Training Providers

VentraVentra New MemberPosts: 14Registered
Hi

Can anyone give me any feedback on Training Providers they have/are using for distance learning?

What have they excelled at?
What are they failing at?

I was going to just go it alone and buy the books and just book exams, but feel I should fully explore a full service option.

Cheers

Bill

Comments

  • SpamkebabSpamkebab Well-Known Posts: 233Registered
    Hi Bill,

    For level 3 you will need a training provider for the spreadsheets module but i completed the rest of the level using the Kaplan text books. I did purchase the full course from Kaplan and it was good to have a safety net tutor, but i didn't use it.

    The leading providers seem to be BPP, Kaplan, Eagle Education and Premier Training (not in any order)

    Eagle and Premier come in at the cheapest and both are highly recommended for having a very quick tutor response time and no messing about of their students. I am considering using either of these for ACCA, as Kaplan will be out of my price range, although i can personally say the Kaplan texts are excellent.

    Neil.
  • billdoorbilldoor Well-Known Posts: 129Registered
    I used BPP distance learning for Level 2, but I didn't use the tutors. I found the video tutorials okay but didn't really need them as the books were more than adequate. I'm now doing Level 3 using just the books and organising my exams when I'm ready. I seem to be doing okay so far (passed 3/3) and it's a lot cheaper!

    Plus side for BPP:
    I find the books largely cover everything I need to know and explain things clearly without being stuffy. I find the tasks in each chapter and questions at the end of each chapter very useful, and they include practice exams too.

    The staff are always very helpful, both by phone when you need information or want to book an exam, and also at the exam centres.

    I can usually get an exam booked quickly.

    I will say that the tutors have been pretty responsive. Each 'class' has an online forum so I've seen people post questions for the tutor and they've been answered either the same day or the following day. I understand they take phone calls too. The only times I've contacted them myself is regarding CBP results and again, they've always been very quick to respond and helpful.

    Negative side for BPP:
    Can't really think of any.

    I'd also say to consider location. Some BPP centres are small and therefore have less space and slots for exams. Others have plenty of space and slots.

    So far in my studies I've sat exams in Leeds, Bristol and London. Leeds and Bristol both seemed decent size and the one in Shepherd's Bush is quite large. But there's also one in Reading that appears to be small and offers just a couple of spaces for each session.

    I tend to book my exams in Bristol though and can usually get one very quickly. As I said, location is important; I'm in Wiltshire so my options are Bristol (1 hour from home to exam centre), Reading (1 hour) or Shepherd's Bush (90 minutes). Depends where you live and how far you're willing to travel.

    Good luck deciding, personally I'm glad I did BA1 as distance learning because everything was new to me, it's quite a big module and I appreciated having the video tutorials and being able to see what questions people were asking the tutor. But I wish I'd done the rest of Level 2 using just the books as I'd have saved a lot of money.
  • VentraVentra New Member Posts: 14Registered
    Thanks for your replies,

    I did consider pure self study, last year I did a CII Diploma in Financial Planning, but I work in that area so it wasn't to bad. However as I don't work in an accounts field I think having a package may be beneficial.

    I'll have a look at what they all offer.

    Thanks again guys.
  • nightshadenightshade Feels At Home Posts: 33Registered
    I've used bpp for distance learning.
    They're not that great in my opinion, a real mixed bag. Firstly a warning; they offer a distance learning package called 'basic plus'. This contains text, question book, pass cards online access and a plastic wallet to keep it all in. Alternatively, you can purchase the materials separately from them, which runs to about £70 less. The only difference? The package includes the plastic wallet!!
    Tutors are hit and miss; my last one was great, but I'd had others with very poor english. It makes the projects a pain if you can't decipher the email instructions, nor the telephone conversation to clear the email up!
    The question books provide access to online practise tests; they're dreadful. Partly because AAT's practise tests are set out like the real thing and hence far move valuable, but mostly because BPP's online tests mark a worrying amount of correct answers as incorrect. I spent the first few months of my course emailing them screenshots of correct answers marked as wrong in the hope they'd correct it. Eventually they posted a small warning before you sit the tests to say that your answers may be marked wrong. :mad2:
    You'd think they could manage to correct the tests given all the money they're making on plastic wallets.
    I have no experience of elsewhere, but I wouldn't recommend BPP in a hurry.
  • billdoorbilldoor Well-Known Posts: 129Registered
    Regarding the online practise tests for BPP; I'd forgotten about those. They're not set out in the same format as the AAT tests and yes, do appear to not mark them correctly. I'd completely forgotten how frustrated I was when I did a trial balance and had it all marked as incorrect when it wasn't.

    That was for my first exam, after that I just didn't use the BPP online practise tests (hence forgetting about them) but I never found it a hindrance as the BPP Practise Tests in the books are absolutely fine - usually same format as the AAT ones and you just check your answers afterwards.

    I found that using the BPP practise tests in the book, plus the practise tests on the AAT website, always prepared me well for the exams.
  • SashaDellaSashaDella Trusted Regular Posts: 362Registered
    I used Premier for Level 2 and didnt use the tutors at all. ALthough having the extra assignments and stuff was helpful and I would recommend them. For level 2 if you are capable I dont think you need a service plan.

    Level 3 I would say its best to have a tutor and USE them at all times. Anyone can read from a book and remember what it says, but it takes time to actually understand and to be able to APPLY to the real world. A tutor could help explain things in different ways!

    I would try one exam alone and see how you feel
  • lilypoplilypop New Member Posts: 10Registered
    I did level 2 through Premier Training and they were quick to respond to queries.
    Their feedback was quick and helpful so overall I was pretty happy with them.

    Level 3 was done through Kaplan and I have not spoken to a tutor once (not that I really needed to) but no one has ever called me to check how I was doing. If I was going on to do level 4 then I wouldn't choose Kaplan again.
    I found the Kaplan text books and mock exams to have far too many mistakes which could get pretty confusing at times.
  • MissLesleyMissLesley Just Joined Posts: 2Registered
    I did level 2 with Kaplan and I can safely say I wouldn't use them again, was not at all impressed with them. They took ages to get back to me about my WEAF results and they almost mucked up my CMPA exam!
    So after reading on here about the good things people were saying about Premier Training,I decided to go with them for Level 3 and so far I'm impressed with them. They actually respond to my questions and nothing seems to be too much trouble!
  • VentraVentra New Member Posts: 14Registered
    Thanks everyone for your insight, I have gone with Premier, I was impressed with the resources they seem to have available. And the price suits my pocket!

    Bill
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