Olleevarr
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Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully you can help me out a bit!

Just quickly explain my current situation so people can ask me more direct questions: Left uni after 2 years (was studying comp sci), I am 24 now and I am quite interested in learning accountancy. I have an A-level in Maths (C) as well as Computing (C) and Chemistry (D) plus all the relevant GCSE stuff.

So onto my problem and hopefully someone can shed some light on it (again, I would be eternally grateful if anyone can help me!!):

I want to study AAT level 2 and get myself a job.. I believe that I am intellectually capable of doing this, however, I cannot get it funded and the course fees are around £800. I can however do a level 3 in AAT and get that funded because it's a level 3 course (24+ advance learning loans).

Now I understand that AAT have a little pre-req test to allow potential students to jump straight to level 3 (if they have relevant knowledge and or experience and could start studying at level 3 instead of level 2).

So what I want to know is; could I potentially spend a couple of months teaching myself AAT level 2 and try to pass this test so I can get funded to start the level 3? I would love to study level 2 because I could get a job straight away but I just cannot afford to shell out those course fees and believe that I could teach myself the course content with little trouble.

Sorry if it's convoluted, feel free to ask any questions if something needs clarifying and also impart as much of your personal experience as you can.
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Luhar
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Regarding the AAT level 2 - I am studying it myself while working in an accounts assistant role. Level 2 is fairly simple and will be much quicker/cheaper self-studying it.

I'm going to switch to classroom based learning for level 3 though.
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Olleevarr
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Hey, thanks for the response. Do you mind if I ask how you got your job without having already done AAT level 2? Did you just apply for the assistant role?
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Luhar
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(Original post by Olleevarr)
Hey, thanks for the response. Do you mind if I ask how you got your job without having already done AAT level 2? Did you just apply for the assistant role?
Yeh, I got the job before starting AAT. I just applied to Junior accounts assistant roles without them needing accounting qualifications.
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Olleevarr
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(Original post by Luhar)
Yeh, I got the job before starting AAT. I just applied to Junior accounts assistant roles without them needing accounting qualifications.
thanks so much for the info, I might just give this a try!
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TCA2b
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Is distance learning generally a sufficient method for learning the Level 2 and perhaps Level 3? I plan on applying to the Big Four and other top tier firms, but right now I want to get some background in the area, to see if it is a good fit for me first. I'm also considering MI/BI and IT (coding) as career options, so the AAT, being the equivalent of an A level, would be a good intro I feel when it comes to accountancy. Any providers that people here would recommend? I've heard that Eagle and Premier Training come highly recommended. Any others? Any experience with these?

I was initially considering Kaplan's online classroom but it is pricy and I'm not sure whether I'd get any benefit over and above self-study, particularly since distance learning courses mostly come with tutor support. Thoughts?
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TCA2b
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Bump!
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Olleevarr
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(Original post by TCA2b)
Is distance learning generally a sufficient method for learning the Level 2 and perhaps Level 3? I plan on applying to the Big Four and other top tier firms, but right now I want to get some background in the area, to see if it is a good fit for me first. I'm also considering MI/BI and IT (coding) as career options, so the AAT, being the equivalent of an A level, would be a good intro I feel when it comes to accountancy. Any providers that people here would recommend? I've heard that Eagle and Premier Training come highly recommended. Any others? Any experience with these?

I was initially considering Kaplan's online classroom but it is pricy and I'm not sure whether I'd get any benefit over and above self-study, particularly since distance learning courses mostly come with tutor support. Thoughts?
Really depends on wether or not you feel that you can work without having a teacher behind you. I've become more mature when it comes to studies, so being self-disciplined comes easily for me now and I actually prefer as little face time with tutors etc, generally because I pick up things faster than the pace that the tutors want to set for everyone.

Premier training is astronomically expensive, far more than kaplan!! I think you should be trying lvl 2 as distance learning as it is very easy, maybe switch to a classroom for your level 3, when it gets a bit trickier.

This is all personal of course, you might be younger than me (I can tell you haven't experienced university lessons, perhaps?) and find working in a classroom at set lesson times might suite you better.. Have a think about it
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TCA2b
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I've been in higher education, up to Masters level in a business discipline. I just want to specialise irrespective of whether I get a graduate job or not, and doing the AAT is one way of doing so. Even at university, I found I benefitted more from self-learning than classrooms/lectures, albeit they had some benefit. I'll check Kaplan again but I think Eagle and Premier all cost the same as Kaplan for distance learning courses; however, it's not clear from Kaplan's website if their discount has already been applied to the prices they quote so I'll get in touch with them to clarify that. I am also leaning towards self-study in this regard, so I'll probably opt for a distance learning course.
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Scoobiedoobiedo
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(Original post by TCA2b)
I've been in higher education, up to Masters level in a business discipline. I just want to specialise irrespective of whether I get a graduate job or not, and doing the AAT is one way of doing so. Even at university, I found I benefitted more from self-learning than classrooms/lectures, albeit they had some benefit. I'll check Kaplan again but I think Eagle and Premier all cost the same as Kaplan for distance learning courses; however, it's not clear from Kaplan's website if their discount has already been applied to the prices they quote so I'll get in touch with them to clarify that. I am also leaning towards self-study in this regard, so I'll probably opt for a distance learning course.
Self studying for AAT level 2 & 3 is pretty easy. If you want to go down the self study route, you can simply buy some textbooks, self study and book exams with Kaplan as an external candidate. Plus there are lots of free resources online, kaplan have several free webinars, and there are lots of e-learning materials on the AAT website.

Personally I use Osborne Books,

Level 2 cost me £93 including delivery and level 3 cost me £104 including delivery.

Level 2 exams cost £305 and level 3 costs £424.

So all in to self study you're looking at:

Level 2: £398
Level 3: £528

I know at least with Kaplan, and I imagine it is the same with everybody, the course fees don't include exam fees. So you need to add the £305 and £424 on top of the £600-£800 fee for the course.

Distance learning courses cost £600-£800 and basically just include books, e-learning materials and email support. The books you can buy from Osborne for about £100, and there are large amounts of high quality free e-learning materials on line. You basically end up paying £500+ for email support.
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TCA2b
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Thanks, I'll consider that then. So is level 4 the only one that really requires any learning per se? Also, did you find any exam revision workbooks or the like particularly useful?
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Scoobiedoobiedo
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(Original post by TCA2b)
Thanks, I'll consider that then. So is level 4 the only one that really requires any learning per se? Also, did you find any exam revision workbooks or the like particularly useful?
Couldn't really comment with regards to level 4, as I haven't started it yet, I will be in a few weeks time. I plan to self study for it however, and I've read of plenty of people managing to completely self study for it. It's obviously trickier at level 4 as it's a tougher syllabus, however I think it's simply a case of how competent you are, and how easily you can motivate yourself to study exclusively at home. If you can achieve at university level I can't see you having a problem.

Personally, and I know many others share the same opinion on the AAT forum, you either self study or you enrol on a classroom course, distance learning doesn't really add anything other than very expensive tutor email support, which I've read is usually very basic, you could just as easily ask questions on accounting forums.

I've only used the Osborne textbooks and workbooks, so can't comment on anything else. I find them incredibly useful, well worded and simple to understand, while still providing more than enough detail. That combined with AAT website e-learning materials and stacks of other free resources online, and you've got more than enough.

Another benefit is you can work through at your own pace, which in reality is a lot quicker than any timetabled course. To give you an idea, from purchasing my level 2 books to completing my final level 2 exam was 6 weeks. Purchasing my level 3 books to completing my final exam, 12 weeks. That is no real working knowledge of accounts, didn't even know how to debit or credit!
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TCA2b
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What sort of prices did you pay for the Osborne books? Did you also get any revision books, or would those be the workbooks you mentioned? I'm guessing the edition also matters, as it has to be relevant to AQ2013 rather than 2010. Lastly, how much study time would you say you spend on each exam per day?
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Scoobiedoobiedo
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(Original post by TCA2b)
What sort of prices did you pay for the Osborne books? Did you also get any revision books, or would those be the workbooks you mentioned? I'm guessing the edition also matters, as it has to be relevant to AQ2013 rather than 2010. Lastly, how much study time would you say you spend on each exam per day?
£11.70 for tutorial books and £7.15 for workbooks. You could probably call their workbooks revision books, they're simply tonnes of practice questions and practice assessments.

This is their list of books:
http://www.osbornebooks.co.uk/2013_r...aat_accounting

They're all AQ2013

Difficult to say, it varies for each exam. Perhaps 5 hours a week? Doing an exam every 2-3 weeks.

Not all their exams are the same difficulty. WEAF and ITAX for example are quite simple. WEAF is basic maths, reading comprehension and common sense, no real specific knowledge, and ITAX contains all the VAT reference material you need to know. They obviously take a lot less revision than the accounts preparation or costing.
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TCA2b
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Great, thanks, I'll look into that then. Should save a considerable amount of money. I didn't realise how feasible it is to self-study it.
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Janis319
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I am thinking of starting the AAT level 2 at the local college. Can anyone advise what books I will need to buy
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holisticthera
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hi i was looking into studying level 2 & level 3 accountancy fast track distant learning with either ics (£2,260.20) or home learning (£2,388.95) this is including exam fees, AAT fees and centre fees. I have been looking for any way to study without having to pay such large costs, when i came across the term EXTERNAL CANDIDATE!!!
Scoobiedoobieo has been the most helpful after a full day spent trying to find information about how it works, however i have a few questions that i would love love some answers to if possible?
1) are there units which require a tutor? computer based projects that require marking?
2)if there are could you tell me what units would need this from level 2 and level 3
3)some have said they had difficulty getting student membership with AAT without a learning provider. how could i get around this?
would really appreciate ant help. thanks for taking the time to read
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holisticthera
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(Original post by Scoobiedoobiedo)
Self studying for AAT level 2 & 3 is pretty easy. If you want to go down the self study route, you can simply buy some textbooks, self study and book exams with Kaplan as an external candidate. Plus there are lots of free resources online, kaplan have several free webinars, and there are lots of e-learning materials on the AAT website.

Personally I use Osborne Books,

Level 2 cost me £93 including delivery and level 3 cost me £104 including delivery.

Level 2 exams cost £305 and level 3 costs £424.

So all in to self study you're looking at:

Level 2: £398
Level 3: £528

I know at least with Kaplan, and I imagine it is the same with everybody, the course fees don't include exam fees. So you need to add the £305 and £424 on top of the £600-£800 fee for the course.

Distance learning courses cost £600-£800 and basically just include books, e-learning materials and email support. The books you can buy from Osborne for about £100, and there are large amounts of high quality free e-learning materials on line. You basically end up paying £500+ for email support.
really helpful thank you!!!!
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Ahsin59
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Hi I want to self study at AAT Level 2 which books I need to buy to help me pass my AAT Level 2
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Ahsin59
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Hi i want to self study at AAT Level 2 and i would like to know which books i buy like Osborne. Kaplan or other company to help me pass my AAT Level 2
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