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Experiences of course providers when doing AAT(14 Posts)
After a lot of thinking I want to do AAT levels 2 and 3 while I am at home with the two little ones. But I have to confess that I am completely confused as to who I should go with ( Homelearningcollege, kaplan, eagle, bbp, premier?....arrrgggh) particularly as they are pricey. I really don't want to waste money down the drain. Does anyone have any experiences/ recommendations? Did you think the study materials provided was good etc?
From reading on other threads somebody did just recommend buying the text books for AAT 2 and then taking exams separately - but how realistic is this for somebody who hasn't taken an exam in over 6 years and has no accounting knowledge? PLus what books would you buy and where?
I do have a partner with a maths degree and a brother doing accounting at uni at the moment so I guess I could turn to them for help? My motivation is pretty high - as I think that this is the only way that I can get a decent job living in a rural area and I want to buy a house in 3 years time.
Any help/advice would be appreciated.
I tried doing one of my CIMA exams as home study and found it very hard. But you may find you can do the initial study at home and then book a revision course through the providers just to make sure you've got everything before you do the exam - may be a good compromise. Most of the mainstream providers will sell you their textbooks so I would get the materials from them.
In terms of experience (and this is a good few years ago now), I found BPP to be very good. Their course materials are standardised so even if you don't get the best teacher, your notes will still be very good. I remember somebody saying to me that Kaplan is done at a more local level, so you're very reliant on getting a good tutor - not to say they won't be, but just may make a difference.
If the cost and time makes going to evening classes etc. a problem, then home study is definitely worth a shot - you can always go for a classroom option later if it doesn't work. But if you can do face to face, it's worth every penny - I don't think anything compares to having someone talk you through it and answer your questions. It's not too hard, but if you're coming at it cold you may find you need someone to talk you through the initial concepts while you first get your head around it.
Good luck whatever you decide!
Thanks slev. BPP did look pretty good to me but I wasn't sure if I was just being taken in by the layout!
I definitely agree with you about having the classroom experience but that's not an option for me at the moment as a) I don't drive and b) I live in an rural area and transport is non existent in the evenings.
It would be tough studying AAT at home with no practical accounting knowledge. The classroom option is pricey.
However, I did both classroom courses and distance learning and found BPP were good. I've now moved onto CIMA (distance learning) and found First Intuition are good - they use Kaplan texts. They also do AAT so worth a look
I did AAT on day release at the local FE college. If evenings are out, could you do one full day a week?
I found it quite hard and needed somebody to explain it, which you wouldn't get on self study. I did manage a term in the second year with the help of class notes on the internet when I was convalescing from an op and couldn't go to class.
The exams are done on line and you normally take one at the end of each subject, rather than a 3 hour exam at the end of the year. So you would need to go to an exam centre to actually sit the tests.
I agree with the others about the BPP books though. They are by far the easiest to follow.
I found it very time consuming to travel to college to join aat courses, so i have decided to start the courses online at Osborne Training. Osborne Training provides live interactive online sessions through the learning platform which is very helpful. You can interact with the tutor and other students in real time which makes the learning experience enjoyable. Their course materials are also high quality and they posted the books direct to my home address. I would definitely recommend them if anyone wants to do aat courses online or aat distance learning.
I recently decided to join Osborne Training. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking to do aat classroom based course! They provided me with high quality course materials and they posted the books straight to my house. i would definitely recommend.
BPP or Kaplan I would say.
The problem with doing it on your own is having no one to explain stuff, or hi-lighting how important the topic area is. A college can also help you with exam technique, mock exams, and an array of model answers (not just the one answer that is supplied in the book).
The study is more focused and they steer you towards the parts you really need to understand.
I would really recommend AAT as a qualification however you chose you study.
I worked with someone who did level 4 with First Intuition, online lectures. She really rated them and they were a few hundred quid cheaper than the local fe college.
I used BPP when I self-studied ACCA many years ago. I'd tried a few of the other options in earlier modules but didn't really like them as much, so opted for BPP for all later modules. Self-study isn't easy, but it's certainly possible. These days, there are also loads of you-tube videos which would help you out with specific areas you don't really understand. I went to a local college for a few modules but to be honest, I thought the teachers were pretty poor and didn't really help me at all (most were just reading from the book anyway rather than being properly qualified teachers for accountancy).
OP did you manage to qualify with a AAT qualification? I am in a similar situation to you and would love to know how you got on and job prospects.
I did AAT with Kaplan and also went on to do ACCA with them, both evening courses.
With AAT I don't think having help with someone maths degree is going to help that much and even the person studying accountancy might not be as much help as you might think.
AAT is an NVQ and so a lot of what you study is the practicial side of accounting, preparing payroll, how to run a fixed asset register etc and so if you have no experience at all I would highly recommend getting to class if you can.
On the basis of my final year of AAT study I managed to secure a job as a Assistant Management Accountant and promoted within 6 months. The AAT study meant I was able to hit the ground running.
It's a great qualification and a offers a great grounding if you want to go and study ACCA/CIMA.
Sorry I didn't answer your other question. I liked Kaplan but I used to purchase study aids from BPP as they provided much better ones. This was many years ago though !
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