Home Learning Help!

markh1988 Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸

I am going to take up AAT level 3 thorugh distance learning and was hoping there are some of you that can offer me advice on who the best distance learner is in terms of price, support and materials offered?

Any suggestions/advice would be much appreciated, thanks.


  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Registered Posts: 2,525
    Hello Mark

    I would highly recommend BPP. I found their materials and support to be fantastic. Other students will of course give details/promote who they studied with, e.g. kaplan, first intution, eagle etc.

    Have you tried calling some of the providers and speaking to them about the different options available to you?

    JC :o
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Vlee
    Vlee Registered Posts: 136 🎆 🐘 🎆
    I've heard lots of good things about BPP and Premier Training amongst others so hopefully someone will share their experiences. I've only used Kaplan for spreadsheets. For the cost of the module I received the books and access to engage - this gives online access to the books and tests, including a full practice assessment. You can also contact a tutor by email for any course queries. I only had one question about the exam which they were unable to answer.

    The books are ok but I found some bits too vague or unnecessarily complicated. I have used their books for ITX and PEAF too but without the tutor support. For those modules I have self studied with just the books, this gives you access to the same engage versions of the book and tests without tutor support. Most questions you have could be answered here so I would recommend self studying and see how it goes, you can always opt for a distance provider if you are struggling. This also gives you the option to try different books to see which suits you best. So far I've used Osbourne and Kaplan and am about to give BPP a try for my ITX revision.

    As you need a provider for spreadsheets you could use this as an opportunity to try out a provider before committing to the other modules. There seem to be loads of very successful self studiers and it's saving me a lot. Level 4 may be a different story however!
  • markh1988
    markh1988 Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
    Yes, I have made a few enquiries to Kaplan and Home Learning College (wow they're expensive!).

    I guess for me I wouldn't be too fussed about the tutor support as I am the kind of person who will have found my answer before anyone would have come back to me anyway. The materials are more important.

    I agree self learning is the best option for level 3 for me personally, I should be fine once refreshed as I have completed 2 years at Manchester University studying accountancy and finance; I had to leave before I could finish in order to work due to having my family young and not being able to afford to continues my studies.

    Now a few years have passed and my child is older and I am working in an accounts role I believe AAT is my best route due to being able to study as and when I choose, plus I think (or rather hopeful) that my company will support me.

    I will certainly look into all of your suggestions much appreciated, thanks!
  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    I would also recommend self studying as, with your university background in the same subject, I think you'd find a taught course too slow. I personally used BPP books for all the exams and passed everything comfortably and first time (I used the study text and the question banks - I didn't bother with any of their other stuff).

    Also you are just as likely to get a query answered here as you are via a tutor and sometimes even quicker, especially as you say you'd likely have found out the answer for yourself before they reply anyway.

    I think you will race through the 2 levels very quickly as I'm sure you will have covered the vast majority of it already.

    If for whatever reason you do look at a taught course, just google the 2 companies you have mentioned (and search on here). One of them has a very good reputation.........
  • markh1988
    markh1988 Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
    so what you are suggesting is attain the materials myself (Ebay) study the course material and and just pay to sit the exams? As I am under the impression I have to register with some sort of learning provider in order to facilitate the arrangments and registration of exams etc.

    If that is what is being suggested it certainly would be ideal and assumably much cheaper too.

    All I feel i'd need for level 3 is refreshing on the syllabus.

  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    Personally, I bought the books from Amazon (but then discovered Foyles who are cheaper and offer a 20% discount with the code BPPFOY2 on BPP books). I then registered with AAT and paid my fees. When I was ready to sit an exam, I just rang up my local BPP or Kaplan centres, checked what dates they had available and then paid them direct (around £50 per exam). They download the exam from AAT and then upload your results back to them. AAT have a list of all the centres that accept external candidates. It is really easy.

    I did levels 3 and 4 in a few months with no previous experience, so I really do think that this would be a good option for you.

    You do need a learning provider for ICAS at level 4 so that does end up being the most expensive module by far! Most providers will let you just register for that one module with them as self studying seems to be very popular at the moment.
  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    Just be careful of the imminent syllabus change - it won't have a massive effect on you but is worth bearing in mind if you are going to be looking for your books on ebay.
  • markh1988
    markh1988 Registered Posts: 4 New contributor 🐸
    levels 3 & 4 in a few months with no experience is quite impressive to say the least.

    Completing the AAT up to level 4 will hopefully open more doors in terms of job prospects by having a certificate that says I can do xyz, and also when the time is right for me to actually progress even further with my studies the AAT provides exemptions to certain exams I am led to believe.

    It sounds like I need to research the actual course rather than learning providers at this stage to get a better understanding of what I need to know bearing in mind any changes to the syallbus.

    Luckily for me I am aware their is a Kaplan centre in Manchester which in 20 mins for me to get to.

    Is there places you can get mock exams for to prepare you for the syle of exams?

    Thank you for the tips on the books!
  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    On the AAT website there are lots of mock exams so they will be more than enough to prepare you for the style.

    I really think you will race through AAT - why not buy the first book and see how you get on. Level 4 AAT is deemed to be equivalent to the 1st year of uni which is why I think you will find it very straightforward and will most likely have already covered a lot of it.

    AAT will give you exemptions for the chartered qualifications, which I imagine is where you anticipate heading (again, perfectly possible to self study those too).
  • beckyln
    beckyln Registered Posts: 52 💫 🐯 💫
    I would not recommend HLC, but things do seem to be changing very slowly, and webinars (which were sold to me as part of my course) are now starting a year after I enrolled!

    Google who ever you go with and read the reviews first :)
  • zippi
    zippi Registered Posts: 182 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐵 🌟
    Who is HLC?
  • Relle
    Relle Registered Posts: 14 Regular contributor ⭐ 😼 ⭐
    Home Learning College...and I 2nd that Becklyn...don't bother with them...the books are not clear..the self testing questions can leave you confused...and depending on who you get as a tutor - you will never get any help or satisfaction...just frustration. I will look at this BPP site seeing it is recommended above.
  • beckyln
    beckyln Registered Posts: 52 💫 🐯 💫
    Hi Relle,

    I'm enrolled with HLC but I use the BPP material as I find everything to do with HLC beyond help!

    I've also been into a BPP centre, for an AAT event, the tutors seem very helpful, full of information and the books are excellent! I really recommend the passcards if you ever feel like you need a bit of an info boost!
  • pinkie05
    pinkie05 Registered Posts: 2 New contributor 🐸
    I'm with APlus and would really recommend!! Just an fyi, due to a rule change u can now get a student loan for the level 4 AAT - only the level 4 though. And a student loan will cover distance learning courses
  • Clarekaye
    Clarekaye Registered Posts: 307
    I am massively glad I didnt go with HLC, I am doing my level 4 through Eagle Education, did level 3 with them too.

    Highly recommend them, payment options, very good comunication, helpful & supportive, you work through Osborne books along with there own folders & website. :thumbup1:
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