For the last 5 years, I have been working as a self-employed electrician. I had always had a fascination for accounting but never felt confident enough to attempt to do my own business accounts. When lockdown arrived I found I had a lot of time on my hands that I needed to fill and I started looking at doing a basic bookkeeping course. I found several options but after taking advice from an accountant friend, I settled on the AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Accounting offered by First Intuition.
My initial goals were simply to get a better understanding of basic bookkeeping principles to help with my business and to occupy myself during the COVID lockdown. The study materials arrived and, after having my induction on 7th Jan 2021, I got stuck in.
AAT Level 2 – January 2021
Because I had so much time on my hands, I was able to fly through the Level 2 units during January and, after scoring well on the mocks, I booked up the first two assessments in the third week of Jan and the next two during the following week. The final Level 2 assessment, the Synoptic, was then booked for 3 Feb and I managed to get an overall distinction.
By now I was ‘hooked’ and I booked up the Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting course before I had completely finished Level 2.
AAT Level 3 – February 2021
I expected Level 3 to be a bit more challenging than Level 2 but after just one week I found I was ready for the first assessment and then managed to do one assessment a week through February. Because of the Synoptic Window, I had to wait until the end of March before I could do the Level 3 Synoptic which was a little bit frustrating. Getting immediate feedback on the results of the assessments was encouraging but having to wait 6 weeks for the Synoptic result was quite ‘agonising’. As I drew near to completing Level 3 I knew I wasn’t going to stop there and made sure I had all the materials ready to start Level 4 while I was waiting to do the Level 3 Synoptic. When the L3 synoptic result arrived, I was delighted to have achieved an overall distinction for level 3.
AAT Level 4 – April 2021
Level 4 was a big step up from Level 3 for me and I found it a lot more challenging. I was fairly comfortable with the calculation-type questions, but I found the extended writing questions very difficult. I had set myself a goal to complete the core part of the course in time to make the May/June 2021 Synoptic window, but I was struggling to meet this. The team at First Intuition, and in particular my tutor Nathaniel Hammond, was very helpful and encouraging all the way but I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. Thankfully the Synoptic window was extended due to the COVID pandemic and so I was given a bit more crucial time. The results had been coming in for the other core assessments and I was relieved to have passed all these and the Level 4 synoptic was finally booked for 11 June. There then followed another agonising 6-week wait for the synoptic results. During this time, I completed the two optional units and when the results for the Synoptic finally arrived I was dismayed to see that I had failed, scoring just 67%. I immediately booked a resit during the next window and arranged this for 30 July. But, in my panic to book this I hadn’t realised that I had also booked the second optional assessment just 2 days before this so that was a very busy week!
Final Results – July/August 2021
By the end of July, I had completed all the assessments and had also resat the L4 synoptic. The first optional result came in and I was very pleased to see I had passed, then the second arrived with a pass and so I now just had to wait for the Synoptic resit result. That took another week and I was immensely relieved to see that I had just scraped through this time. Considering the increased difficulty and the fact that I had already failed the synoptic once, I was delighted to achieve an overall merit for level 4.
I want to extend a big thank you to the distance learning team at First Intuition, in particular my tutor Nathaniel Hammond, who encouraged and supported me all the way.
The AAT Distance Learning team is very proud of Andy’s success and wishes him all the best with his future and career!
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