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Do I *need* a training provider, or is it possible to self-study?

I'm looking into studying AAT Level 2, and was planning to self-study using books and materials bought directly from Kaplan, and booking the exams myself through them also. Having looked into the cost of distance learning courses I am reluctant to pay for what seems to be an online tutor and some books for hundred's of £s, when I think I already have enough job-based knowledge to study myself. My question is this: when I come to sign up with AAT as a student (which I believe I need to do in order to book exams), it is asking for a training provider. Does this mean I can only study AAT if I go through an official training provider or is it acceptable to self-study and take the exams as and when? Has anyone got any experience of doing this themselves? Thanks in advance.


  • JoshJ1992JoshJ1992 Registered Posts: 75
    Hi Staff2016
    Although it is possible to self study, you would need a training provider for the computerised account unit of level 2 as it is project based, rather than being a computer based test. I'm not sure how it works in the AQ2016 qualification but I seem to remember this being marked by my training provider.
  • N4TN4T AAT Student Posts: 191
    As you have already decided to sit your exams with Kaplan as an external candidate contact them for the training provider code.
  • shannonr1990shannonr1990 Registered Posts: 36
    I thought all of the exams were done computer based for the AQ2016? Pretty sure you don't need a training provider for the new syllabus? I am self studying level 2 atm and called lots of different trainers no one has mentioned anything about needing one for a specific unit... can someone clear this up for me please?
  • N4TN4T AAT Student Posts: 191

    Where will you be sitting your exams? You will need to find a centre to take your exams and these external assessment venues are provided by training providers. Not all training providers will take external candidates so you will need to phone around. AAT website should have a list.

    Once you have decided on the centre you will need to let AAT know so they can make sure your details can be accessed on the day.

    I'm not doing AQ2016 but it shouldn't be any different than AQ2013. Maybe some one who is a self studier on the AQ2016 syllabus can jump in.
  • shannonr1990shannonr1990 Registered Posts: 36
    I already have called round to get prices for exams as an external candidate before Christmas. My local college is willing to take me as a external for a lower price so will be sitting then there. I have already told AAT about this but no one got back to me about accessing my details? I think AQ2016 is quite a bit different to the previous syllabus (from what I've read on here about it) just wondering if anyone knows does one of the modules need to be marked by a tutor or not? Thanks
  • grimboongrimboon Registered Posts: 5
    I self studied aq2013 level 2 and took the exams with Kaplan (I used their books, too). For the computing module I just used the Sage One trial, starting it a month before the exam date. I just had to pay £50 on top of the usual exam fee for the computing exam, for the project marking side of things.
  • saff2016saff2016 Registered Posts: 2
    Thanks for all your comments. I've now contacted AAT and they said to put down who I was taking the exam through as my training provider (so in my case I put down Kaplan distance learning) and if I end up doing the exam elsewhere, to give them a call and they'll change it. Also, with the AQ2016 syllabus, it's all exam based, no project work so no need to worry about a training provider at all. Good to know that self study is more than viable and allowed by AAT and hope this helps someone else, as does seem to be quite confusing!
  • shannonr1990shannonr1990 Registered Posts: 36
    Thanks so much saff2016 for clearing that up about the AQ2016. Actually really pleased to hear that they have changed the way they do it and you don't need no training provider and its all exam based! (even though I struggle with Exam pressure more), still good to hear for us self studiers though- will be so much easier I'm sure.
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