Level 3 Self Study

I'm (fingers-crossed) about to finish a Level 2 intensive course and found I learnt more effectively doing home reading. I'm therefore considering self-study for Level 3 and have a few questions:

How have people found self-studying Level 3?
What academic and/or professional experience did they have prior to studying?
If studying one module at a time, what is the recommended order of modules?

Any responses and insight much appreciated. Thanks!
kontisto
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Comments

  • kontistokontisto Registered Posts: 15
    I see no replies, so lets bump this one back up considering I'm wondering about this too!
    cghv1985
  • snowy_autumnsnowy_autumn WiltshireRegistered Posts: 7
    Hello

    I'm studying l3 from home.

    Finding it great
    I have a degree and works as accounts executive
    I am following the order from the aat website - study support pages
    cghv1985
  • MiksMiks Registered Posts: 2
    I'm studying Level 3 on my own and have found it fine so far (no exams taken so far though!)
    I've brought the books from First Intuition and am just working through them, I've found them to be quite good you get a study book and then a book of questions and mock assessments. I find if I get stuck on anything there will be a good tutorial on you tube.
    I've just started working as a trainee accountant so don't have a great deal of experience.
    I started with Advanced Bookkeeping then Final Accounts Prep, I then plan to do Management Costing, Tax and then the Synoptic.
    cghv1985
  • cghv1985cghv1985 AAT Student Posts: 8
    Great to hear some encouraging and positive responses about self-study! I think I will begin this in the new year.
    To contribute: I have some experience as a Credit Controller but didn't receive much training on the job so decided to pursue AAT. I've found it interesting so far and the learning experience can be really rewarding.
    Great to know that between books, internet and AAT online support - there is plenty of info out there.
    Thanks again for sharing!
  • gemma89gemma89 YorkshireRegistered Posts: 43
    Hi Miks

    Do you have a link to the books from first intuition - Where they quite expensive? Do they have example questions in like the Kaplan level 2 book keeping books.

    Cheapest level 3 I can find is around £1300 inc all 5 exams.

  • BradJones_FTABradJones_FTA LondonRegistered Posts: 23
    @gemma89 Hi Gemma,

    You can usually find the books required for all the AAT levels from very good professional education publishers such as BPP, Kaplan, and Osborne Books. Just Google them.

    I tried them all and found BPP to be the best. Osborne books, I found, were too brief in their explanations and tutorials, whereas Kaplan made things confusing and illogically laid out their books, sometimes putting the hardest topics first without explaining the basic steps required to understand them.

    All the above publishers provide question books and pocket notes to help with your studies.

    Good luck!
  • cghv1985cghv1985 AAT Student Posts: 8
    BPP books are available at https://learningmedia.bpp.com/catalog?pagename=AAT

    If you only pay for the books and the exams, it should work out considerably cheaper than £1300. Obviously that also depends on your preferred method of learning. All the best!
    gemma89
  • BradJones_FTABradJones_FTA LondonRegistered Posts: 23
    @gemma89

    As @cghv1985 said, self-learning can be a good cost effective way of studying whilst allowing you the freedom to still have a steady income. However, please be aware that it requires a lot of discipline and determination. If you are one to put things off because you find them difficult, then I wouldn't recommend it.

    I was a self-learner myself at first and thought it was all well and good until I started coming up against more challenging topics. My progress slow down greatly as the fear of failure put me off studying. Eventually, I signed up with a distance learning provider to help with the modules I was struggling with, and I eventually managed to overcome them.

    However, I don't say this to put you off. I just want to make sure you (and others reading) are aware of this. If you can press on and not be easily put off, then go for it.

    Good luck.
  • dumutrobadumutroba AAT Student, AATQB Posts: 213
    > @cghv1985 said:
    > I'm (fingers-crossed) about to finish a Level 2 intensive course and found I learnt more effectively doing home reading. I'm therefore considering self-study for Level 3 and have a few questions:
    >
    > How have people found self-studying Level 3?
    > What academic and/or professional experience did they have prior to studying?
    > If studying one module at a time, what is the recommended order of modules?
    >
    > Any responses and insight much appreciated. Thanks!

    Hi I am about to finish my level 3 in August and I can assure that is absolutely possible to do it through self study. Same like you I did level 2 within 3 months and level 3 took me another 4 months.
    In terms of order of exams I did Bookkeeping, Final Accounts, Tax, Costing, Synoptic
    Tax is no longer included in Synoptic so you can do that at the very beginning or end(after synoptic)
    When I think it now I should have done it at after the synoptic so it doesn't side track me, the only reason to do it was to get my Aatqb status, which was a good motivation.
    Mind that although claimed to be one of the easiest exams, I found Tax very tricky, so sufficient time is needed to study, but that is my opinion, then again I found Costing quite easy.
    About costing exam be prepared for ABC costing as it is newly included and it wasn't in the books or even on sample assessment

    Good luck
    AAT Level 2. 2018
    AAT Level 3. 2018
    AAT Level 4.
    Xero Certified Advisor
  • gemma89gemma89 YorkshireRegistered Posts: 43
    Hi @BradJones_FTA

    I have just finished 4 years distance learning with the Open University so am quite motivated with study etc. I have done Level 2 signed up start of May, done my first exam last week and got my next 5th July so hope to move on to level 3 then. It has only taken so long as I had my last degree exam as well. Hopefully I pass in July.
  • gemma89gemma89 YorkshireRegistered Posts: 43
    Hi @dumutroba
    How much gap did you leave between exams? I am planning to book exams so I have a deadline if you like to work towards to stop me falling into the trap of 'oh that is too difficult I will leave that one' scenario

    Thanks
  • NorvydasNorvydas DevonMAAT Posts: 201
    Hi Gemma89,

    Sorry to hijack the post, regarding the times between exams I think this is dependable by what Level you're studying. I am on Level 4 at the moment and I try to do an exam every 4-5 weeks. Of course Level 4 is a bit more trickier than 2 or 3 as you need more in-depth knowledge.
    Kind Regards,

    Norvydas Valavicius.
  • BradJones_FTABradJones_FTA LondonRegistered Posts: 23
    @Norvydas Great to hear you are making good progress with level 4. Many people think doing any of the levels without attending college is a mission impossible, but your progress perfectly says otherwise.

    How long did you take between levels 2 & 3? I started to get a bit caught up on level 3 and had to seek help with Kaplan when I found a module too tricky.

  • NorvydasNorvydas DevonMAAT Posts: 201
    @BradJones_FTA I attended college when I started Level 2, as I had no financial knowledge at all as before I was qualified Personal Trainer. Within first 2 months of college studies I've got offered a job as Finance Assistant and took it, so I stopped going to college and studied from home. I started my Level 2 in November 2016 and got qualified on June 2017. Regarding Level 3, I started in October 2017 and got qualified in March 2018. I have started my Level 4 in April 2018 and I've already done 2 exams, getting ready to book 3rd one.

    To be honest, I didn't enjoyed Level 2 nor Level 3, however Level 4 is so much better and is so much more interesting.

    It took me so long to go through Level 2 as I had to book my exams when all of us were ready in class, which meant I had to wait for majority of people until I could actually take them exam..

    I prefer home study as I can focus and get on with it, don't need to wait for anyone, you study in your own time at your own pace.
    Kind Regards,

    Norvydas Valavicius.
  • BradJones_FTABradJones_FTA LondonRegistered Posts: 23
    @Norvydas Really interesting to hear. I know what you mean about levels 2 & 3, They can be quite bland as there's not enough granularity to them.

    I'm 1 exam away from finishing level 3, so your story has got me looking forward to level 4.

    Are you considering moving to chartered in the future or are you just taking it one step at a time for now?
  • dumutrobadumutroba AAT Student, AATQB Posts: 213
    edited June 2018
    @gemma89 I had 2 exams per month for all exams in level 2, because I had enough heads up. In level 3 I had 2 exams in one month, but then I did one per month for the rest.
    The time it takes for everybody is different.
    Before start booking dates, I always try go through at least a unit (Advanced Bookkeeping), and then I book a date, do little reading on the next unit(Final Accounts Preparation), few weeks prior exam I go back and re-study really hard the first one to the point I am fed up. Then I re-study FAP again, same idea. I took the 2 exams in one month with a week between them. These 2 really compliment each other and are essential for the Synoptic spreadsheets so I recommend going through the books and exercises couple of times
    At this point I have already read the Indirect tax, so I went to re-study that next and sit the exam after 3 weeks.As I said in my previous post, best to leave that one for the last as anyway it is not included in the Synoptic
    Management was next, and as it has few topics from level 2, I did the exam after 4 weeks, while studying for it I was reading ethics and doing some excel exercises
    I am now really taking excel seriously and practising writing about LTD, sole traders, Accounting principles, etc
    AAT Level 2. 2018
    AAT Level 3. 2018
    AAT Level 4.
    Xero Certified Advisor
    gemma89
  • NorvydasNorvydas DevonMAAT Posts: 201
    @BradJones_FTA After I finish Level 4 I am planning signing up either for ACCA or CIMA - not sure which one yet though! It is very tough decision, most people recommended ACCA as there are more prospects in finding a work placement - and my long term goal is go Self-Employed, however I've really enjoyed both Management Accounting units in Level 4.. So it will be definitely tough decision.
    Kind Regards,

    Norvydas Valavicius.
  • gemma89gemma89 YorkshireRegistered Posts: 43
    I have just been quoted £190 for the books for level 3 from Kaplan is that about right? Seems more expensive than I thought. Then I have 4 exams x 80 1 x 91 so essentially around £600 for level 3 self study?

    I am not really enjoying book keeping parts of it - I really like adding up all the totals and seeing where the businesses are going wrong and looking at profit and loss which is why I wanted to do accounts so I hope as I get up the levels it gets more exciting
  • gemma89gemma89 YorkshireRegistered Posts: 43
    dumutroba said:

    @gemma89 I had 2 exams per month for all exams in level 2, because I had enough heads up. In level 3 I had 2 exams in one month, but then I did one per month for the rest.
    The time it takes for everybody is different.
    Before start booking dates, I always try go through at least a unit (Advanced Bookkeeping), and then I book a date, do little reading on the next unit(Final Accounts Preparation), few weeks prior exam I go back and re-study really hard the first one to the point I am fed up. Then I re-study FAP again, same idea. I took the 2 exams in one month with a week between them. These 2 really compliment each other and are essential for the Synoptic spreadsheets so I recommend going through the books and exercises couple of times
    At this point I have already read the Indirect tax, so I went to re-study that next and sit the exam after 3 weeks.As I said in my previous post, best to leave that one for the last as anyway it is not included in the Synoptic
    Management was next, and as it has few topics from level 2, I did the exam after 4 weeks, while studying for it I was reading ethics and doing some excel exercises
    I am now really taking excel seriously and practising writing about LTD, sole traders, Accounting principles, etc

    This is why I am confused, when I first contacted AAT they put me in touch with a company who recommended level 2 book keeping and then level 3 accounts so I was kind of forced into missing out quite a few exams by the looks for level 2 which I am disappointed about, I hope this doesn't set me back for level 3.

    Do the text books from 2014 contain really irrelevant information or are they okay to buy to help with revision and catching up the bits I missed from level 2?
  • BradJones_FTABradJones_FTA LondonRegistered Posts: 23
    @gemma89 I only know the actual prices of BPP's books as they're the ones I have used, but for level 3, the books came in at roughly £240. That includes the question books and passcards.

    Assessments vary quite widely depending on where you go and what assessment or level you are taking so I can only give my current estimation of what I have paid which is £300 (6 x £60 - including synoptic).

    I still have the synoptic to take, but have been told it is the same price as the rest, which I found very surprising.

    A total of £540. So rest assured your £600 isn't too far off.
  • NorvydasNorvydas DevonMAAT Posts: 201
    gemma89 said:

    I have just been quoted £190 for the books for level 3 from Kaplan is that about right? Seems more expensive than I thought. Then I have 4 exams x 80 1 x 91 so essentially around £600 for level 3 self study?

    I am not really enjoying book keeping parts of it - I really like adding up all the totals and seeing where the businesses are going wrong and looking at profit and loss which is why I wanted to do accounts so I hope as I get up the levels it gets more exciting

    Think about this way; you are investing in yourself, you are investing in your future, your careers your life, it is not like you are wasting £600.00 on stuff you don't need. I know it is expensive however it will pay back when you get qualified and have a job earning you good salary.


    Kind Regards,

    Norvydas Valavicius.
    gemma89
  • BradJones_FTABradJones_FTA LondonRegistered Posts: 23
    ^ Correction: 5 x £60 for the assessments.
    gemma89
  • NorvydasNorvydas DevonMAAT Posts: 201

    ^ Correction: 5 x £60 for the assessments.

    I think it depends by location and training centre, I get charged £74.00 for an exam, doesn't matter if it's level 2/3/4, however for synoptic I get charged £81.00, and this will increase again from July :/
    Kind Regards,

    Norvydas Valavicius.
  • BradJones_FTABradJones_FTA LondonRegistered Posts: 23
    @Norvydas Take that £81 as a blessing. I got charged £120 for my level 2 human marked assessment :s
    gemma89
  • BradJones_FTABradJones_FTA LondonRegistered Posts: 23
    Norvydas said:

    gemma89 said:

    I have just been quoted £190 for the books for level 3 from Kaplan is that about right? Seems more expensive than I thought. Then I have 4 exams x 80 1 x 91 so essentially around £600 for level 3 self study?

    I am not really enjoying book keeping parts of it - I really like adding up all the totals and seeing where the businesses are going wrong and looking at profit and loss which is why I wanted to do accounts so I hope as I get up the levels it gets more exciting

    Think about this way; you are investing in yourself, you are investing in your future, your careers your life, it is not like you are wasting £600.00 on stuff you don't need. I know it is expensive however it will pay back when you get qualified and have a job earning you good salary.


    Well said, @Norvydas =) I really admire that comment, that is the perfect mindset.

    It's not too uncommon to meet people that are a bit weary about spending money on themselves in the form of a course or education but, providing it isn't some Mickey mouse course and something you're not going to drop out of, you cannot go wrong.
    gemma89
  • gemma89gemma89 YorkshireRegistered Posts: 43
    Yes I agree the £600 investment is good but I have children at home and have studied my degree while they have been little so am worried that my lack of experience in accounting or finance will hinder my job application process. I have just literally finished my Business Management degree and going through the interview process at the moment to try and find a starter accounting role, once I have got that I will be happier to invest in my career but at the moment I am still sore from degree debt.
  • BradJones_FTABradJones_FTA LondonRegistered Posts: 23
    @gemma89 I hope you don't think I was targeting you, Gemma. The fact you are considering going on to AAT and having completed a business degree is far beyond the type of people I had in mind. I was thinking of those friends or family we all have that like to talk more than do and penny pinch when it comes to furthering themselves.

    You also have kids which is a huge expense and responsibility, so you don't have it easy by any means, hats off to that!

    I understand that investing your time and money into something that may not work out is a scary move, but we miss all the shots we don't take. If you never try, you'll never win.

    Obviously some planning and reason needs to be made before you go ahead with something, but I wouldn't let the fear of not finding a job hold you back. We all have to start somewhere, and I'm sure you'll find something, but you're looking too far ahead and doubting yourself which will also hinder your studies because you'll give yourself a reason to give up when things get tough.
  • dumutrobadumutroba AAT Student, AATQB Posts: 213
    edited June 2018
    Hi Gemma
    I personally used Osborne
    1 they are very targeted
    2 you get access to free ebook copy, very handy when on the way to revise
    For all tutorials I paid circa 70 quid, I didn't use any practice books as I like to focus on the theory, except for the the Synoptic
    For an exam I pay 84 quid synoptic is 95, so total of 431 with the books, we are looking at abot 500
    So very close to what you have been quoted
    Old books are very irrelevant, don't buy those!
    I don't quite understood, are you doing all level units or just some? I will recommend doing all, if you decide to go for full MAAT status, also it will help you breeze through level 3
    AAT Level 2. 2018
    AAT Level 3. 2018
    AAT Level 4.
    Xero Certified Advisor
  • gemma89gemma89 YorkshireRegistered Posts: 43
    Thanks for that Brad - We have also just bought a house this year so the expenses are high at the moment.

    I am waiting to hear about some jobs next week - Finance admin, payroll and have an interview with PWC and have had a few chats with the PWC HR people at a few events and they seem lovely so hopefully I should be employed in the finance industry soon. The other thing is they may train me up in some areas although maybe they would all expect me to have Level 3 at least AAT.

    I think I expected self study to be much cheaper than going with a training provider so I think the extra cost for a training provider might be worth it for that additional support. That is my thoughts at the moment.

    No dumutroba - The company advised me to do level 2 book keeping and then level 3 accounts so it seems I have missed some units, much to my annoyance that I wasn't informed I was missing units but I seem to be able to progress without these units. I may just have to buy the books for level 2 units I missed so I can see what they were all about.
  • BradJones_FTABradJones_FTA LondonRegistered Posts: 23
    @gemma89 I think you're right. Training providers know that it isn't exactly dirt cheap to self-study and have fair-ish prices when you take into consideration the added benefit and support they provide.

    If you do go with one, make sure you fully understand what's included and not included. Some will include books and exam fees, and some won't. So do your research.

    Congratulations on the new home, and all the best with landing the job.
    gemma89
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