Newest Review: ... load on a modern PC, and when I say modern I mean Windows XP! and the rest simply didnt work. I received an email address with my cours... more
Throw you money away... ICS you will...
Member Name: cunnersmon
Advantages: study at home, study at own pace
Disadvantages: costly, no suppport
I signed up to a Biology course from ICS in August 2011 as I, like many others in the UK, wished to better my life and take the first steps to a better career. I have two young children and i need to provide for them first, so going to college was out of the question as i needed to work. What appealed to me was the fact you could study in your own time, at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home... FANTASTIC! I was quickly sent the reading material and started studying.
THE READING MATERIAL
The reading material was sent straight out to me by courier, once ICS had received my payment. My first impressions of the material was good, I was well impressed with how easy the material was to follow and how very descriptive it was. However, after a few chapters i noticed a lot of the material read as if it had been copy and pasted from numerous text books; repeating definitions and statements merely paragraphs apart, as if the author hadn't proof read it. I noticed many spelling mistakes including "Pulmonary Artery" being spelt three different ways, within the same chapter. Then if things couldn't get worse, i started to receive emails from ICS saying that some of the material i had received contained mistakes and that i would have to download and print off the amended pages. To my horror the pages which needed to be altered, i had already studied, which meant i had to redo them. For What I paid i was expecting a much higher standard of work, but the mistake-filled ring binder i got was a joke. Most of the material i could have easily found myself on the internet or in a library.
On a more positive note the exam papers they sent are very useful for practicing your examination technique, especially if you haven't sat an exam in a while.
Two words... None Existent. The actual support you receive is a joke, even though on the homepage of ICS it clearly says -
"We know that learning from home needs real willpower at times, which is why we ensure you're not alone. You'll be supported by expert Tutors, Mentors and fellow students to help you with day-to-day inquiries so you'll never feel alone."
I reported a problem with my login to the student community, on the ICS website. I received an email Three days later; obviously it was an automated response that stated i would soon hear from an advisor about my problem. A week passed before i got a response, a whole week. This is clearly not a fast 'day to day' service ICS claims it is. It took four more emails to ICS to sort my login problems out, each another week between responses.
THE EXAMINATION PROCESS
ICS clearly says, after they have taken your money, that they do not offer any examination process or coursework. It is you own responsibility to find a third party examination centre, such as a school or college, who will allow you to sit the exams, which will costs you more money. Finding an examination centre where i live was practically impossible, most took an admin fee just to merely enquire if i could sit an exam there. I have been so put off by this i have quit the course and intend to enrole at a proper college in September 2012.
In my opinion... don't waste your money. The service and support is terrible, the reading material is full of mistakes and you could probably download a syllabus from AQA and study in your own time for free on the internet. But at the end of the day it's your decision.
Summary: A Waste of money...