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Honest Advice - How clever do I need to be..

WongyWongy New MemberRegistered Posts: 14
I am in my late thirties and I am looking to do AAT Level 2, I am nervous but excited and actually looking forward to leaarning something new. I have worked in finance as a Sales Ledger clerk and am moving into Purchase Ledger. Back when I was sooooo much younger I did my GCSE's and I got a "E" in maths... :O( to be honest though I was in love with a boy who distracted me and I didn't like my teacher. In my first 3 years at secondary school I got a commendation for my Maths. I am not the quickest but I get there eventually... how much of a struggle will this be and is it possible? Honesty is the best policy...may I add.. I really want to do this...I just want to know HOW tough it will be?


  • liveprincessliveprincess Well-Known Registered Posts: 214
    there is not that much of pure maths in level 2. just adding up and subtracting really. If you grasp the logic of double entry bookkeeping you will be fine and you will probably enjoy it. Good luck :)
  • WongyWongy New Member Registered Posts: 14
    I have to say I kind of get double entry but I am hoping through the studying and books I should get it...eventually :001_smile: Thanks for your honesty x
  • deborahcarpenterdeborahcarpenter Well-Known Registered Posts: 161
    Hi Wongy,

    If you want it go for it!!!! I am in myearly 40's i worked 30 years in the motor trade and took a change of career at 38. I studied level 2 & 3 at home distance learning and level 4 at my local college (1 day a week) It took me just over 18 months to complete and i am now part ATT qualified too. I work from home self employed as a Member in Practice and I have an ever growing client base I just wish I had done it years ago!! If you put the effort in and really want to do it then there is no reason why you cant.
    With regards to your maths exam at school, i was much the same but then at 16 I wasnt really interested in numbers lol etc.
    Good luck ina whatever you decide
  • SimonSimon New Member Registered Posts: 8
    Hi Wongy.

    Go for it. I am nearly 50, looking to change career, and was worried about maths element too. As said before there is not much just adding and subtracting.
    Best of luck with it all and do not be shy about asking lots of questions if you are unsure.

  • janwaljanwal Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,189
    Definately go for it, I am 45 and just started level 4. I also did really bad in maths and have number dyslexia, but I will get there.

    Don't be scared to shout if you need help everyone on here has different knowledge so between us we help each other.

    Good luck

  • WongyWongy New Member Registered Posts: 14
    Thanks everyone.. this has reassured me.. I am a true believer of if you want something go get it... I will be on here all the time with questions and advice.. thanks again... good luck to everyone in all you do :O)
  • James PattersonJames Patterson Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 281

    I wouldn't worry about it, i did it straight out of 6th form, i failed my A level maths but all you really need to know is how to add/subtract/divide - just basic Maths.

    You'll also have a calculator which helps haha

    But i'm on my level 4 now, so don't let that deter you
  • WongyWongy New Member Registered Posts: 14
    I think what is really worrying me is what I am reading on this forum.. from members who are on level 3 or 4 and their questions about stuff I don't even know what it means and the whole project stuff.. I am not a confident person and lack self esteem so by doing this AAT I am hoping that it will help improve my confidence/self esteem.. my question is will all this jargon make sense that I am reading about as I start doing the course...
  • deborahcarpenterdeborahcarpenter Well-Known Registered Posts: 161
    Hi Wongy,

    Dont worry about all the 'jargon'. It will all start to make sense once you start the course. Dont forget we were all in the same position you are once. We all had to start at the beginning too. None of it made any sense to me to start with but it does all become clearer the further into the course you go.

    And we are all here on the forum to help you, that is what it is for, and as you said even people who are qualified still come on and ask for advice and help (including me) :001_smile:

    I would really advise you to go for it. Good luck!!

  • janwaljanwal Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 1,189
    I agree with Debbie, things will hopefully fit in place as you go along, A lot of things are repeated so you can practice over and over. An example is I have struggled with under/over absorpton through level 3 and then hey presto we did it in level 4 this week and I got it. We all learn differently it's finding the best way for you.
  • welshwizardwelshwizard Trusted Regular South WalesRegistered Posts: 465
    I would say it depends on whether you can follow processes. Can you start at A and get to Z in teh correct order? If you miss out a letter, could you identify which one you omitted?

    Essentially, this is what Level 2 and 3 is all about - following procedures to complete specific things (do this to calculate this figure, do that to find the missing figure... etc) (Yes I know there's management accounting too but even that involves a lot of process work)

    You do NOT have to be a nuclear physicist to achieve at these qualifications, what you do need, however, is a logical mind and 'stickability' because when you find something doesn't balance/look right you can do one of two things - say, OK I give up' or stick at it until you find the problem/error (you will be surprised at the 'buzz' you get from your first balancing trial balance/balance sheet).

    In my opinion, you asked the wrong question - ask yourself, 'Do I want to achieve at this qualification/ in this profession?'

    Why not 'test the waters' with the new AAT Book-keeping qualification? See if you enjoy it and then complete level 2.

    Good luck with your future career choice.
  • WongyWongy New Member Registered Posts: 14
    I definitely want to achieve the AAT and be able to say I did it...in a previous role I had to reconcile balances and loved the challenge of finding out why it didn't balance, the feeling when you resolve it was ace and I love procedures, I am all about procedures :-) Thanks again for all your advice...I am sure I will be back for more encouragement though ;-)
  • mrb82mrb82 Well-Known Registered Posts: 147
    You only need a basic level of maths to understand what to punch in to a calculator.

    Level 2 is a good start as it teaches you the basics such as double entry, invoicing and the nature of the numbers you are looking at.

    Each level is a jump up from the next, but it sinks in. Working in sales and purchase ledger will help you as you can identify the theory with your work.

    As others have said, do you want it? If you do you will succeed.
  • Amy SmithAmy Smith Feels At Home EssexRegistered Posts: 54
    Hi Wongy,

    I am a newbie to all of this too! I'm starting at Level 3 and the reasoning for this is because I can grasp basic book keeping and maths...

    From that, I would say that Level 2 would be fairly straight forward otherwise I'd be doing it!

    When it comes to Maths at A Level, what you learn then is all trig and integration... I'd say GCSE maths is more core to accounting, but so far in my job, excel does my maths for me ;)

    Message me if you need any further chats on this, I'm as new as you!

    Here to help
    ~AAT Qualified~
  • emurattyemuratty Feels At Home Registered Posts: 66
    Hi Wongy, I am 40 now and on my third year studying (level 4). I would agree with others when they say you don't need to be brilliant at maths, but you do need to understand a bit of maths - like how to work out % for example. I found level 2 really easy, level 3 fairly easy, and level 4 so far has been ok. The amount of studying/practice you need to do increases as you work through the levels. I study 1 day a week at college, at level 2 I probably did a couple of hours extra at home, at level 3 I did 4 or 5 hours at home, and at level 4 I'm spending at least an extra 7 to 8 hours at home.

    You'll find some of it easy and there'll be bits you struggle with - but that's the nature of it - you'll either find the financial accounting or the management accounting easier to get to grips with.

    I think studying at college helps as you have support from your tutor, who you get to know really well seeing them every week, also you get support from your fellow students.

    I would say definitely go for it. I have loved studying, on the home stretch now with only 3 units left to pass. I was asked by my college to do the WorldSkills comp after level 2 - our team got first place in the regionals and bronze in the final. Got invited back by the AAT to do level 3 WorldSkills and I got a silver medal. All in all its been an amazing experience. My local college has been excellent on the whole (only 1 tutor that's not been too good, all the others were excellent).

    Why don't you speak to a tutor at your local college, they might do a taster session or let you sit in on a class. Good luck x
  • MAURIUKMAURIUK Just Joined Registered Posts: 1
    No experience of Double Entry

    I am 35, and want a career change, i am currenly an office manager for an online business, have used sage but not for the accounting side of things, i did the aat skills test and it said i could do the level 2, i have no experience of double entry, do i need to do a double entry course before doing the aat level 2 ? Jason
  • guinea pigguinea pig Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 402
    Hi Mauriuk,
    You should cover double entry thoroughly at level 2, look at this link on this site to see what level 2 covers; http://www.aat.org.uk/qualifications/level-2-aat-accounting-qualification
    You should find that currently working in an office will help put everyting into context.
    It may be helpful to get one of the text books in advance, and have a good read.
    Good luck,
  • CeeJaySixCeeJaySix Well-Known Registered Posts: 645
    Mauriuk, I did level 2 without a clue about anything vaguely financial. It starts at the start, you won't need anything prior to it.
  • WongyWongy New Member Registered Posts: 14
    Hey...just a little update..passed Level 2 & 3 and am just about to sit my first Level 4 exam...just goes to show its all possible..infact anything is possible if you want it bad enough :o)
  • ChristianBChristianB AAT Online Community Coordinator Registered Posts: 201
    Hi @Wongy

    Great to hear how you progressed over the years and that you're on your way to becoming fully qualified. Thanks for the report, best of luck with Level 4!

    I have now left AAT. If you require any assistance with the forums, please contact membership support: https://www.aat.org.uk/contact-us
  • MrsWrightMrsWright Registered Posts: 19
    Wow, just been reading through this post and didn't realise how long ago it was! Well done! Bet your confidence has shot through the roof!
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