Like with most qualifications, Level 4 of the AAT Accounting Qualification is considered the hardest. In the third of a series of posts AAT student, Stephanie Collins, offers her experience of Level 4 and some tips for success.
Quite a few of my colleagues, including my two bosses, have all studied AAT so I approached Level 4 in my stride. I got through Level 2 and Level 3 without any problems – applying the knowledge I learnt in the classroom directly into the workplace. However, I was quick to realise that Level 4 would require a lot more of my time.
I appreciate that I’m lucky compared to other students, because my bosses are very understanding and flexible enough to give me time out of the office to sit my exams. One of my bosses did offer to help me with the Internal Controls and Accounting Systems (ICAS) report and it was great to have someone that I could share my thoughts with.
I found the Financial Performance module really hard and I’ve had to re-sit it. I struggled because it’s not something I do in my current job: it required me to think and analyse figures in a different way than I’m used to. I have had to put in a lot of time and revision. I used past papers and the e-learning resources, both of which can be both found on the AAT website.
It was a huge relief when I did pass. I now have my last unit to complete – Financial Statements. I am starting to feel the pressure as it’s fundamental that I get through this part of the qualification in order for me to carry on with my studies.
Top tip: It’s a big leap from Levels 2 and 3 to Level 4. Be prepared. You’ll need to put in more study time and revision. Start as you mean to go on. I allocate two evenings a week as it’s easy to fall behind on completing the chapter activities. I then dedicate anywhere between two to six hours over the weekend to make sure everything is fresh in my mind before returning to class. When I’m approaching exam time, depending on what module I’m working on, I’m revising all weekend long.
Stephanie Collins is a trainee accountant at Mazuma. She started studying AAT after her A Levels. Two months into the qualification, she got her current job. She works full time and studies in the evenings and weekends.