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Answering your AAT exam questions

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Got a question about your AAT exam?

Here we’ve put together a list of the most common questions we get asked.

Q: How long will it take to get results?

A: For students, these are accessed within the Your Assessment Results service. Assessment Venues do not have access to student result data.

Results for assessments that are computer-marked are available within 24 hours after it’s been submitted.

Results for assessments that are at least partially human-marked by AAT are released six weeks from the date the assessment was submitted.

Synoptic Exam Results will be released online six weeks from the Friday of each synoptic assessment window.

Q: Can I re-sit straight away?

A: You should only enter an assessment when you’re well prepared and  expected to pass it. If you’re unsuccessful you should discuss the results with a tutor and revise appropriately before retaking.

There are resit restrictions in place for students who are aged 16-19, in a full-time study programme, and studying one of the qualifications listed on the AAT website.

Q: I have specific requirements, when in the exam. What do I do?

A: For students with particular assessment requirements, please speak to your AAT Approved Centre in advance of your exam date, to allow them to arrange additional support.

Q: Where can I resit the exam?

A: You can resit your exams at any AAT approved centre.

Q: How much does it cost to re-sit the exam?

A: At Kaplan, a resit exam costs the same as your initial exam; there are no additional charges.

Q: How should I approach answering the questions in my exam?

A: Follow Kaplan's 'two wave approach'. Work through all the questions initially, answering all the ‘easier’ questions first, then work through the remainder.

If you get stuck with a question, don’t spend too much time on it. Leave it to the end but remember to go back to it. Make sure you answer all questions.

Q: Will all areas of the syllabus be examined; are there any I can ignore?

A: With computer based tests, questions are selected from a large database. It means you could be asked anything from any area of the syllabus, so be familiar with all topics.

Q: Are the computer based test questions random?

A: Yes, the questions are selected at random, although the structure of the exam remains the same. So the person you are sat next to in the exam is likely to have different questions from you.

Q: Will the questions in the exam be like those I’ve seen in my text books and on the AAT website?

A: The live exams are not seen by us and the style of question is always evolving. The question styles seen in the material are based on expert knowledge and information provided by the AAT practice assessments.

You need to have a full understanding of the syllabus and be prepared for any style of question. The more practice, the better.

Q: Do I need to do the subjects in a set order?

A: For Foundation Certificate, we advise you complete the Bookkeeping Transactions (BTRN) unit before studying for Bookkeeping Controls (BKCL) or Using Accounting Software (UACS).

You should complete your studies for all units (with the exception of Using Accounting Software) before you attempt the synoptic assessment.

For Advanced Diploma, we advise that you complete the Advanced Bookkeeping (AVBK) subject before studying for Final Accounts Preparation (FAPR).

Our Advanced Diploma Synoptic Assessment (AVSY) course covers the syllabus areas relating to the Ethics for Accountants (ETFA) and Spreadsheets for Accounting (SPSH) subjects, which are assessed only as part of the synoptic exam. They also allow you to recap on your learning from earlier subjects. This is so you’re well prepared ahead of the exam.

For Professional Diploma, you should only start studying for the Professional Synoptic course (PDSY) once you've completed the other three mandatory units. They all form part of the Synoptic Assessment.

In the Professional Synoptic course, we'll cover the Accounting Systems and Controls unit that will be assessed in the Synoptic Assessment. There are only six exam windows for this assessment in a year, so please bear this in mind when you start studying for the Professional Synoptic course.

Q: Do I have to renew my student membership with AAT if I’m just waiting for my final exam result to come through?

A: Yes. The AAT will not release exam results if your student membership is not up to date. However, the student membership renewal will last for 12 months which means you can apply to be a full member of the AAT (use the letters M.A.A.T) whilst still on the student rate.

You will not need to pay full membership fees until your renewal comes around again.

Q: Is there a time limit on qualifying?

A: There isn’t a deadline for students to complete a level once they are registered.

Q: If I take a break from studying, do I still need to pay my membership fees?

A: The AAT membership fee is for 12 months of membership, rather than for each level of the qualification, etc. So it’s dependent on the date of your initial registration and how long you intend to break for.

Q: What can I take into the exam room?

A: You may bring pens, pencils, erasers and calculators. No other equipment is allowed though. Within the assessment room, these must be placed on your exam desk or stored in a transparent case. All equipment, including the transparent case, will be checked and approved by the Assessment Centre prior to the start of the assessment.

Students are permitted to use a scientific calculator but they cannot be used if they:

  • Emit audible tones
  • Can print
  • Allow text, dictionaries or mathematical formulas to be stored and retrieved
  • Can communicate with other devices or the internet
  • Are functions of a personal organiser or any digital device.

The following items are not permitted:

  • Mobile phones
  • Dictionaries
  • Computers other than those being used for the assessment
  • Memory sticks
  • Study text, revision cards, course notes
  • Books and papers
  • Any other form of digital, electronic, recording or programmable equipment, including, but not limited to:
    • Tablets
    • Dictaphones
    • Smart watches
    • Cameras in any form, including wearable devices

You must have official photo ID (Driver's License or passport) if the invigilators of the exam haven’t met you before.  However, we can admit students with no ID if they are known to two members of staff, and if a declaration is signed.

Q: What should I do if I am struggling with a particular area of the syllabus?

A: If there’s a particular topic you’re struggling with, review your course notes and text books before attempting more. Don’t waste time writing revision notes. The best revision is question practice. You can contact your Kaplan tutor for assistance too.

Try and think of fun ways to practice – perhaps hold a quiz with colleagues who are also studying.

Q: How long are the CBT exams?

A: The duration of your exam will depend on the unit you’re sitting so refer back to your course notes and text books for this information. Arrive at the exam location 30 minutes before the exam start time, and allow 15 minutes after it before you leave.

Q: What do I do at the start of the exam?

A: You’ll need to follow the instructions on screen. This will include entering a keycode which will be given to you by your invigilator.

Your name, AAT student number and name of the exam will appear on screen. Make sure this is the correct exam that you’re planning to sit. Inform the invigilator if any of the info isn’t correct.

There is one page of formal instructions onscreen, informing you of specific information for your exam. Please read this and follow the instructions.

Q: What do I do once I finish the exam?

A: The CBE will automatically end once the time is up.

You can finish early if you’re certain you’ve completed every question to the best of your ability, by clicking on the 'Exit' icon. Don’t feel pressured to finish early simply because other people may have.