Posted in CLEP, Resources, Self-Paced Learning

Modern States for CLEP & AP

Modern States is a new, totally free, mini-curriculum that is aligned specifically to CLEPwindow exams.   Their AP catalog is really just a collection of MOOCs that they’ve assembled in one place.  Still, a great resource.  I want to tell you how much I love them, but instead, I’ll tell you that I like them, but I have problems with their deceptive marketing.

Modern States Official Website

When you visit their site, you’ll notice their tagline “Freshman Year for Free.”  Before we go forward, I want to help you understand what Modern States is, and what it isn’t – as much as I want to promote this new opportunity for parents and teens, I can’t understand why they aren’t more transparent – the nuances of college credit aren’t easy to grasp, so to be less than clear does everyone a disservice.

Their website:

“Take tuition-free, high quality courses online from top institutions for college credit.”

In my opinion, this statement is really misleading because you’re not taking courses from a top institution for college credit.  You’re taking courses developed by Modern States for you to learn independently.  In the case of the AP courses, you’re simply taking an open courseware course.

Make no mistake, you are not an enrolled student at a college when you take courses through Modern States.  Further, the courses themselves do not award college credit in any way.  There is no direct ACE credit (as is the case with Saylor, Straighterline, or Studycom) and you must also pass a CLEP exam that is accepted by your receiving college in order to earn college credit.  In short?  It’s CLEP prep.

As a CLEP-prep resource?  It’s great!  These mini-courses are meant to fit into your busy (homeschool) schedule.  Estimated completion at 6 hours per week is 4 weeks.  A big benefit to parents is that they can either offer this as an accelerated course, or there is enough time in the school year to use this as a “final quarter” course that follows a traditional homeschool curriculum.  It really depends on the subject, and how important it is to you that your teen get a full-robust experience.  Doing Modern States alone will not provide enough contact hours, homework, writing, research, etc. to merit counting as a full course for most parents.  On the other hand, not every subject needs depth, so in that case, you would be fine.

You have to dig- but once you get into the site and visit their FAQ page, allllll the way down at the bottom you’ll get the real truth.  There is nothing to be ashamed of, I’m not sure why this isn’t on the front page?

“How does it work?

Modern States offers free, high-quality online courses taught by college professors that prepare you for virtually all of the major AP and CLEP exams, which are well-established and widely-accepted. Solid performance on the exams (each participating college decides what scores you need for credit) can earn you college credits and enable you to save tuition dollars. You can take one course or many; if you do well on eight exams, you can potentially earn Freshman Year for Free.”

Did I mention the cost?

It’s free.  As in, totally no cost at all. You will, however, have to pay for your CLEP exam, any proctoring fees, and any transfer fees to your college if applicable.

But wait….there’s more.

Modern States is currently running a voucher program.  In short, if you complete the entire Modern States course as outlined in their instructions, you can receive a voucher to pay for your CLEP exam!  The program was initially open to the first 500 people, but they’ve extended time and time again.  My contact with them recently suggested there was “no indication of ending the voucher program anytime soon.”  So, there is plenty of time for you to sign up.   Modern States Voucher Program


 

Their catalog as of today:

Learn More
CLEP

American Government

Learn More
CLEP

American Literature

Learn More
CLEP

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

Learn More
CLEP

Biology

Learn More
CLEP

Calculus

Learn More
CLEP

Chemistry

Learn More
CLEP

College Algebra

Learn More
CLEP

College Composition

Learn More
CLEP

College Mathematics

Learn More
CLEP

English Literature

Learn More
CLEP

Financial Accounting

Learn More
CLEP

French Language

Learn More
CLEP

History of the United States I

Learn More
CLEP

History of the United States II

Learn More
CLEP

Introduction to Educational Psychology

Learn More
CLEP

Human Growth and Development

Learn More
CLEP

Humanities

Learn More
CLEP

Information Systems

Learn More
CLEP

Introductory Business Law

Learn More
CLEP

Introductory Psychology

Learn More
CLEP

Introductory Sociology

Learn More
CLEP

Natural Sciences

Learn More

Passing the CLEP and Learning with Modern States

Learn More
CLEP

Precalculus

Learn More
CLEP

Principles of Macroeconomics

Learn More
CLEP

Principles of Management

Learn More
CLEP

Principles of Marketing

Learn More
CLEP

Principles of Microeconomics

Learn More
CLEP

Social Sciences and History

Learn More
CLEP

Spanish Language

Learn More
CLEP

Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648

Learn More
CLEP

Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present

AP Courses

Learn More
AP

AP Biology – Part 1: The Cell

Learn More
AP

AP Biology – Part 2: Genetics

Learn More
AP

AP Biology – Part 3: Evolution and Diversity

Learn More
AP

AP Biology – Part 4: Ecology

Learn More
AP

AP Biology – Part 5: Review and Exam Preparation

Learn More
AP

Calculus 1A: Differentiation

Learn More
AP

Calculus 1B: Integration

Learn More
AP

Calculus 1C: Coordinate Systems & Infinite Series

Learn More
AP

AP Calculus BC

Learn More
AP

AP Computer Science A: Java Programming

Learn More
AP

AP Computer Science A: Java Programming Classes and Objects

Learn More
AP

AP Computer Science A: Java Programming Data Structures and Loops

Learn More
AP

AP Computer Science A: Java Programming Polymorphism and Advanced Data Structures

Learn More
AP

AP English Literature & Composition – Part 1: Stories

Learn More
AP

AP English Literature & Composition – Part 2: Poems

Learn More
AP

AP English Literature & Composition – Part 3: Plays

Learn More
AP

AP Environmental Science – Part 1: The Living World

Learn More
AP

AP Environmental Science – Part 2: Populations

Learn More
AP

AP Environmental Science – Part 3: Pollution and Resources

Learn More
AP

AP Environmental Science – Part 4: Exam Review

Learn More
AP

Introduction to AP Human Geography

Learn More
AP

Introductory AP Microeconomics

Learn More
AP

AP Italian Language and Culture

Learn More
AP

AP Macroeconomics

Learn More
AP

AP Physics 1 – Part 1: Linear Motion

Learn More
AP

AP Physics 1 – Part 2: Rotational Motion

Learn More
AP

AP Physics 1 – Part 3: Electricity & Waves

Learn More
AP

AP Physics 1 – Part 4: Exam Prep

Learn More
AP

AP Physics 2 – Part 1: Fluids and Thermodynamics

Learn More
AP

AP Physics 2 – Part 2: Electricity and Magnetism

Learn More
AP

AP Physics 2 – Part 3: Optics and Modern Physics

Learn More
AP

AP Physics 2 – Part 4: AP Review and Exam Preparation

Learn More
AP

AP Psychology – Course 1: What is Psychology?

Learn More
AP

AP Psychology – Course 2: How the Brain Works

Learn More
AP

AP Psychology – Course 3: How the Mind Works

Learn More
AP

AP Psychology – Course 4: How Behavior Works

Learn More
AP

AP Psychology – Course 5: Health and Behavior

Learn More
AP

AP Psychology – Course 6: Exam Preparation & Review

Learn More
AP

AP Spanish Language and Culture

 

5 thoughts on “Modern States for CLEP & AP

  1. I was wondering what your take on Modern States was so thanks for the post! I’d be curious to hear feedback on courses and how smooth they are. My dd (14) is finishing Apologia Biology so I’m thinking about having her do SL or a Modern States bio (+ CLEP) while it’s still fresh. I’ve heard SL’s lessons can be cobbled together in a disjointed fashion and that the tests don’t always match up well to the material. Wondering if Modern States is any smoother?? Also wondering if anyone has done a combo of both…learn with Modern States (if ithe lessons are better/smoother) then “breeze through” SL’s course to get lower pressure credit than a scary all-or-nothing “final” with CLEP (which is intimidating to my dd as her first attempt at college credit). Anyone know if they use the same biology text book?

    I know bio isn’t the easiest introduction to college credit, but figured if she waits it might be worse (forgotten). And if she can get through bio, maybe the rest will be a piece of cake??

    Thanks for all the great info, Jennifer! We still haven’t dipped our toes in, but I’m trying to learn all I can before we jump in : ).

    Like

    1. Hi Karyn, keep in mind that I haven’t personally taken the MS bio course or the MS bio exam – but I did take a LOT of biology classes. In my opinion, general bio 1 & 2 is a lot of content- enough to make this CLEP a bear. Still, you are using one of the best high school bio curriculums I know about, so if your daughter is doing well, you’re probably on the right track. Given the 2 choices you presented: SL vs MS+CLEP, I would suggest the MS+CLEP option. I have 3 reasons behind that suggestion. (1) The SL course, even with lab, only covers 1 semester, so best case credit award is 4 (3 without lab) while the MS+CLEP covers 2 semesters, a potential 6-8 credit award – so more bang for your buck. (2) the MS + CLEP option is completely free. MS is currently handing out vouchers, so there is no cost for a failed exam (which is confidential btw) whereas the SL course will cost you no less than $99 for 1 month and then the course cost – depending on coupons, anywhere from $9-$59. So, you’re about $150 in on that attempt. (3) About 2,900 schools award credit for the CLEP exam, while a very small number would award credit for SL (ACE). I realize they advertise that 1,900 do, but I wrote a post on the “real” ACE list here, you can look it over for more details. All things considered, I think the MS+CLEP is the winner for your daughter.

      Like

  2. I just watched your video on AA degrees through TESU and my ears perked up at the thought of 6 credits for the Bio CLEP exam vs. only 3 credits for Bio at SL. Then I saw your reply which confirmed what I’d just heard…so MS+ CLEP might be the better, (but harder?) Bio option, especially if we use TESU which is yet TBD. Thanks again!

    Like

    1. I’d give her the opportunity to do a practice tests using a full year’s content before you decide. REA (paperback) Guides have 2-3 very good ones in the back, the Official Guide has 1, Peterson’s offers 3 online timed tests, and I think Free CLEP Prep .com has one as well. There are plenty of other off-brands as well. REA and Peterson’s are the most accurate for sure. If she’s within striking distance (better than 50% after Apologia), it’s more efficient for her to “bulk up” her test prep and put her through MS. Simply, your curriculum teaches the subject, which is good- but she won’t need “everything” for the test, and she will still be tested on her understanding of concepts like evolution (how science defines it/uses it) – so at the close of her curriculum, take a practice test – if it’s a disaster (under 50%) you can either sign up for SL or call it done. She still earned high school credit – that’s a fact. If it’s good (better than 50%) then she’s understanding a lot and is ready for test prep. After Apologia and MS (plus a few practice tests) she’ll be so sick of biology lol, but she’ll be as ready as she’ll ever be. 😉

      Like

Comments are closed.