I did try the Excel Advantage course for an EC exam. I started out excited and optimistic. Bad, bad idea. Very bad.
First, their material is substandard. Yes, you can get it all online. But you can get better stuff (and more) online for free, using google and searching for the topics you are interested in. And if you can get their stuff online, that means you cannot, for example, pack it up and go somewhere else to study. You are stuck at the computer. Maybe you prefer it that way, but wouldn't you rather have the choice??? And don't think you will be downloading or printing anything. Unh-uh.
Second, EC gives you a great outline for your exams. Follow that outline, and you will do fine. This would be *free*. There is also a practice test at the end of the EC exam study guide. So far, I have scored in the "A" range on each of those FREE exams, and then gotten an "A" when I took the real thing.
Third, they are NOT like Chancellor's or Distance Learning Systems, where you have something tangible in your hands. In fact, you can buy Chancellor's, etc. second hand on any of the Yahoo groups (not strongly recommended, but it might work out) or on Ebay (recommended--it's safer).
Fourth, you would have to have spent 3x155 ($465) before they will give you back your $250. (It was $99 when I signed up--which changed to $255 when the next screen came up!) And you have still failed three times? What kind of system is that?
Fifth, most of the other study guide groups, if you decide to buy a study guide, let you pay it out. I opted for Chancellor's, which I like very much, and it costs me a very affordable $95 a month. I get new materials. And like I said, I've made A's so far.
From what I saw of Excel Advantage--and depending on who you talk to there, I either didn't do enough to really know what I am talking about or I did so much that they felt I didn't deserve the refund they ultimately offered me--they are a sham.
The guy who mostly posts their ads likes to say how much their programs helped him (and sometimes he says it helped his wife too), but he has never taken a nursing course--he's an IT guy! Somewhere in here, he posted something where he said he wasn't married. So was he lying then, or is he lying now???
You'll do much, much better to use something you can actually have in your hands, no matter whether you go with a study guide company or just use EC. Afterall, if you find errors in the online stuff, where are you going to complain? And when? After they change the site?
Also, it is strongly suspicioned that they gather their info from the exams themselves. I get this from posts from their employees ("most of [whom] are EC students") and from posts on a Yahoo group ("the exam questions on the $29.95 practice tests were all on the EC exam"). In other words, they are thieves and cheats. You don't want to support that, do you?
You asked..... Check out the other posts about Excel Advantage (alias Academy of Nursing--but they are not a school, BTW), and see if you don't mostly see the same thing.