIMA exam season when they suspend all AAT exams). That certainly paid a part in getting through AAT quickly as I'd finish my revision one day and sit the exam the next so there was no hanging around and I could crack on with the next book the following day. Is there another centre you could try? Sometimes local colleges will let you sit your exams there even if they're not shown on the AAT list.

    Sitting 2 exams a day is fine, some centres have up to 4 sittings so I've heard of some doing 4 a day, straight after each other. Some centres will log you in to your 2nd exam as soon as you've finished your first, but I used to have to hang around for a few hours as my centres did set times (luckily there was a nice M&S Simply Food over the road, so I always treated myself to a nice lunch!)

    As for the exams themselves, most people don't find them too time pressured so you should have plenty of time to go through it again to check things. You really only need pen/pencils for your workings and a calculator. Plain paper should be provided. Just make sure you have your AAT number as you may need it to log on.

    Try not to worry about the exams, trust me, after the first one it will feel like you've never been away!
  • Sam22
    Sam22 Registered Posts: 117 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Hello Vlee,

    I am just coming to the end of my Level 3 - last exam on Thursday. I'm assuming you're doing distance learning? The way I've done it throughout Level 2 & 3 is sitting down and looking at the units and estimating how long it will take me to learn it all then book the exam before I start studying the unit. So for example, AP1 & 2 I wanted to do on the same day, so I gave myself a month to study the units and revise, booking my exam before I started the work. Not only does it make sure you get the date you want but helps to keep you motivated if you know you have a certain deadline to meet. It also means, in your case if you have to wait 5 days for it to be processed then you aren't just hanging around waiting for exam day to arrive because you'll still have the work to do whilst waiting for your confirmation.

    When it comes to tips for the exam, I made sure that I could answer all the questions in the tutorial and workbook, I also completed all green light tests and took the practice papers on AAT website. I also used the Osborne book site and did their tests and just kept reading through all the notes I'd taken whilst studying. With regards to taking equipment into the exam, I took my calculator and a pen (to do rough work).

    I'm sure you will find you have plenty of time for the exams. I think I have generally completed all of the Level 3 exams in about an hour - except the spreadsheet exam.

    Good Luck!
  • Vlee
    Vlee Registered Posts: 136 Beyond epic contributor 🧙‍♂️
    Thanks for the advice.

    I've asked the provider to post a few forms so I can just scan and email them. I think I can use the scanner but the printer drinks ink while not in use so I refuse to buy more and we will buy a laser printer instead soon.

    Nps - did you book weekday exams? I think the issue may be that I need weekends as I don't have childcare for my littlest until September and even then I won't have long enough to get into central London and back on time. I think they said weekdays were less popular, although another provider didn't offer weekends at all - their closest date was 22nd July! Plenty of nice places for lunches and sneaky shopping trips at least.

    I think I need to find or buy a new calculator. I've been using my phone and it's fab, allows me to delete if I type in the wrong number and see the entire calculation. But no phone in the exam obviously.

    I think I will have to book the exam in advance. I hope I can change it if necessary. Illness, kids breaking their legs etc make life a little unpredictable. It will probably slow down my progress but I'm in no rush so it's no big deal, December is my aim for completing L3 which seems generous when working out how long each module will take.

    I really hope it does go ok. I find this forum both encouraging and disheartening. People have different strengths and weaknesses so I can't really use other people's experiences to judge how it will go for me.
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