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Maria’s story: success in the 21st century classroom

Kaplan student - Maria Houldershaw

There are various ways to study, and with evolving technology it’s easy to forget the impact a live classroom can have.

This is why we wanted to share Maria’s story. Her course success - which came via the classroom - reminds us why the live learning experience continues to have a strong presence with future accountancy professionals.


I mostly studied in the classroom, sometimes used Live Online. But I loved the lectures at Kaplan, they were amazing.

As I live in Coventry, I’d have to get the train or drive to the Birmingham centre, every Saturday and Sunday 9:00am to 5.30pm. And then I’d work - full time - in the week! So yeah, it was pretty hardcore.

Many of the lecturers went above and beyond. They’d give you your lecture and then stay after it to answer any questions, after their allotted time. They cared, it was impressive.

I’ve met some great people on the course

My company paid for my course – they put me on Classroom at first but then I had the option to choose a different study method, like online or Distance Learning. But I stuck with Classroom as I liked it. It worked for me anyway.

I like the interaction you get with the lecturers.

The main strength is the way they are with the students. When they’re there, in front of you, they build your confidence and motivate you. ACCA exams are really hard so you need it! I think the course is even harder than uni!

Our tutor was inspiring

It makes a difference, having that personal connection.

You can build relationships with the teachers. With me I would actually ring up and seek out my favourites: ‘Which room are they in, what are they teaching?!’ - I was like a stalker! Joking.

One tutor, one of my favourites, was great. He was always on time and made sure we learnt in exam conditions. His pass rate was something mad like 100%! He was constantly testing you, but we didn’t mind as he had a big personality.

He was really engaging and spoke to every single one of us. He knew all our names and was always making jokes. He was pretty inspiring too, he’d go running on his lunch break! Not a long jog, but still. Pretty inspiring. Everyone in the room felt the same – you felt like it was OK to fail.

I’m working as a commercial analyst now and I’m just waiting for my results, but it’s all finished.

I had a great last lecture though, very entertaining – the tutor started by getting up pictures from famous movies and we had to decide which film it was from. And from there she went straight into advanced audit. Crazy transition, but I liked it.

I’ve met some great people on the course. After one of the classes we all built a WhatsApp group and are still in touch. We use it to help each other sometimes. I don’t do that after every class, and we only met each other once, but the atmosphere was so positive in that class we wanted to keep it going.

It’s worked, because we still go to lunch together and socialise. We’ll be telling each other our results that’s for sure.



Choose your way to study

We offer a range of ways to study. Each has its own unique quality, but they’re all a blend of face to face, support and online materials.

We have classrooms available in 25 UK based locations.

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