My AAT Journey – Rebecca Tomlinson

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Rebecca Tomlinson was due to start a college bookkeeping course but switched to AAT online instead.

When did you start AAT? 

I was going to go to college and do a bookkeeping course in April but then we locked down and the colleges were all shut. So I thought, well, I don’t want to waste lockdown because it seems like the best time to study so I found the AAT Foundation course online through ICS Learn.

When I reviewed the course content I felt it would suit my needs but I haven’t studied properly for many years and was worried about how I’d get on with distance learning. There are times when I find it challenging but my lovely tutor has been on hand to advise and encourage me when I’ve needed help.

Tell us a bit about your journey so far

I was very lucky that my local exam centre was one of the first to open so as soon as we came out of lockdown, I could get the exams booked and go and sit them.

The AAT learning tools have been great, especially when it comes to revision for exams with the green light tests and practice exams. They’ve also got additional learning materials on there if I need them. 

Communicating with other students has also been helpful, sometimes just to know there are other people studying the same course at the same time has really helped on a hard day.

I haven’t studied properly since I left college and I can honestly say I’m enjoying it 100% more than I thought I would. The online learning really suits me and I’m pleased to say it has now become part of my daily routine. I know that extra support is there when I need it. It has really helped me to focus on something other than the unusual situation affecting us all right now. 

Where are you at now with your studies? 

I’ve completed AAT Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping (Level 2), I’m currently studying AAT Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping (Level 3), and in the future, I’ll do AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Level 3).

ICS Learn has made it very easy to fit this into my working day. Through their learning materials, I can set aside time to study in sections that have been beneficial in helping me manage my time properly at home.

Have your AAT studies and qualifications helped your career progression?

The reason I started was that the lady who currently does our accounts at the company I work for, Papermule, is going to be retiring. So I was asked at the beginning of the year if I’d like to swallow that into my job as the office manager which I agreed to on the proviso that I could train properly for it. 

My workplace has fully supported me getting my AAT qualifications and also when I said I’d like to go on to do the Advanced Certificate and then Diploma. I’m very lucky that they are funding all my studies. 

Have you faced challenges with your studies? 

I get so nervous about exams that I don’t actually tell anyone when I’m going for one because when people start saying “good luck” to me it makes me feel even worse. It helps that I don’t know anyone when I go for my exam so there isn’t any chit chat or comparing notes with peers before you go in which would add to the pressure for me. I’m in my own little bubble and can keep focused. 

I also always try to get the 9.30am exam slot as I’m not good at waiting to do it in the afternoon. This is where the AAT practice assessments have been invaluable. When I do those assessments and I’m pleased with my marks then I feel confident enough to book my exam. 

To learn more about studying AAT 100% online with ICS Learn, get your free course guide.

This content is brought to you by ICS Learn.

ICS Learn is an online learning organisation. They have been a pioneer in teaching skills and qualifications at a distance for over 130 years, giving you the opportunity to learn while earning and to fulfil your ambitions..

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