AAT Level 4 - Distance Learning


I'm study via the Kaplan Distance learning programme, and had no issues with any of the level 2 or 3 exams passing them all first time ( with the exception were I missed my train, arrived with minutes to spare in a blind panic unable to focus, I retook and passed two weeks later) but I am struggling with the level 4 exams.

I have failed the three that I have attempted ( the first one Business tax I was not ready for) and I put in more hours with the other two and felt confident heading in to the exams but failed both the Credit Control and Budgeting exams. I did request feedback from Kaplan but it is is very basic and states the subject and if you have either exceed, met, are borderline, below requirement or are significantly below requirement.

I obviously need to change how I am studying / preparing for the exams but I am not sure what changes I need to make to get the competent results I want.

I work in practice and although there are other students here there are studying ACCA (They all went to uni and I did an apprenticeship in motor mechanics) They all have block release to college so their study style is completely different and have the support from their tutors along with those who have previously studied for the ACCA exams.

If you had problems with the transition from Level 3 to Level 4 and are studying via distance learning it would be great to hear how you adjusted your study, and where you looked to for help with getting up to the required standard for passing the exams.

Many Thanks



  • Lelouch
    Lelouch Registered Posts: 35

    All I would suggest is practice as many exams as you can and you should be able to do the questions without thinking. Its good to use the practice exams Kaplan and the AAT provide, but have a look at the other training providers practice papers like BPP and Osbourne. If you struggle in any areas speak to your tutor, or go through the learning material again.

  • VLP
    VLP Registered Posts: 2
    Hi Lelouch

    Thanks for the feedback, I have tried the Kaplan and AAT practice exams and had been getting over the 70% marks and if not then I have been going back and working on the areas that I was falling below in, didn't think about trying to look at other papers.

    I don't have a tutor I teach myself from the books with access to the practice exams online.

    I'm wondering if the issue lies with the longer written questions in the exams as the practice tests require you to review these yourself with the answers later.

  • Lelouch
    Lelouch Registered Posts: 35
    ahh ok.. I did self study so I just worked out of the Osborne books. for the written questions I always used to read the answers before the questions, the answers are very comprehensive in the books and do literally cover every point. But it does give you an idea of what areas you need to look at. For example in the credit control assessments, one of the written questions you should mention overtrading and the signs of it.

    Sorry if I am pointing out the obvious, but that's what worked for me.
  • wabisabi
    wabisabi Registered Posts: 130 ? ? ?
    Hi Victoria

    I did L2 at college, L3 self study and now L4 distance learning!

    At L4 I've found it useful to get copies of all the text books available BPP, Osborne and Kaplan as they all explain things differently, and you can get more practise.

    Also, the examiner's feedback is really useful if you haven't seen it - for each exam they go through each question highlighting common pitfalls and working through examples.

    Good luck :)

  • aat_trainingcompany
    aat_trainingcompany Registered Posts: 20
    There is a big jump between level 3 and level 4.

    We would recommend contacting Kaplan (current provider) to see if you can trial one of their class room courses. It may be that you have reached your threshold for self-studying, some people can self-study a degree course and all our tutors went to university to study for theirs – they clearly needed assistance – so it would appear?

    We find the main challenge (not necessarily in your case), learners do not learn the material but rather the questions and the risk is that questions will always change but the rules/principles will not as they are part of the syllabus and the AAT will not test anything beyond the syllabus - at least they should not!
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