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Skilltrain reimbursing Exam costs?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Chifu, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Chifu

    Chifu New Member

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    Regardless of what people think of Skilltrain, for ill or good I have completed their A+ N+ MCSA course without any real problems.

    (but I think from what I know now, I would have gone for the self study route and saved myself some money, even if I had failed the Exams on the first go it would still be cheaper).

    What I am not sure now is that I rang Skilltrain to get my completion certificate and asked if the exam vouchers would be included. To my surprise they imformed me that I had to pay for the exam first and then they would reimburse me.

    For those who have gone the Skilltrain route is this what happened to you. Did Skilltrain reimburse the money, and how easy was it to get the money of them.

    It has been a reasonable experience so far with Skilltrain, I would hate for it to change now!
     
  2. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    They will certainly reimburse you after sitting your exam.

    I have so far done their A+ and N+, on the Cisco route. I have been requesting certificates after each stage of the course, as opposed to studying the whole thing and then attempting exams.

    They require you to sit the exam first as security, I would imagine. They did not provide me with a voucher, it was a company cheque, so they would want evidence that you'd gone through the expense. I had the cheque through around 4 days after requesting it.

    I too have had no problems with them. Good luck with your exams!
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Hi and welcome to CF!

    I seem to remember someone posting here that they had managed to get reimbursed.

    Use the search facility on this forum...


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

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi,

    Welcome to the forum. Perhaps I am missing something, but you say you have completed the A+, N+ and MCSA and contacting the training school for the certificates? Then, you say you have to pass the exams before they reimburse you.

    Do you mean you have to complete the entire course before sitting any exams?

    Boyce
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  5. Chifu

    Chifu New Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Doing a forum search, a few people seem unsure about this issue, but nice to find 2 students who actually sat the exams and got reimbursed.

    Not finding any old posts saying people had problems getting reimbursed is good.

    So looks like I will start booking my exams and sending the recipts to Skilltrain.
     
  6. stuPeas

    stuPeas Megabyte Poster

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    I too, am a bit confused. I would like to add my two peneth worth about Slillstrain regarding the same question.:D
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronic, CIW Associate (v5).
    WIP: CIW (Website Design Manager)
  7. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I believe I stand as proof that no, you do not have to complete the entire course before sitting exams. You have to complete the entire section of a course (eg, A+) before you can request the certificate, sit the exam and get your refund.

    I don't remember anything in the T&Cs that restrained you to such a thing, and I wouldn't have taken up on the course if I had - I know that I personally would forget material for the other courses, and would certainly have to refresh before attempting to sit them.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  8. Chifu

    Chifu New Member

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    I chose to wait to complete the whole thing before attempting the exams.

    I assume the completion certificate simply says that I have completed the Skilltrain course, I will get it in a few days.

    From what I have learnt about the actual exams, I have to go to pearson vue or prometric to book and take them. This was where I was uncertain, but it looks like Skilltrain will pay back the cost of the exam, regardless if I pass or not. I will have to pay extra cost if I need to resit an exam.

    Now I need to do some revising and book an exam.
     
  9. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    See my response above.

    As long as you read and understand the T&Cs before you put your name on the dotted line, and you stick to that contract when doing the course (and as long as you don't expect the TP to do all the work for you) then you should never have a problem with a Training Provider. The only aside are probably 'customer service' issues that you get with every type of service provider.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  10. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Is this something you have been advised to do? Learning about all those technologies is a bit different to learning to drive and sitting the test.

    Boyce
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  11. Chifu

    Chifu New Member

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    No not advised to study this way, just how things have turned out. As I said at the start of the forum, experience is a wonderful thing. I would like to take the CCNA exams as well, but will most likely do that one on a self study basis and just book the exams when I feel I am ready.
     
  12. stuPeas

    stuPeas Megabyte Poster

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    But "customer service" is EXACTLY the ONE thing that the TP is there for, and if they canot get that right, then you have thrown your money away!!!!!

    Ive been doing the CIW with Skillstrain for a long time now, and I have been EXPLICITLY told by them that you have to complete the FULL course before you sit ANY exams.

    As for "having problems" with them....where to start???
    The course manuals are wrong (I don't just mean typo's) far to often, and while a cant blame Skillstrain for this (they get the material from a third party), it is still up-to them to make sure mistakes like this do not occur so often.

    The tutors that you communicate with, whether over the phone or webmail, are also incorrect MOST of the time (At least they have been for me).

    I recently demanded my money back from them, stating that the training they provide is not "fit for purpose" (If the tutors AND the manual can't help me, then what am I actually paying for. I could have purchased books and taught myself allot more effectively). This is when the service increased tenfold. They informed me that I may sit exams for the material I had studied (although since that was over a year ago, its a little late for that information to do me any good!!), and my calls and webmails go through to the senior tutors who, I am pleased to announce, DO actually Know their stuff!!.

    I have wasted allot of time because of incorrect answers to my questions. I would have been allot happier if a tutor said "I will have to get back to you with the answer", but instead several have either read back EXACTLY what the manual said word for word, or just made up something that they think "sounds correct".

    I do now feel that they are trying to resolve these problems, but it is to late for me.

    As far as the actual exams are concerned, it appears they only give 2 months in which the exams may be sat. So if you miss the closing date for one, then you have a 6 MONTHS wait until the next date opens!!!

    I must state that I have herd GOOD things about Skillstrain, but most where related to certs OTHER THAN the CIW.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronic, CIW Associate (v5).
    WIP: CIW (Website Design Manager)
  13. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I'm sad to hear your bad experience Stu; as I have had no experience on the CIW course, I don't really want to 'counter argue' as I may be totally wrong. I can only give you the benefit of my experience.

    Service is definitely what they should provide. When I said 'service aspects' previously, I meant occasional TMAs going missing in the post, and so forth, and their obligation to get you a replacement ASAP. The only experience I have of this is delays in receiving a replacement TMA. The tutors called me the same day with my results and sent out the paper copy via Special Delivery. Service such as tutor support is obviously a must.

    I did thorough research on Skillstrain in the certification route I was going in to - the Cisco route. I managed to speak to a Tutor, and was reassured by what I heard. Yes, I do once or twice speak to someone who is less than helpful, but from my own working experience I appreciate that people do have off days.

    The material for the Skillstrain Cisco route has also recently been significantly updated. When I was initially issued the N+ course, I was worried about the content, to the point where I called the provider voicing my, for want of a better word, contempt for their material. They assured me that superior study material was on its way, and they didn't lie. They obviously haven't done this for the CIW.

    I have never been advised of any 'containing' time for taking the exams once you have completed a section of the course, but again, I don't understand the CIW certification route. However, as you have stated, due to the fact that you'd forget the material, it seems odd and plain wrong.

    If you can compose a 'dossier' proving the flaws in their material, and the lack of service, then you should be able to skin them alive in court and get your money back, and if you're not getting all you need out of the course (despite following advice and T&Cs) then go for it. Like I've always said, I don't have any problems with my provider, but people that do have issues should pursue it.

    I just (maybe wrongly) whole-heartedly believe a lot of people that have problems with their TP have problems of their own doing. They are normally people trying to cancel the course after 2 months, because it's suddenly dawned on them they're going to have to do some work, and they're passed the legal 6 day cooling off period.

    For these people, I have no sympathy. For people like yourself, I say fight it.

    Have you checked to see if there are any plans on updating the CIW material?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  14. stuPeas

    stuPeas Megabyte Poster

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    Parts of the course have been updated and because of this I now have to repeat a full section (roughly equivalent in size to the A+ Essentials).

    To be quite honest, I just want to get the exams done and not have to deal with them again (even though they appearing to be getting their act together).

    For another example, they sent me the manuals and CD's for a certain section. The CD's didn't work so I sent them back. Three weeks later (and after various telephone calls asking where the disks were), they sent the new disks, these did not work either. This happened another yet again, losing me about 3 months. Then they demanded a payment of £100 because I went over the time limit for the course.

    I have worked VERY hard at this course (spent hundreds of pounds on books and hundreds of hours reading articles on the web), and I am positive that I could actually TEACH the tutors the topic they are supposed to already know!!

    I agree that things like you listed above can go wrong and cant really be helped, but to send blank disks 3 times is unforgivable, especially since it would take 5mins to check them.

    Maybe part of the problem is the CIW cert, I don't know?. I have heard other people praising skillstrain for other certs.:biggrin

    Oh... and as for compiling a dossier, just go to the website and look at the section 3 and 4 errata; nearly all of it was sent to them by me.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronic, CIW Associate (v5).
    WIP: CIW (Website Design Manager)

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