What is the best suggested order to study AAT?

A question I’m often asked by new student’s is “in which order should I be studying these units?”

 

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What is the best suggested order to study AAT?

A question I’m often asked by new student’s is “in which order should I be studying these units?”

 

There is no set rule on  this, but we do have a suggested order for each level, as some units follow on from others.

This is the recommended order for level 2:

  • Bookkeeping transactions (BTRN)
  • Bookkeeping controls (BKCL)
  • Elements of costing (ELCO)
  • Foundation Synoptic (FSYN)
  • Using accounting software (UACS)

The reason for this order is that it is best to start with the 2 bookkeeping units to get a good knowledge of your debits and credits.

Bookkeeping transactions is best done first because Bookkeeping controls follows on and builds on the knowledge learned in Bookkeeping transactions.

Elements of costing is done next and then the synoptic.

This exam will have questions on the first 3 units (BTRN, BKCL, ELCO).  This is to test you have retained your knowledge from these units, so you need to have sat the first 3 units before sitting the synoptic exam.

This is why the synoptic unit is 4th, so the first three units are as fresh in your mind as can be.

Using accounts software is a stand-alone unit so is done last as it will not be tested in the synoptic unit so we leave this until last.

This is the recommended order for level 3:

  • Advanced Bookkeeping (AVBK)
  • Final accounts preparation (FAPR)
  • Management accounts – costing (MMAC)
  • Advanced Synoptic (ADSY)
  • Spreadsheets (SPSH)
  • Indirect tax (IDRX)

The reason for this order is that again it is best to start with the two bookkeeping units (Advanced bookkeeping and Final accounts preparation).

These units build on what you learned at level 2 in the first two units, and typically students studied this at the start of level 2, so we don’t want a large time delay between these units and when they need this knowledge at level 3.

Advanced bookkeeping is best done first and then Final accounts because Final accounts builds on the knowledge learned in Advanced bookkeeping.

Management accounts – costing is done next (this builds on what you learned at level 2 in the Elements of costing unit).

The synoptic unit is next, this exam will have questions on the first 3 units (AVBK, FAPR, MMAC).  This is to test you have retained your knowledge from these units, so you need to have sat the first 3 units before sitting the synoptic exam.

This is why the synoptic unit is 4th, so the first three units are as fresh in your mind as can be.

You will also have to sit the new spreadsheets unit.  This has now required prior knowledge, so it can actually be sat at any point in the level.  However, you shouldn’t break up the natural flow of AVBK, FAPR and MMAC into ADSY.  So, we recommend that if you aren’t sitting this 1st, you would sit this as your 5th exam as you must wait 6 weeks for your results for this to come through.

Indirect tax is a stand-alone unit so is done last as it will not be tested in the synoptic unit.  This also means that when you are waiting the 6 weeks for your synoptic and spreadsheets results, you can study IDRX, which is quite a short unit.  So when you sit your IDRX exam, you will get your result for this on the date of the exam, which will be a similar time to when your synoptic and spreadsheets results come through.

This is the recommended order for level 4:

  • Management Accounts – Budgeting (MABU)
  • Management Accounts – Decision and Control (MDCL)
  • Financial Statements for Limited Companies (FSLC)
  • Professional Synoptic (PDSY)
  • Two chosen optional units.

The reason for this order is that Budgeting is a nice unit to begin level 4 with, this builds on the knowledge learned from Elements of costing (level 2) and Management accounts costing (Level 3).

Decision and control follows on from this and builds on the knowledge learned in Budgeting.

Financial statements is next. This builds on the bookkeeping knowledge gained from levels 2 and 3.

The synoptic unit is next, this exam will have questions on the first 3 units (MABU, MDCL, FSLC).  This is to test you have retained your knowledge from these units, so you need to have sat the first 3 units before sitting the synoptic exam

This is why the synoptic unit is 4th, so the first three units are as fresh in your mind as can be.

Then the two optional units.  However, as the optional units are not part of the synoptic exam, you could start with the optional units.  However, we wouldn’t suggest you do these between any of the mandatory units and the synoptic exam, as you are just creating a time difference between when you studied Budgeting, and when you need that knowledge in the synoptic exam.

I fully recommend that when you start any new level, you get in touch with your tutor to discuss the choices available to you.

Other options

At level 3, you can start with Indirect tax as it is a stand-alone unit.

At level 4, you can start with Financial statements as this is a stand-alone unit.

You could also start with your optional units, they don’t have to be done last.

At each level, you must do the 3 main units before the synoptic as these units will be tested in the synoptic.

We do have the above recommended orders, but you do have different options and they can be adjusted depending on the individual student so as I mentioned at the beginning, the order is not set in stone, but some units are best done before others.

Have a chat with your tutor to discuss what is best for you.

Happy studying!

Once you have decided the order to study, you may want to know our tips for sitting your first exam.

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