Distance Learning - who shall I go with?

hztm
hztm Registered Posts: 50 ? ? ?
I know this is a common question and there are various older postings dotted around, but I really would appreciate some advice.

After a month of mucking around with the local college, and after speaking with AAT, I have decided to study Diploma route via distance learning. I took the skills check and can start on the Advanced Certificate Level. I want to sign up next week and get started.

I am in the Southampton area and have spoken with Premier and Eagle. I thought Premier sounded more professional but I know that Eagle have the study budy. Are these companies the best people to go with , are there any other companies I should consider.

Thank you very much indeed for any advice.

Comments

  • sharonj
    sharonj Registered Posts: 166 ? ? ?
    Hi

    I have just finished the certificate level with Premier Training on the diploma route. I have found them to be very good. They are very helpful when you ring up with any queries. You have a tutor assigned to you and also a course adviser who can always give you help and advice.

    I have now started the advanced certificate with them and really cannot fault them. They give you plenty of practice tests to try and short tests after completing various stages of the course, all aimed at getting you through the exams. As for Eagle, I really don't know much about them. I sometimes would like to be able to chat to someone else doing the same course but then I think that the AAt forums are good for that and you don't necessarily need anyone else. Premier Training also use the Osbourne books and they are very well laid out and easy to understand.

    Hope this helps and good luck
  • hztm
    hztm Registered Posts: 50 ? ? ?
    Hi Sharon,
    Thanks for the info...

    I would like to sign up next week but I am really confused who to go with. Spoke to Kaplan this afternoon, they sounded good and they have a centre near me, but they are a lot more expensive than Premier, and I don't really know what extra I would get.

    Other people say the study buddy system with Eagle is good.

    I wonder if you can just buy the books and study without signing up for a course - I guess you will then have to pay a lot extra to sit the exams and get the skills check, etc.

    Any further advice would be really appreciated.

    Thanks
  • PAMDILL
    PAMDILL Registered Posts: 721 ? ? ?
    I have moved from Kaplan to Eagle and have found Eagle so much better. They use Osbourne books. I have only just started with them but I have found the tutors brillian.
  • sharonj
    sharonj Registered Posts: 166 ? ? ?
    Hi

    I did wonder if I would be able to study on my own as the books themselves don't actually cost more than about £100 to £150 in total I think but I really like having a tutor that I can ring if I get stuck. I haven't gotten stuck that many times but when I have they have been a great help. The tutors at premier are there every day from 9 till 5 and they work till 8 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I think they may work Saturday mornings as well, I can't remember exactly. You get assigned your own tutor and you can speak to them each time and that way they get to know you, how you work and what style of learning you have.

    What I also like is the short tests that they give you within the course and also practice exams before the exam itself. They also give you a timetable advising you what you should have completed by what time and when to take the short tests to make sure you have understood what you have learned. These are sent to them, graded and any comments or areas for improvement or more study required are detailed in the copy sent back to you. They also send you extra info if you're having trouble with a particular area. All in all I really can't fault them and would definately recommend them to anyone wishing to study the AAT from home.

    I have also heard that Kaplan aren't that good and don't use Osbourne books either which are really easy to understand but obviously I am just going by what I've heard and everyone is different and you may find them easy to study with.

    As for having to pay more for the exams if you study from the books alone the examination fee is paid directly to the AAT and as far as I know as long as you are registered as a student it doesn't matter whether you are tutoring yourself or stuying with a college or home study centre. As for the skills tests, I think even if you study with Premier training you have to pay for them seperately on top of the course fee. Not 100% sure on that though. May have to ring them myself and ask.
  • hztm
    hztm Registered Posts: 50 ? ? ?
    Thanks Sharon - that is really helpful - I am just waiting for Premier to confirm where I can sit the exams and I will probably go with them - they have been extremely helpful and informative.

    As an aside - it is a small world - I grew up in Welling.

    Thanks Again
  • sharonj
    sharonj Registered Posts: 166 ? ? ?
    How funny, Welling is just up the road from me. It is definately a small world.

    On my first day at work where I work now, I got chatting to a girl in our office the same age as me. It turned out her best friends at secondary school were my best friends at junior school and she also lives in Welling now... Weird!! Have had a lot more, creepier it's a small world incidents but that's a whole other story.

    Good luck!
  • mikes
    mikes Registered Posts: 254
    hztm wrote: »
    I am just waiting for Premier to confirm where I can sit the exams

    When you register for the exams, you enter as an external student and the AAT website have a list that accept them and you choose the one that is convienent for you. This can change slightly from each exam sitting. Premier woun't be able to confirm this for you at present.
  • hztm
    hztm Registered Posts: 50 ? ? ?
    I guess there is no way of finding out then if there are any centres around the south coast until I come to take the exam - might just to have accept that some travel is involved. Thanks for the info.
  • sharonj
    sharonj Registered Posts: 166 ? ? ?
    There should be centres across the country where you can take the exams. I actually took mine at the London SAM for the certificate stage but I could have taken it at a local college to me as an external student. I just chose to take it up London as I work up town.
  • hztm
    hztm Registered Posts: 50 ? ? ?
    AAT said it is difficult to advise me of the available locations until nearer the December exams.

    I know that BPP and Kaplan have centres in Southampton but, after another conversation with Premier today, I think I am going to run with them. I assume that BPP and Kaplan are not going to let you sit as an external student at their sites unless you do the training with them?

    Anyway I am going to sign up on Monday and get going. Thanks to everyone for all the advice and assistance and I look forward to becoming an AAT student next week.
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