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So I signed up for A+ FT at College

Discussion in 'A+' started by Juanito, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Juanito

    Juanito Bit Poster

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    After leaving school in the summer I decided I wanted to get involved in the IT industry and I decided to do the A+ full time. However since I'm fairly young and naive I didn't realise that you could do this course easily in your own time, reading the book for about an hour a day for a few months. Instead I've signed a year of my life away doing a course thats basically been made full-time hours just to give the tutors enough work to keep them in a job! I've been threatened with getting kicked out of the course, because I won't go to some unrelated filler class involving electronics, which unless someone can tell me otherwise is totally unrelated to the A+ certification, however the tutor who teaches it keeps making excuses for it, and while I would love to leave it gives my parents another reason to have a go at me for sitting around!

    I'm caught in a trap now. Personally I would like to leave do more reading of the book which is far more beneficial than going to college for a full day listening to some teacher go through some slideshows on powerpoint and then do some pointless boring work on circuits. One other major downside is I get one opportunity to sit the Essentials test for free on this course and should I stay on the IT Tech in April or May for free. You know what its like being young your mother doesn't want you sitting about the house for most of the day even if it might benefit you more than leaving the house. Furthermore I'm not sure I could afford the £200 or whatever it costs to sit both tests, and in the event I failed theres no chance I would be able to re-sit it.

    I'm wondering how much does it cost to sit Network + and various other Microsoft, Cisco and Comptia vendor exams? Also how do these college go about getting vouchers for the exams?

    Another thing I would like to know is, whats more likely to be beneficial to me, studying for vendor qualifications or doing a HND in say Technical Support or Networking for two years?

    Just a bit of advice to people thinking about going to college to do A+ because its cheaper than studying at home, don't bother doing a vendor qualification full-time at a college, the course (at least here) is a joke, thats not a knock on A+, but the way the course is managed by the college is a shambles. I've learned more reading the book at home in my own study than going to college 20 hours a week. I won't bother naming the college or where its located as I wouldn't be surprised if the people who run the course there would read this. If I had known how easy it is to study for this exam I would never in a million years have signed up for this!
     
    Certifications: A+
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    HI Welcome

    First of all learning about circuits could be a good thing, what happens if you get a job as field engineer and are faced with a broken motherboard which could be fixed with following the circuit lines and using a solder but don't know about circuits?

    At your age college can be a good thing, if you have paid and have no chance of getting the money back then carry on with it.

    As for colleges getting being a test centre they most likely are pearson vue or prometric certified centre.

    Some colleges only do exams for their students, some do it for anyone.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    Sometimes you have to do things which might not make sense in the short term but looking back in 10 years time, you may think to yourself "I wish I had applied myself in that electronics lesson as It would be another string in my bow and help me find work, or find better work"

    Hindsight is a horrible thing when its like this, I think you need to suck it up and just concentrate on doing your best
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  4. Juanito

    Juanito Bit Poster

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    The college is definitely not a test centre, but once was I believe. If a Motherboard was that severely damaged wouldn't be as well buying a new one and maybe even cheaper?

    I was expecting some people to make some negative posts because I'm fairly young ( 18 ) and and some might think I'm lazy. Totally not. I definitely want to pass the course, just I don't think this college has went about helping its students pass the right way, especially considering how much time I'm there per week.
     
    Certifications: A+
  5. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Maybe talk to an advisor at your college and tell them your concerns.

    Some companies would rather you fix something wether it be a motherboard or monitor rather than replace it. If you ended up being a tech or field service tech you would need to be prepared for this sort of thing.

    Some companies like mine have contracts with the supplier of the company that they will come and fix the issue first and if they can't then they will replace it.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    I did the A+ at college, it didn't last anywhere near the length of time your course runs for,and was great from day one,my course lasted 6 hours a week for 17 weeks.

    I can't understand why you think studying with a book is superior to college,college let you rebuild the computers,plenty of hands on exercises,they also use a variety of teaching methods.

    I'd agree with greenbrucelee's comments ,learning how to repair rather than just buying a new one seems a sensible option,if you can learn some soldering skills too that will always making you money,there is no shortage of people wanting soldering done,it's not something everyone can do.

    I'd like to learn it as you can get £100 for one hours work doing laptop soldering.The power jack so often comes loose on laptops if you can solder the problem is solved.

    I would have liked to get electronics training too as part of the A+ but we never covered that.

    Any area that you can do that others can't ,or don't have experience in ,gives you a bonus over other people.

    Such as the soldering skills for example,you could ask 10 computer repair people to do a job like that,you may find only 4 people who can do it ,or are good at doing it.
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  7. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    You're right, electronics is not part of the A+ course. That makes me wonder though, are you 100% sure this course was sold to you as A+ only or is there some sort of college certificate attached to it?
    If there is an extra cert attached then you don't have a leg to stand on really. It might not be the course you thought you were signing up for but it's more than likely the course they advertised.
    If the only cert you'll get is the A+ I can see why you're upset.
    Do some homework on the course and if it seems that you've been mis-sold the course then you should raise your concerns, in writing, with the head of your school/department. Keep a copy of all correspondence with them on the matter,if nothing else it may appease your mother if she sees you tried to sort things out in a mature way if you decide to drop out. It may also help if you have to go snitching to the funding body who I'm sure would be interested in why they are paying for students to learn electronics if the college isn't certifying them on it.
    From personal experience I can say that the college is on your back because the funding body will require you to have a minimum attendance or they will withdraw funding for you. Don't force them into this decision before you've investigated all your options, keep control of your life firmly in your own hands.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  8. Juanito

    Juanito Bit Poster

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    Thats where my college differs mate. We never do any practical work. The most we have done practical work wise is opening up a pc and doing some fault finding, utter joke, I kid you not. We listen to the teachers either doing powerpoints or doing circuit work on the computer or in the lab and have been doing so since August, and having read Mike Meyers book almost twice in entirety I can't remember much about circuits in the book. Building computers, ha, they don't even let us take the RAM out of the PCs in the work bay, never mind build PCs in their entirety.

    I know how to solder as well.

    The course content did not list Electronics and was advertised solely as the A+ certification.
     
    Certifications: A+
  9. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    It doesn't sound like just the A+ that you are doing,it sounds like a mixture of different courses.A BTEC possibly?
    If you look here this is what it sounds like to me.
    http://www.bteccomputerengineering.co.uk/
    On the A+ you are expected to physically put the pc together bit by bit,and know every part of the pc,you are also supposed to have a similar knowledge in laptops and all the parts that make up a laptop.
    But they don't let you physically rebuild the laptop,you disassemble the laptop and rebuild it virtually on the pc using software.
    There is also quite a bit of network hands on training.

    There is no circuit training at all in the A+,and they don't let you solder.


    Opening up the pc and hardware fault finding is part of the A+.

    The insides of the pc with the case open only takes a few hours on the whole of the A+.For the most part throughout the course the computer is sealed.

    Do they ask you to do a class exam every week?Lasting up to one hour?We had about 15 exams to do,and roughly 15 hours were devoted to these,it's a good way of checking progress of each student.If you fail all those exams then you are highly likely to fail the A+ too ,as the questioning is much the same as the exam.
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  10. Juanito

    Juanito Bit Poster

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    We have never done those tests you mention at the bottom.

    I'm pretty sure the course revolves around A+. We only do 2 exams that matter, both A+ exams (Essentials and IT Tech) and if you pass them you pass the course, if not you fail of course.

    We've never been told about that BTEC thing either, just A+ is mentioned.
     
    Certifications: A+

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