Level 4 self study

Hi all, I am sure this question has been asked before but I'd like to know how people studying Level 4 by themselves have found it? I'm currently studying level 3 distance learning and approaching the end, I haven't really used the tutor support (other than for PETH!) so I am considering self study as it is a far cheaper option. I am under no illusions though that level 4 is going to be much harder so I'd appreciate people's feedback before I take the plunge! Thank you


  • douglasstroud
    douglasstroud Registered Posts: 295 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    I self studied levels 3&4 and found it fine
    I used Osborne study manuals and just booked the exams when I felt ready, I did find it quite a big step up to level 4 as there is a lot more written answers in the exams.
    The only module you will need a training provider for is the ICAS report unless this has changed over the last few years.

  • HelloKirsty
    HelloKirsty Registered Posts: 3
    Agreed with Douglas. I have self-studied from Level 2 and have just two units left on Level 4 (PTAX and ISYS). The units have been slightly meatier, but I have found them manageable.
    Hope that helps with your decision. :-)
  • Bertie
    Bertie Registered Posts: 376
    Paying for study support at this stage is not necessary.

    Any questions you have you can, as a student of the AAT, post within the forum. You can actually post if you're not a student - yet I digress...

    I'm not sure now, but within the old syllabus you needed the project marked by a provider - I'm sure that has probably changed now with the new syllabus in motion.

    There isn't much value in paying huge fees for a full distance learning package, just buy the books and you'll see that with time dedicated you can solve any issues yourself, it will also force you to search other areas for answers as you will in real life situations, such like trawling through various tax acts.

    The skill with accountancy or law is not to know the answer to every question, but to know where to look - there is too much to remember it all.

    I'm going off piste now..

    So yeah, save your money and put it towards a nice suit for your future interviews.

  • Adele69
    Adele69 AAT Student Posts: 320
    I think maybe you are overselling the help this forum offers (if you do get stuck). It appears those who have done self study rarely ever needed to ask questions on here so were quite capable of doing self study, though there are a lot of questions on the forum that go unanswered or poorly answered, and I would say it's worse than when I joined up a couple of years ago.

    I'm doing L4 distance learning, and not really happy with the level of tutor support (it's minimal to nil) but have paid the money so just making the best of it. Some of the additional material is useful (upto a point) though I wouldn'd know if I would be managing my time and study just as well by working through the Osbourne books as the main/only resource, along with the AAT study support.
  • Bertie
    Bertie Registered Posts: 376
    I would say that most questions have been asked before so the search feature is powerful tool to use.

    Some answers will be naff, yet that is the beauty of a forum - an incorrect answer is almost always corrected by another.

    People who, on the main, dedicate their time to a forum do do so to help others - at times maybe the answers given are too brief for the poster to fully understand.

    If you are able to have your study funded then for sure take it.

    Self study is relatively straight forward, the art comes afterwards - knowing how to bring it all together, knowing what is the best position to advise, that, a training provider will not help with.

  • dalmatian
    dalmatian Registered Posts: 37 New contributor ?
    I am self studying Level 4 and as much maybe am not that aware of rules regarding exams/tax years used. I sat the PTax exam in Dec 16 (FA2015), found out in January that I had failed and immediately booked myself a retake for March 17. On starting the exam in March, I was shocked to find that I was sitting an FA2016 exam!? It obviously had a few amendments and it was a nuisance reverting to the given allowances window (as obviously FA2015 I knew off the top of my head) so now I await the results, of which I am not too hopeful about (another 4-6 week wake!?). Anyway, I questioned with the Kaplan centre where I take the exams and asked why when booking/confirming exams they do not add the specific tax year that will be used in the exam. They said it was not required and that they do not give this info. Surely, they should. Had I at least seen that I was taking a FA2016 exam (in the 2013 syllabus that I am on) then at least I could have got an updated book and prepared myself better. Also, the fact that I had done the initial exam in Dec 2016, then retaking this exam in 2017 I should have been given the option of continuing the exam in the FA2015??? Would be interested to hear others thoughts on this and whether anyone else has had the same kind of surprise!? :)
  • dalmatian
    dalmatian Registered Posts: 37 New contributor ?
    Otherwise, I love this forum. I have mostly managed to ask questions and get responses back quickly and think it is a valuable resource... and free! Keep it up! and thanks to all those that have helped me out! :)
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