Remember the June deadline is for you to finish your LEVEL. You DON’T have to complete ALL of AAT by the end of June 2023!
So, what are your options?
Ideally, you would just complete the level you are on. When you complete that level it will dictate if you start the next level on AQ2016 or Quals 22. If you complete the level you are on after 1st February 2022 the next level you start will be on Quals 22. If you complete the level you are on before 1st February 2022, you could start the next level on the current standards, and you would have the June 2023 deadline to work towards for that level.
However, if you are on AQ2016 you could move onto Quals 22 after 1st February 2022. But there is a lot to consider:
Some benefits of moving over onto Quals 22
On Quals 22 there are no synoptic exams at level 3 and level 4, if you are not an apprentice. Synoptics are typically are seen as harder exams, and students may want to avoid these.
You will learn the most up-to-date syllabus. I am personally quite excited by some of the subjects that are coming in such as block chain, big data, and AI.
You won’t have a June 2023 deadline, although I do want to stress this is a long time in the future so this isn’t a major concern at the moment.
There are some other things that you need to weigh up before making the decision.
Firstly, you will need new study material, there will be a cost to these.
Speaking of cost, AAT are moving from an annual subscription model to a one-off registration fee per level. So rather than paying £99 per year as you do now, you need to pay to register on each individual level This is a one-off fee and will cover you for as long as you are studying that level. The amount hasn’t been decided but it will be considerably more than the £99 fee. So for example, if you had one exam left on level 3, and wanted to move over onto Quals 22 you would pay a fee to register on level 3 Quals 22. You would then sit the exam to complete level 3. Then you need to register on level 4 Quals 22 and would need to pay another one-off registration fee soon after paying the fee for level 3.
Some of the units on AQ2016 have been merged into one single unit. Advanced bookkeeping and Final accounts preparation have been merged at level 3 into a single unit called Final Accounting: Preparing Financial Statements. This means fewer exams, but this exam will be a BIG unit. Likewise, Budgeting and Decision and Control at level 4 have been merged into the very large Applied Management Accounting unit.
If you move over onto Quals 22 any exam passes you have got will carry over at 70% irrespective of what mark you got in the real exam. Some people might consider this a deal-breaker, others might not overly worry about this.
Lastly, not all the units will carry over. If you do move over onto Quals 22 and you are not careful you might lose some exam passes you have achieved, which is the last thing you want.
At level 2 the Bookkeeping Transaction, Bookkeeping Controls, and Elements of costing units will give you an exemption from their equivalent unit on Quals 22. However, the Synoptic exam and Using Accounting software exams do not have any equivalent units on Quals 22. If you moved over onto Quals 22 having passed Using Accounting Software, and Foundation Synoptic, but not Elements of costing say, you would lose both your passes in Using Accounting Software and the Synoptic exam. You would then need to sit the new unit on Quals 22 which is the Business Environment unit.
Level 3 is even more complicated. Advanced Bookkeeping and Final Accounts Preparation have been merged into the Financial Accounting: Preparing Financial Statements unit. So you need to have passed both to get the exemption. If you have passed only one, you will lose that pass and need to sit the Financial Accounting: Preparing Financial Statements unit on Quals 22.
Management Accounting Costing now contains spreadsheets in a unit called Management Accounting Techniques. To get this exemption you need to show competency in Management Accounting as well as spreadsheets. The way to prove your competency is to have passed both Management Accounting Costing and Synoptic. If you have only passed Costing but not Advanced Synoptic, you will need to sit the Management Accounting Techniques unit, as you can’t prove your competency in spreadsheets.
Indirect tax corresponds to the equivalent unit on Quals 22 so that will carry over.
There is no equivalent unit for Advanced Synoptic on Quals 22 so if you have passed Advanced Synoptic, but not Indirect tax, for example, you will lose your pass in Synoptic, and you don’t want that! There is a new unit on Quals 22 level 3 called Business Awareness, which contains brand new content, that isn’t covered in AQ2016. Therefore anyone moving over onto Quals 22 in the middle of level 3 will have to sit this unit.
Level 4 is very straightforward, every unit will achieve an exemption for the corresponding unit, including synoptic. The only issue is that you need to have passed both Budgeting and Decision and Control to get the exemption from the Applied Management Accounting unit. If you have only passed Budgeting, but not Decision and Control for example, and you move over onto Quals 22 you will need to sit the large Applied Management Accounting exam.
The key message I want to stress is for you to not panic, you have LOTS of time left. However, everyone’s circumstances are different so if you are not sure please speak to your tutor. You don’t want to be losing any passes that you have.
Find out more
As part of our AATitude 2021 Festival, we are holding a specific session on Quals 22 where we will be joined by Zoe Smith from AAT:
Friday 28th May – 12:30-13:30 – Everything you need to know about Quals 22