Top tips for studying AAT Level 4 – part two

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Like with most qualifications, Level 4 of the AAT Accounting Qualification is considered the hardest. In the second of a series of posts, AAT’s Assistant Director of Global Development Claire Angus, who has successfully completed the AAT Accounting Qualification, offers her experience of Level 4 and some tips for success.

I decided to study AAT at the beginning because I was keen to get a firmer understanding of the student journey.

At that stage in my career I was 28. I didn’t have any financial experience as I did Psychology at university, so initially I planned to only study Level 2. I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed it that I found myself studying Level 3 and then Level 4.

I didn’t have to re-sit any units, but I did find management accounts a little difficult. I had to spend a lot of time practising. I particularly found ratios and variances tricky. I can completely understand why people struggle with Level 4. You are expected to do much more than just calculations.

There is more emphasis on explaining and interpreting accounting information. You need to learn a much greater breadth of information for the assessments, and there is more written tasks; some may struggle with this if they prefer numbers to words.

I found it really hard to motivate myself through the Unit 10 project (now called Internal Controls and Accounting Systems [ICAS]) and I know from speaking to others that I’m not the only one. I kept putting it off and didn’t actually start until six months after my last exam.

Top tip: Use the resources which are available, I did lots of practice papers. I also used the online community and spoke to others through the AAT forums, I also read up on a lot of issues through web resources.

Claire Angus is Assistant Director of Global Development at AAT. She has worked at AAT for 11 years and completed the AAT Accounting Qualification in 2008. Claire has gone on to study with CIMA.

Claire Angus is AAT's former Assistant Director of Global Development.

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