How to Approach the AAT Level 4 Written Questions

Posted by: Jannike Post Date: 10th August 2015

If you’re moving onto AAT level 4 after completing level 3, you might be wondering how to approach the new exam question formation.

At levels 2 and 3 of the AAT qualifications, the exams are computer marked. This means that answers are either right or wrong, with questions using calculations, multi choice or drag and drop.

When you reach level 4, however, you are not only required to complete calculations, but also to show that you understand why you are completing the calculations, and what they can be used for.

How to Approach the AAT Level 4 Written Questions

Level 4 exam format

At level 4, each of the five exams have a written element, and are designed to show your understanding of the subject, as well as demonstrate your ability to communicate this understanding to others. This is something that is new to most AAT learners, and requires thought about how to structure your answer, and really address the question.

It is important to gain a clear idea of what the AAT examiner is looking for. If you go to the AAT website and look at the performance feedback reports for each of the level 4 units, you can see where past learners have struggled, and what the examiner was hoping to see.

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Structuring your answers

The written questions at level 4 often ask you to apply your knowledge about a specific topic to a given situation. It is important that when you write your answer, you assume that the person reading it knows nothing about the subject. The beginning of the answer should be introduce the topic, giving an explanation; for example, explaining what rollover relief is.

The next section involves applying your knowledge to the given scenario. So, avoid trying to say everything you know about the topic, and instead focus on the information that relates to the particular scenario. The information that is given in the question is relevant, so you need to think specifically about why they are providing you with that information.

In a question about rollover relief, for example, you might need to explain how rollover relief relates to a given company. Try to explain all elements that apply, and how they should be used in the context of the situation.

After relating the topic to the scenario, the next step is explaining the consequences of your advice being taken. For example, you might need need to explain the outcome for the given company if they apply your information about rollover relief.

Finally, you need to close your answer by covering the key points again in a conclusion.

Written skills

You are now working at a level where you are expected to be able to communicate effectively with others in the workplace. You will be expected to be able to spell correctly and produce grammatically accurate work that concisely conveys your point.

You also need to be using language that creates a professional tone, and employing relevant terminology in your answer.

It is important to practise the written elements of the question, and get your tutor to give feedback. You need to make sure you give yourself enough time to send in a mock written question, get it marked, and receive feedback.

Moving forward

If you move onto further accounting qualifications, such as CIMA or ACCA, the skills you gain at AAT level 4 will be extremely relevant.

For both CIMA and ACCA, you will need to be able to answer written questions in detail, applying your knowledge to given scenarios. At these higher levels, you will be required to communicate your understanding effectively to your audience using the appropriate tone and language.

At Babington, you can study AAT level 4 either in the classroom or online from home, with comprehensive learning materials and tutor support. To find out more about studying AAT or higher level qualifications, get in touch below.

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