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another dissatisfied computeach user...

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by shambles, Dec 29, 2005.

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  1. shambles

    shambles Guest

    I wish I'd found you people years ago... :dry

    Here's my story: I was given a computer in 2002 and decided I liked it so much I would go on a course and learn some more. It struck me I might be able to get a job fixing the things, after all, they never run for very long without something going wrong and everyone I knew had a tale of woe.

    So I signed up on a computeach course in April 2003 - Master Networking Professional with A+ at a tad over £5000. I was told they'd help me find a job and that the course involved trips to Dudley and there was some cool software and stuff. I was told (and the literature confirmed) that I could go at a pace that suited me. If I failed an exam, they'd pay for the retake. I thought I'd be fine.

    At first, it all seemed OK, and I went through the first stages with no problems. Then it got harder. The learning software was slow and clunky and I didn't get on with it. The forum was like the Marie Celeste. The A+ tests they were sending me needed to be passed at 90% to continue to the next. Every month, for months and months, I would send off a completed test sheet, then get it back with no comment other than 'You have unfortunately failed at 86%'. So I'd correct what I thought was wrong, send it back, and my score would either go up or down or stay the same... almost every tutor I spoke to at computeach would begin with 'well, I can't give you the answer...' It is taking me 7 or 8 attempts to pass each test as I try to figure out what is wrong. And I'm bored witless with it.

    So here we are 2 and a half years later. I can fix computers. I understand how they work and what to do when things go wrong. I should be a happy man - it's taking a while, but I am getting there. Except...

    I am still doing the A+ part of the course. I have the Networking part ahead of me. I haven't been to Dudley. I haven't taken any exams and have no qualifications. And now I discover that the course is time-limited. Computeach have just sent me a letter telling me I have until the middle of 2006 to complete the course or they will start charging me 5% of the course cost per quarter. It's taken me two years to get this far. I have no chance of getting to the end of the course in 6 months. So, I pay up or shut up. In all honesty, I would have been better off doing the odd college day course and reading around. And coming here...

    I reckon their 'training' leaves a lot to be desired. It's not helpful or inspiring seeing the same questions over and over again, knowing that 7 or 8 out of 50 are wrong, but with no indication as to which ones...

    Sorry, long post (First post!) - but I am just unbelievably fed-up!

    So - Am I a plonker? Or a sucker? VOTE NOW!
     
  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi and welcome aboard.

    Sorry to hear about your experience. Have you contacted their complaints dept?
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  3. shambles

    shambles Guest

    No, I only got the letter this morning - hence my ranting (sorry!). I've written a letter to them explaining my difficulty paying extra and my concern at finding out this late that there is a problem. I don't want to annoy them at this point by complaining too much. I also doubt it would do any good... Who knows? They might come good :biggrin
     
  4. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Welcome to CF Shambles! :biggrin

    If you don't at least try to complain then you will never know will you?

    Give it a try, whats the worst they can do? charge you extra? Aren't they going to do that anyway?

    8)
     
  5. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I’ve heard similar stories from other people who have trained with Computeach but I don’t want to say too much as I haven’t had any dealings with the company myself.

    Anyways on a more cheerful note why not go and take the A+ exams yourself? It might sound crazy but if you pass then you can make a claim to Computeach that their exam is too hard and you would therefore have been into the next stage of the course by now rather than repeating the A+ material. Just a thought! 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Hi Shambles.

    Welcome, but sorry to hear of your troubles.
    The first course of action is to submit a written complaint to your training provider.

    A lot of people seem to make extra work for themselves by going to a 'higher authority' before actually talking things through with those who have the power to put it right.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  7. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Well if it's that tough to get past the A+, which is considered an entry level exam, then it's going to be virtually impossible to pass the CCNA and MCSE :eek:

    This is why I keep trying to tell people to not pay up front and to do things one step at a time.

    The same kind of thing happened when I was studying for MCSE at a local IT institute. The tutors there would not let you sit an exam unless they signed you off. Getting past their sign off was tougher than the real exam. They would ask silly obscure questions. On one occasion I had real trouble getting a sign off and when they finally relented and let me sit the exam, I totally aced it with a 980.

    I guess they don't want to lose the exam fee, as they are the ones paying for a re-sit :rolleyes:

    Oh well, welcome to the forum Shambles glad you found us.

    Pete
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  8. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Shambles, I doubt they will do anything for you as it will be in the small print about the time limit. I don't like reading about people parting with vast sums of money for these courses and I personally don't like these training providers as they promise something that in most cases are way off the mark or they can't deliver.

    If your getting 86% on your mocks then before your time is up and if you can't afford to carry on tell them that you want to sit your proper A+ exam, you might need to be pretty firm with them. For the A+ you don't need 90% to pass they do it so that their backs are covered and people aren't failing time after time and costing them money on resits. Only do what I'm saying if you can't carry on with the course or don't want to as if the time lapses you might lose your exam as well, but you will need check. It would be even better if you can ask them if they will give you the test voucher to take the exam at a later date and buy a book and read through it and with the knowledge you have gained and the book you hopefully should be able to pass the exam.

    I would be shocked if they gave you anymore time or a refund but good luck with it anyway...:D
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  9. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    Hello!!!!! What do you think you are paying them for?? If you're paying for a service and not happy with it, LET THEM KNOW!!!!
     
    Certifications: CompTIA and Micro$oft
    WIP: PDI+
  10. Tyler D

    Tyler D Gigabyte Poster

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    Greetings :biggrin

    Have you not tried using the tutor support in the chatrooms??

    You have paid them to provide you with support.
    From what i have heard from other students the tutors are always quite helpful.

    I believe you can also e-mail them with upto five questions a day from the mock papers,stating your answer and the reasoning behind why that is correct,and the others are wrong.

    Best of luck
     
    Certifications: A+,70-270
    WIP: 70-290
  11. shambles

    shambles Guest

    Hello All,

    Some fair replies here, I think...

    I agree that if a complaint is needed, it needs to be made. But I also need to be sure of my ground. It can't do any harm to see what their initial attitude is going to be before I get into complaint mode. As slypie points out, it's all in the small-print, which I should have read more closely when signing up, instead of getting blinded by the gloss. They may well just point that out and say 'tough'. But plausibly they may take a different tack and negotiate something. I don't know.

    The main trouble here is that I've found out about this problem way too late in the day. If I'd known from the beginning that there was a clock ticking, I would have behaved very differently and would have been on the phone to them continuously to get through the tests, instead of taking the time to follow up all the other interesting bits and bobs I have come across in the last two years. But it won't help me now, because I have a huge mountain to climb in 6 months.

    I need the time to look at this properly and consider how to approach the problem. I have every intention of getting an extension or a refund, but feel caution is needed if I am going to get anywhere - the net is full of stories not too different from mine, but I haven't seen many successful conclusions. I'm just trying to protect my position... Which is why I'm here. You've given me lots to think about.
     
  12. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Might I suggest investing a bit of money in the Meyers book? This includes a set of A+ tests which will tell you if you are really ready.

    They also can be taken in a mode that tells you what you did wrong, and why.

    There are also on-line tests available, but as I haven't used them I can't comment on them.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  13. shambles

    shambles Guest

    That sounds like a good idea, hbroomhall. I'll have a look for it. I'm beginning to think that going for the exam might be worth a go - but it would be really helpful to know in advance realistically what my chances of passing are...

    I swear if I see another mock paper with a 90% pass on it, I'll go mad.
     
  14. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Shambles, personally (and this is only my opinion) I wouldn't get an extension, if your getting 86% in your mocks you will have a good chance of passing the real exams. I would buy a good book (Myers & Sybex are the best for the A+) read through it making notes and then take the exam. This really does depend on how you feel about your skill levels.

    I really feel for you mate as personally I never read the small print and something like a time limit should of been made aware to you.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  15. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I would disagree with this, but only because I have no idea whatsoever as to the content Shambles has been getting from Cerco. If the training providers content is poor he could be gettting very good grades on his tests and still flunk the A+ exam.

    I also wouldn't recommend the tests in the back of the Mike Meyer's book as the book I used from Mike Meyers didn't have questions written in the same manner as Comptia's questions are. The Mike Meyer's questions were very simplistic when compared to the Comptia test questions. I would recommend either SelfTest Software or Transcender practice tests so the actual feel of the test can be experienced.

    Yeah, I know the are fairly spendy, but so is having to retake a test.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  16. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I mentioned the Meyers book as that had the *closest* to the Comptia type of questions I have seen.

    I found that the grades I got on Meyers books were only slightly higher than the actual grades I got in the exam. (I have both the A+ and the N+ books.)

    I include the Meyers book, the Sybex book, several on-line 'tests' and one from a system paid for by my employer in my comment.

    However - I haven't seen the Transender stuff, so ffreeloader may well be giving you a better pointer.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  17. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Don't forget the freebies! Google away and you will be amazed how many different questions you will find. Comptia list 20 which changes now and again.....
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  18. Tyler D

    Tyler D Gigabyte Poster

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    Shambles,are you using the Sybex book supplied from Computeach??

    Also you will find that once the mock exams are passed Computeach will supply you with either Selftest software or Transcender exam test software.
     
    Certifications: A+,70-270
    WIP: 70-290
  19. shambles

    shambles Guest

    Yes, I have the Sybex book - and very good it is, too... I wasn't impressed by the NetG software they also supplied, so I have been using the book as my primary resource, along with whatever I have been able to find on the net. I've also found that nothing beats some hands-on experience. I've hardware upgraded my main PC in a number of ways, dismantled it and put it back together again, and made repairs to PC's belonging to friends (who always seem to run PC's full of viruses and spyware and missing patches). I've deliberately exposed my secondary PC to viruses to get practical experience of software repairs... Some of this has related directly to the exam, some not so much, but I have found that this has given me a much better grasp of the theory behind the questions. I reckon it's easier to work the answer out from experience than trying to remember everything (although sometimes there is little alternative to just remembering some key fact or another). I feel reasonably well prepared for the 'real world', but would appreciate more certainty about the exam. Does anyone know for sure what the pass mark is? And is there a minimum score for each section?

    Regarding the Transcender stuff, again I am in the dark. I have no real idea of what is ahead. I could have another three or four mocks before reaching the next stage, for all I know. I'm not sure why Computeach delay delivery of the Transcender software until so late in the day. I'm sure something (anything) other than yet another mock exam would help me. To my mind, after a period of rapid progress, I have made very little additional progress in the last year - that could be because I am not as bright as some, or it could be because I have been completely crushed by the mind-numbing tedium of searching through the same questions time after time to find the few wrong ones...

    The more I think about this, the more annoyed I get at Computeach - and myself for being so blimmin relaxed about it all over the last year...
     
  20. Tyler D

    Tyler D Gigabyte Poster

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    As for the scores for passing the A+ : 515 out of 900 Hardware
    505 out of 900 O/S.

    they are two seperate exams.Once you have passed the mocks with Computeach you will be invited away for a 5 Day period.
    You will then sit the Hardware exam on the wednesday,then the O/S exam on the friday.

    What Mock exam are you currently on? You have to pass a Hardware Mock,O/S Mock,then a combined Mock with questions on both sections.All 90% pass mark.
     
    Certifications: A+,70-270
    WIP: 70-290

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