Undertaking an AAT distance learning course can be a real challenge. So, we asked AL team member Boris (aka the Southernhay Cat) to compile his best tips on keeping you motivated in achieving your goals:
1. “This is MY space”
Creating a good study space is really important. It’s no good trying to study with your laptop on your knees and lots of clutter everywhere around you.
Instead, create a good working space where you have everything you need to hand. (You don’t want to be getting up every 5 minutes to find your pencil, rubber, ruler, calculator, more paper…!)
2. “It’s all about ME”
It’s important to recognise your achievements and give yourself some ‘love’. Choosing to undertake your course already shows a level of commitment to improving your knowledge and skills.
With every practice paper completed and every exam passed, you are getting closer and closer to achieving your goal. Maybe one day, someone will write about a book about how great you are!
3. “I’m staying on track”
We provide all our students with an individual learning plan – this includes target dates for completing your progress tests, practice assessments and sitting exams; a great way for you to keep track of your progress.
We also provide a blank learning plan so that dates can be adjusted to suit your own study hours – here’s Boris updating his own learning plan to reflect his 2 week study break (he’ll be on holiday enjoying his favourite pastimes of bird watching and drinking 5* milk).
P.S. he’s very elderly, so don’t worry about the ‘birds’!
4. “I’m just taking a nap”
There is no point trying to study when you are too tired. You won’t be in the right frame of mind, your brain will struggle to process anything, so you’ll just end up getting frustrated. If you are too tired to study, DON’T! Go to bed and tackle it again tomorrow when your mind is fresh.
It’s important that you associate your studies with success! Don’t spend your time getting annoyed and wishing you weren’t studying.
5. “Can I help you?”
Don’t let people interrupt you when you are studying! If you have set aside time to study, let people know that you don’t want to be disturbed – this is YOUR time.
Whether you are studying in the office or at home, distractions are your worst enemy when it comes to productive studying. Turn off your phone, switch off your emails, shut the door and enjoy your successful study time!
6. “I can’t believe I did that!”
It’s important to recognise that you will make mistakes – we all do! You will send your work in to be marked and you may answer some questions incorrectly; you will add up the same numbers 4 times and get a different answer at each attempt; you will get quiz questions wrong and you may not achieve an AAT green light at the first attempt… BUT, KEEP GOING! You will get there.
Mistakes are all part of the learning process, and once you’ve made them, you shouldn’t make them again. Have confidence and you’ll pass those exams in no time.
7. “Just a little further…”
As you are studying, remember why you started your course in the first place – remember what your goals are.
It may seem like a long way off but you WILL achieve – you just have to keep your focus and be persistent. Keep your dreams and goals in mind as you power your way through your qualifications.
8. “This doesn’t look like studying to me Sir!”
Having a study buddy is a great way to keep you on track. Maybe you know someone else studying AAT and you can help each other out, or maybe you just need someone to hold you accountable for your studies.
Much like people have gym buddies (“Come on, it’s Tuesday, put down the takeaway menu and get to aerobics”), you could have your own study buddy (“Come on, it’s Wednesday, turn off the TV, put your phone away, its study time – you need to submit that practice assessment this evening!”)
Having someone else involved in your learning journey will help keep you accountable for your goals… and you will have someone to celebrate your successes with!
9. “Ain’t no party like a study-break party!”
It’s obviously important that you set aside time to study each week to ensure that you are making good progress – getting into a study routine is vital.
However, you should not think of studying as a hindrance to other areas of your life. Let’s say you have Thursday evening set aside as ‘study time’ – does that mean you can’t go out for your friend’s birthday dinner? Of course not!
The beauty of distance learning is that you are not chained to specific hours of attendance each week. If you know you won’t be able to study during a particular day, then do it the day before, or the day after – the learning materials won’t have moved on without you, so you won’t fall behind. (Just make sure that you don’t neglect your studies too frequently!)
10. “You WILL achieve your goals!”
One day, your studies will be completed, you will have passed all your exams and your AAT certificate will be proudly displayed on your wall. Think about how you will feel once you have achieved your qualification – what will it mean to you?
Do you want a promotion from your current position; are you looking to set up your own bookkeeping business or do you want to start a whole new career and sit in the best chair in the office?
Whatever your goal, keep up the hard work and make your dream a reality – YOU CAN DO IT!
Not started your AAT journey yet? Contact us for advice, and check out our special offers here
We hope that these study tips have helped you! Whilst we are not able to respond to any specific questions you might have about our posts, do please let us know if there are any further topics you would like us to write about. If, however, you are one of our tutor-supported students, please get in touch with your personal tutor who will be more than happy to help you.