Study tips from the top

October 2020

Premier Training tutors have put together 25 tips for AAT distance learning students.

Premier Training asked their team of knowledgeable tutors for their best pieces of advice for AAT distance learners and have compiled them for students.

The training provider hopes this helps reassure students that even though they are studying from home, they’re never alone. Often one of the most difficult hurdles is actually getting organised to start a course of home study.

There is no single ‘set’ way to plan your study time as what works for one person may not work for another, but here are a few suggestions to help AAT students get started…

1: Introduce yourself to your tutor so you build a rapport from day one. They will be your first port of call when you need study support.

2: Set yourself specific weekly sessions and make sure everyone in your life knows this is your study time. Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon are favourite times for many, but choose what suits you best.

3: Tell friends and family that you are unavailable for the duration of each session, just as though you were out at the gym (or pub!).

4: Set target dates according to your timetable. While these dates are not mandatory, you should look on them as goals in your achievement.

5: Make notes as you go through the tutorial. It is easier to learn if you write it down and then they become useful revision notes later.

6: Place sticky notes on pages where you have questions. This will save you time when you call to speak to a tutor.

7: Be organised in your approach – half-an-hour’s work only when an opportunity crops up rarely gets things moving, whereas a strict study regime usually works wonders.

8: Sticking to a regime is often difficult to start with but, if you persist, you and others around will get used to it.

9: Remember we are available on the phone for tutor support Monday to Thursday until 8pm, Fridays until 5pm and on Saturday mornings, too.

10: As well as telling all your family and friends that you will not be available during specific times you should also switch off your phone.

11: Around six hours of study per week, spread across two or three sessions, is a good starting point and then you can see how it goes from there.

12: Don’t go too fast just because you can. Take each topic at a time and learn it thoroughly. Understanding is more important than simply knowing the mechanics of the calculation.

13: Try to avoid study when you are over-tired. You will take in very little if you do. Believe it or not, the same applies to people who study and are hungry.

14: It’s better to try and find out how to do things on your own – you will have more chance of remembering. But there may come a time when it really doesn’t make sense. Don’t sit there for hours (or days in some cases) – pick up the phone and ask your tutor.

15: Wait for feedback from work that has been submitted before attempting the next assignment.

16: It is good advice to keep to the course outline and try to submit work consistently – evidence shows that students who do this get to the end point much quicker and with better results.

17: Don’t leave it too long from receiving feedback from a mock assessment before sitting the ‘live’ assessment.

18: Always complete the AAT practice assessments before sitting exams.

19: Ensure you know what your weaknesses are and complete as much practice on the areas as possible. This will give you the best chance of passing in the live assessments – especially where written tasks are required.

20: Ensure you read the questions carefully and double check your answers.

21: Make sure there are no gaps in knowledge as this can have a detrimental effect on the overall outcome when it comes to live exams.

22: Don’t become lonely. This can be the most demotivating aspect of distance learning. Join the ASN group and keep in touch with your tutor and course advisor. We are here to help even if it is just a quick chat or more in-depth assistance.

23: Success under the AQ2016 standards comes more easily to those students who study regularly and make continuous progress, particularly due to the requirements of the final synoptic assessment. Students that study ‘ad hoc’ tend to do less well, losing motivation as they struggle with the understanding more, and have to go over their previous learning materials to a greater degree to maintain the skills needed for their final assessment.

24: You’re not going to get everything right first time and success isn’t just a single point in time and neither is failure. Failure is simply another practice round but it’s easy to get frustrated when we don’t master a skill straight away. So, regular practice is the key to success!

25: Do not sit the synoptic exam until you have passed the mandatory units.

• Thanks to Premier Training for this article