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:

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CLEP

American Government

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CLEP

American Literature

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CLEP

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

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CLEP

Biology

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CLEP

Calculus

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CLEP

Chemistry

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CLEP

College Algebra

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CLEP

College Composition

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CLEP

College Mathematics

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CLEP

English Literature

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CLEP

Financial Accounting

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CLEP

French Language

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CLEP

History of the United States I

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CLEP

History of the United States II

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CLEP

Introduction to Educational Psychology

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CLEP

Human Growth and Development

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CLEP

Humanities

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CLEP

Information Systems

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CLEP

Introductory Business Law

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CLEP

Introductory Psychology

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CLEP

Introductory Sociology

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CLEP

Natural Sciences

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Passing the CLEP and Learning with Modern States

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CLEP

Precalculus

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CLEP

Principles of Macroeconomics

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CLEP

Principles of Management

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CLEP

Principles of Marketing

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CLEP

Principles of Microeconomics

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CLEP

Social Sciences and History

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CLEP

Spanish Language

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CLEP

Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648

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CLEP

Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present

AP Courses

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AP

AP Biology – Part 1: The Cell

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AP

AP Biology – Part 2: Genetics

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AP

AP Biology – Part 3: Evolution and Diversity

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AP

AP Biology – Part 4: Ecology

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AP

AP Biology – Part 5: Review and Exam Preparation

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AP

Calculus 1A: Differentiation

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AP

Calculus 1B: Integration

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AP

Calculus 1C: Coordinate Systems & Infinite Series

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AP

AP Calculus BC

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AP

AP Computer Science A: Java Programming

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AP

AP Computer Science A: Java Programming Classes and Objects

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AP

AP Computer Science A: Java Programming Data Structures and Loops

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AP

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

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AP

AP English Literature & Composition – Part 1: Stories

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AP

AP English Literature & Composition – Part 2: Poems

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AP

AP English Literature & Composition – Part 3: Plays

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AP

AP Environmental Science – Part 1: The Living World

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AP

AP Environmental Science – Part 2: Populations

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AP

AP Environmental Science – Part 3: Pollution and Resources

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AP

AP Environmental Science – Part 4: Exam Review

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AP

Introduction to AP Human Geography

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AP

Introductory AP Microeconomics

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AP

AP Italian Language and Culture

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AP

AP Macroeconomics

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AP

AP Physics 1 – Part 1: Linear Motion

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AP

AP Physics 1 – Part 2: Rotational Motion

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AP

AP Physics 1 – Part 3: Electricity & Waves

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AP

AP Physics 1 – Part 4: Exam Prep

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AP

AP Physics 2 – Part 1: Fluids and Thermodynamics

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AP

AP Physics 2 – Part 2: Electricity and Magnetism

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AP

AP Physics 2 – Part 3: Optics and Modern Physics

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AP

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

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AP

AP Psychology – Course 1: What is Psychology?

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AP

AP Psychology – Course 2: How the Brain Works

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AP

AP Psychology – Course 3: How the Mind Works

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AP

AP Psychology – Course 4: How Behavior Works

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AP

AP Psychology – Course 5: Health and Behavior

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AP

AP Psychology – Course 6: Exam Preparation & Review

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AP

AP Spanish Language and Culture

 

Posted in ACE, AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, DSST, Foreign Language, Saylor Academy

Single Exam Options

College classes usually require a lot of homework. Some college classes require a little bit of homework, but for some students, earning college credit by exam means skipping homework in college! If your teen is the type of learner who can read a book and pass a test, is a strong independent learner, likes to deep dive into a subject, then credit by exam is probably something to consider.  In addition, parents who plan credit by exam options are the teachers and selectors of the curriculum (because it happens in highschool at home) and there is no worry about what the college may or may not teach.

There are many alternative credit sources out there, and many require passing a series of tests or quizzes, but this post will focus on the single-exam option.

A single-exam option:  one test determines whether or not you receive college credit in a subject.  

Now, to be clear, I’m not advocating skipping a high school class.  Rather, I’m telling you that learning in homeschool can prepare your teen well enough to skip a college class.

Let’s look at this example:

Paul has studied German since middle school and is starting 10th grade.  His parents have used a variety of curriculum options, and he’s done fine, but last year he really had a breakthrough after his family went to Germany to visit family.  When they returned home, Paul was very motivated and put is heart into his German class.  He completed the 4th and final level of his Rosetta Stone German course.  Paul can speak, read, and write German pretty well!  Paul took the German CLEP exam and scored a 70.  That is an exceptionally high score and will qualify him for 9 college credit at most of his target colleges.  With such a high score, his homeschool advisor suggested he attempt the ACTFL  exam too.  His score resulted in 14 college credits.  Though the first 9 credits of his ACTFL exam will duplicate the CLEP exam credits he has (you can’t count them twice), the additional new 5 credits will give him upper-level credit at his top choice university.  At $900 per credit, Paul saved at least $12,000  by taking a single exam and getting 14 credits for his fluency in German.  (If the university tuition price goes up before he graduates high school, his savings will be even more impressive!)

It’s important to point out that not all colleges accept credit by exam, but you’re not going to send your teen to all colleges- you can be strategic in the schools you choose and consider whether or not it is worth your family’s time and money to use credit by exam.

To inject a personal note, when I first read about credit by exam, I was very skeptical.  In addition to thinking it was possibly untrue, I wasn’t sure that I was smart enough to test out of a college course.   Since I was working at a college at the time, I went down the hall and asked about CLEP.  Despite working there for 10 years, I had no idea that we accepted CLEP, we were an official testing center, and that we allowed our students to complete 75% of their degree through CLEP!!!  So, yeah, it’s a real option.

Using my employer’s testing center, I proceeded to test out of class after class. I found a college with better CLEP policy than my employer and tested out of an ENTIRE AA degree.  This was a test, I didn’t even need the degree.  But, that event changed my children’s lives forever, and it led me to start this community.  So, I share that story because it’s TRUE.  (And my IQ is unimpressively average)


List of single-exam options

CLEP College Level Exam Program:  33 different exams.  All credit is considered lower level (100/200) and all exams (except College Composition) are multiple choice pass/fail.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 2,900 colleges. Taken at a testing center.

DSST (formerly known as DANTES):  36 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are multiple choice pass/fail.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 1,400 colleges.  Taken at a testing center.

Saylor Academy:  31 different exams.  Exams are lower level (100/200) and all are multiple choice and require 70% to pass.  Cost:  $25 each.  Accepted by about 200 colleges.  Taken at home via webcam proctor.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages:  Exams in over 100 languages.  Exams are lower and upper level (100/200/300/400) and credit is awarded based on the strength of your score.  Cost and requirements vary.  Accepted by at least 200 colleges for college credit.  (This exam is also accepted for government employment and teacher certification)

Advanced Placement:  38 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are a combination of multiple-choice and essay.  Exams are scored 1-5, and colleges generally award credit for a score of 3 or above.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 3,200 colleges.  Taken at a designated AP high school.

New York University Foreign Language Proficiency Exam:  Exams in over 50 languages.  Exams are lower and upper level(100/200/300/400) and credit is awarded based on the strength of your score – up to 16 credits.  Cost ranges from $150 – $450.  Accepted by at least 200 colleges for college credit. (This exam is also accepted for government employment and teacher certification).  Taken at a testing center.

UExcel (Formerly known as Excelsior) Exams:  61 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are mainly multiple-choice.  Credit is awarded as a letter grade (A, B, C, or F).  Cost is about $100.  Taken at a testing center.

helping

 

 

Posted in CLEP, Credit by Exam, High School

Sample High School CLEP Schedule

I love making schedules for our homeschool – I actually love making them more than I like following them.  But, in reality, I think most of us get a sense of satisfaction when we check things off of a list.  I often have a few “leftovers” that get pushed to the next day, which makes me feel so unaccomplished.  If that ever happens to you in your homeschool (can you say 7 out of 10 Lifepacs?) I would suggest you are careful planning your teen’s CLEP schedule.  It’s so easy to get carried away.  (16 CLEP exams next year?  Yeah, that’s too many.)  Additionally, if this is your first year injecting college credit into your homeschool, whatever you were thinking about adding…. cut it way back.  Early success will be like rocket fuel later.  Early failure will be like sugar in the gas tank.


Jennifer’s recommendation:  no more than 2-3 CLEP exams during your first year of earning college credit – no matter what grade your teen is in.

My guinea pig (AKA oldest son) helped me learn that my knowledge and motivation about something is not enough to push everyone to the finish line. I share my mistakes so you can hopefully prevent them with your own kids.  A quick story:  I had just finished CLEP-testing out of an Associate’s of timeArts degree. Over the course of 6 short months, I averaged one CLEP exam every 10 days – while homeschooling my kids-  I had a schedule that worked perfectly (for me) and I was ready to implement CLEP tests into our homeschool immediately.  They weren’t really that hard.  But, my enthusiasm was tempered with homeschooling reality:

LEARNING TAKES TIME

So, before we dive into a schedule, I want to tell you the difference between my CLEPping out of an exam, and the experience of my teens CLEPping:

As an adult, I’d already attended and graduated, from high school.  I had 4 years of slow learning – learning that included lots of reading, writing, researching, quizzes, studying, critical thinking, group discussion, reflection, and TONS of test-taking experience.  I also had about 30+ years of life experience that helped me pass many exams.  (Heck, I was present for some of the content on the US History II exam!)   An adult going into a CLEP exam prep process is pretty straight forward:  memorize, recall, use the process of elimination and life experience, choose the best answer.  It was simple.  But, NOT that simple for my son, and probably not for yours.  (I’ll spare you the disaster that resulted in a lot of frustration,  tears,  yelling, and a failed exam.)  So, when I started our schedule for my son’s second year of homeschooling for college credit, it went SO MUCH BETTER, because I followed a VERY SUCCESSFUL model used in high schools all over the country. I first learned this model as a high school student back in the 80’s, and it’s still in use today. I followed the Advanced Placement model.

Advanced Placement (AP), is a class followed by a college credit exam available to high school students.  Not surprisingly, it’s written by the same makers of the CLEP exam.  Students take it in the spring after about 2/3 of that year’s curriculum has been covered.  The student takes almost an entire course before they ever think about exam prep.  And, students who aren’t successful in the course don’t even have to attempt the exam if they don’t want to.   The exam, if the student takes it, has nothing to do with their AP course grade or high school credit earned.  In fact, AP credit by exam grades don’t even come in until July – well after the student has received their course grade. So, whether or not the student takes, passes, or fails the AP exam has nothing to do with the course grade or credit that led up to that moment.  It is that model that I follow in our homeschool and one that I’d encourage you to consider as well.

100% curriculum + CLEP test prep = Success


WRITE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL SCHEDULE FIRST 

Don’t worry, you can change it – but this really is where you should start.  If you have no idea whatsoever of the subjects you’re going to plan for high school, you can use this very general rule of thumb* as a starting point.  This plan doesn’t include any technology, electives, or other fun stuff – but this is a good starting point.  Adjust as you see fit.

4 years of English  (ex. Language Arts, Composition, Literature)
2–4 years of Math (ex. Algebra, Geometry, Consumer Math, Statistics, Trigonometry)
2–4 years of Science (ex. Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science)
2–4 years of History (ex. American, Western Civilization)
at least 2 years of a Foreign Language (ex. Spanish, German, French)

*if your state has a specific high school graduation requirement or subject taught laws, you’ll want to follow those instead.  Some states also distribute a “college-bound” suggested course of study.


CHOOSE YOUR CLEP EXAMS

With a generalized high school schedule, you can start picking specific subjects within each subject area. This is the point where you may want to match your teen’s high school subjects with CLEP subjects!  Here is a current list of all 33 CLEP exams:

English & Literature Exams

Math Exams

Science Exams

History and Social Sciences Exams

Foreign Language Exams

It’s worth noting that some learning is singular, while other learning is cumulative.  To give you an example, singular learning starts and stops within the subject.  You and I could learn everything we needed to know for Introductory Psychology without any prior exposure to the subject.  On the other hand, if we wanted to take the Calculus exam, we would have had to complete all of the math levels leading up to and including Calculus.  That exam requires significant foundational knowledge before learning that subject.  As you select subjects for your high school plan, you can use singular subjects anywhere you want, but cumulative subjects would be saved for later.  The exam links above take you to that exam’s content page so you can peek at what each test’s makeup.

Singular Subjects

Cumulative Subjects

American Literature

English Literature

Biology

Chemistry

American Government

History of the United States I

History of the United States II

Human Growth and Development

Introduction to Educational Psychology

Introductory Psychology

Introductory Sociology

Principles of Macroeconomics

Principles of Microeconomics

Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648

Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

College Composition (w/ essay)

College Composition Modular (w/o essay)

Humanities

College Algebra

College Mathematics

Precalculus

Calculus

Natural Sciences

Social Sciences and History

French Language: Levels 1 and 2

German Language: Levels 1 and 2

Spanish Language: Levels 1 and 2

 

A NOTE ABOUT FOREIGN LANGUAGE EXAMS:  even though it says “Level 1” and “Level 2” it is only one exam that you take one time.  When you take the exam, the strength of your score determines the number of college credits awarded,  so don’t take this exam until AFTER you have significant fluency – multiple years of study.


SAMPLE 9th GRADE SCHEDULE

9th Grade
Subject Area Semester 1 Semester 2 CLEP Exam
ENGLISH 9th Grade English 9th Grade English (N/A)
MATH Algebra 1 Algebra 1 (N/A)
SCIENCE Survey Science Survey Science (N/A)
HISTORY United States History United States History U.S. History 1

U.S. History 2

FOREIGN LANGUAGE Spanish 1 Spanish 1 (N/A)
ELECTIVE Typing Photography (N/A)

In this sample, we are laying a foundation for future exams in English, Math, Spanish, and Science….but we’re not there yet.  We are going to allow some foundational learning to happen first, and then we’ll inject college credit when our teen is better prepared.  Instead, in this year, we are using a full year curriculum for United States History, and taking the U.S. History 1 exam at the half-way point, and then U.S. History 2 at the conclusion of the school year.  These two exams work perfectly together!


SAMPLE 10th GRADE SCHEDULE

10th Grade
Subject Area Semester 1 Semester 2 CLEP Exam
ENGLISH 10th Grade English 10th Grade English (N/A)
MATH Algebra 2 Algebra 2 (N/A)
SCIENCE Biology Biology Biology CLEP
HISTORY World History World History (N/A)
FOREIGN LANGUAGE Spanish 2 Spanish 2 Spanish -maybe?
ELECTIVE Physical Education Health (N/A)

In this year, we continue to develop English and Math skills but are attempting two very big CLEP exams.  Both Biology and Spanish cover a full year of content, so we’ll play this by ear.  If our teen isn’t a solid “A” student, we may wish to eliminate the exams from our girl4plan or wait until later to attempt the.  Spanish is a tough call because if you’re only allowing 2 years of study, it’s now or never.  On the other hand, a 3rd or 4th year of Spanish would be ideal since we’re aiming for a high score (Level 2).  On the other hand, if we stop now, we have time to learn a second language.  As we go into 11th grade, we may have the added option of taking college courses through dual enrollment, which throws a monkey wrench into things a bit.  For the purpose of this sample, we’ll assume you’re only using CLEP.


SAMPLE 11th GRADE SCHEDULE

11th Grade
Subject Area Semester 1 Semester 2 CLEP Exam
ENGLISH 11th Grade English 11th Grade English (N/A)
MATH College Algebra with PreCalculus College Algebra with PreCalculus College Math

College Algebra

SCIENCE Chemistry Chemistry Natural Sciences

Chemistry

HISTORY Western Civ. I Western Civ. II Western Civ. I

Western Civ. II

ELECTIVE American Literature American Literature American Lit.

Analyzing & Interpreting Lit.

ELECTIVE Music Appreciation Art Appreciation Humanities

We are experiencing major traction now.  In fact, while the CLEP exams all align perfectly to the subjects on the schedule, it may be too aggressive for all but the most motivated students.  I included them anyway so you could see how it fits together.  If you’ll take a moment to look at the SCIENCE row, the Natural Science CLEP exam would be perfect at the close of the 1st semester because that exam is 50% biology (taken last year) and 25% chemistry – a student with solid knowledge of biology and a cursory knowledge of chemistry can pass this exam without addressing the physics segment.  Chemistry, as its own exam, is difficult and should only be considered after a full year of robust chemistry study.  If I could also draw your attention to Humanities, that exam requires knowledge of music and art, but also a lot of the Western Civilization knowledge intersects with this exam, making it a perfect fit for this schedule.


NO SAMPLE 12th GRADE SCHEDULE

At this point, my advice is that you’ll select remaining courses and exams that align with a target college.  College policy, awarding of credit, and accepted exams should all make their way into the conversation when selecting a college.  It’s reasonable that a college might not take all your teen’s hard work, but if a college doesn’t accept most of it, you may want to reconsider!  An encouragement to choose wisely comes from my friend Carol.  She allowed me to share her story with you.   We just saved $96,780

And by the way, were you keeping count?  How many potential college credits does the 11th grader in the sample have?

60

Our teen also took a total of 13 exams (I included Spanish) over the course of 3 years. Since CLEP exams cost about $100 each, the total financial investment was about $1300. Since a family can pay as they go, it allows most people to budget and plan for a good portion of their teen’s college education well ahead of time!  Not to mention the savings associated with books, meals, dorms, etc. that happen later.

Assuming the sample student attends a college that accepts all 60 credits, our sample student will have 2 years completed toward their bachelor’s degree, may have already earned an associate’s degree.  (We still have 12th grade left, and can fill in courses for a degree if we want)

For those wondering about the cost savings, you may want to revisit my post listing the current Cost of Tuition in the United States and calculate your potential savings based on the kind of college your teen may attend.  In general, if a college credit costs $325, your teen earned 60 of them for $1,300 over 3 years instead of paying (or borrowing) $19,500.  Now THAT’S something to get excited about!kids

Posted in CLEP, Credit by Exam, DSST, Math

Testing out of Math

For the non-mathy majors, you’ll likely only need 3 credits (1 course) in math for an entire bachelor’s degree!  This makes testing out of math extremely appealing (does that mean NO MATH CLASS IN COLLEGE?  Yep! That’s exactly what that means!)  I’m going to list all of the test-out options by their level of difficulty from lowest to highest.

When you find the math your teen needs for their degree (ex. College Algebra) be sure to also grab the maths leading up to that level.  While lower maths may not meet their degree requirement, they’ll frequently count as general education electives!  One final tip, you usually can’t use exam credit to replace a course you’ve failed at a college, and you also won’t get to duplicate credit you’ve already earned at a college.

MATH

DSST Math for Liberal Arts

CLEP College Mathematics

DSST Fundamentals of College Algebra

CLEP College Algebra

CLEP Pre-Calculus

AP Calculus AB

AP Calculus BC

 

STATISTICS

Statistics can, but doesn’t always, count as meeting a math requirement.  It’s still a good exam to consider including anyway because it’s often a requirement for students heading off to graduate school.  Students who have completed Algebra 1 will be well-suited to tackle this material.  I used the Statistics DSST exam to meet my own grad school entrance requirement in 2012 (Thank you, Khan Academy.  They taught me everything I needed to know for that exam).

DSST Principles of Statistics   (all multiple choice)

AP Statistics   (multiple choice and free response)

(these two exams are considered duplicates, so choose one or the other – not both)


 

If this post makes your head spin and stomach drop, you might like my previous math post a little better:  Math Success 4 Math Averse

graph

Posted in CLEP, Credit by Exam

6 Credit CLEPs

There are 33 CLEP exams.  Most of them are worth 3 college credits, but did you know that 9 of them are worth 6 or more college credits! 

6 credit CLEP exams

College Composition (essay required)
College Mathematics
French Language (up to 9 credits)
German Language (up to 9 credits)
Spanish Language (up to 9 credits)
Social Sciences & History
Biology
Chemistry
Natural Sciences

Benefits of 6 credit exams

  • One advantage of taking a 6 credit exam is that it costs the same as a 3 credit exam.  All CLEP exams, no matter their credit worth, are the same fee.  ($85 effective July 1, 2017)
  • Your budget goes farther.  If you allocate $200 per year of high school for college credit earned, students who selected 6 credit exams will have 54 credits, while students who selected 3 credit exams will have 27 credits.
  • 6 credit exams are worth larger tuition saving.  If your target college charges $350 per credit, each 6 credit exam your teen passes saves you $2,100.
  • 6 credit exams allow you to “max out” on CLEP credit more quickly.  If your target college allows up to 30 CLEP credits, you can accomplish that using only 5 exams vs using 10 of the 3 credit exams.
  • 6 credit exams equate to 1 year of a course, so you have more than 1 year of a subject to complete, you can enter at level 2 (Foreign language is a good example).

    testing

6 credit exams cover more content

6 credit exams cover 1 year of a subject (3 credit exams cover 1 semester) so there is more content to study, but for those students working at the college-prep high school level (as opposed to general or remedial) you’ll find your high school text covers the same content to a lesser degree.

While I don’t want to suggest specific curriculum companies, I do want to use a couple examples that help you understand “how hard” an exam might be, or the scope of it.

Rosetta Stone Spanish (Levels 1 and 2) —> Spanish CLEP exam

Apologia Biology followed by Advanced Biology —> Biology CLEP exam

Saxon Algebra 2 & Khan Academy Probability —> College Math CLEP exam


Not all colleges award 6 credits

Despite these exams covering more content and being ACE evaluated for 6 credits, some colleges still only award 3 credits (of course, some may award none!) It’s your call, but if my teen accumulated 1/2 of a bachelor’s degree in high school by taking CLEP exams, we’d be really motivated to choose the college that awarded him credit for his work.   


Before attempting a 6 credit exam, be sure your student:

  • has an advanced understanding of the basics and a basic understanding of the advanced.
  • has experience reading college level material (usually through textbooks).  Some students find the wording of a CLEP question a little tricky.  They tend to ask a lot of negative questions such as “which one of the following would not be the…..”
  • has taken no fewer than 2 practice tests.   Sources of practice tests include:
    • CLEP Official Guide (1 paper practice test with answer key)
    • REA CLEP (2-3 practice paper / online tests with explanations)
    • FreeCLEPprep.com (1 online practice test with answer key for some exams)
  • Peterson’s  (3 online timed practice tests with instant grading)

    It is my opinion that you’ll need to score 60% -70% on at least 2 TIMED practice tests (3 tests would be better) before attempting the real exam. Never use the same test twice- it won’t be a true score.  Practice tests will not have the actual questions but are representative of the kinds of questions you can expect.


secret

Insider Tip:  many 6 credit exams overlap each other

Experienced college credit test-takers will tell you to get the maximum return on investment (brain investment, that is) you should study for exams that share or overlap content, and then take both exams.  Many of the 6 credit exams lend themselves to this technique, which I’ll share below.

SCIENCE  

Take high school chemistry and high school physics before college-level biology (CLEP). Follow the CLEP Biology test with CLEP Natural Sciences.  The Natural Sciences exam is 50% biology!  The other half includes some essential chemistry and physics that you already covered in high school.

MATH

If your teen is studying for or has passed College Algebra, go back and pick up College Math too.  Even if it’s not the math they need for their degree, it will probably land as a general education elective.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

If your teen passes one of the foreign language exams with a high enough score, she’ll likely walk away with 9 credits instead of 6!  (cut scores vary by college).  In addition, if your teen earns foreign language credit early enough, or has a knack for languages, there may be time for a second language!  If you’re very sure your teen can master one or more foreign languages in high school, take a moment to read my post about Foreign Language for College Credit

SOCIAL SCIENCE & HISTORY

In the Social Sciences and History exam, it’s really a combo of history, economics, and government.  This exam is a mile wide and an inch deep, so it’s a challenging exam to study for.  Rather than study for this exam directly, my suggestion is to use it after your teen has already taken some or all of these other subjects.  Completing these other exams first will all but assure a solid passing score on Social Science and History with little to no test prep.  NOTE:  this plan below yields 3-4 high school credits and 27 college credits.

YEAR 1

(1) United States History —> CLEP United States History 1 & 2

(2) American Government —> CLEP American Government

YEAR 2

(1)  Western Civilization —> CLEP Western Civ 1 & 2

(2)  Economics —> CLEP Macroeconomics and CLEP Microeconomics

CLEP Social Science and History exam


Downgraded Exams

If you’ve used CLEP in the past with other teens, you may notice a few exams “missing” from the 6 credit list!!  It’s true, in 2015, the following exams were “downgraded” from 6 to 3 credits.

If you happen to have taken one of these exams while it was worth 6 credits, it’s still worth 6 credits for you.  Exam values are determined by the date you took it, not the date you use it. But, for students who take it now, expect 3 credits unless your college awards a different amount.  (Thomas Edison State College still awards 6 credits for all of these)

Humanities  (worth 3 credits now, worth 6 credits before 3/1/2015)

American Literature (worth 3 credits now, worth 6 credits before 3/1/2015)

English Literature (worth 3 credits now, worth 6 credits before 3/1/2015)

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature (worth 3 credits now, 6 credits before 3/1/2015)

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Posted in CLEP, College Admission

10 RA Christian Colleges that Accept CLEP

Colleges / Universities on this list are listed in no special order, but are all Regionally Accredited (RA) and have a public CLEP policy (meaning I can find it in one of their publications.)  You can look up colleges using the same tools I use:

(1) Accreditation U.S. Department of Education Accreditation Database

(2)  Search “CLEP” on the College’s website.

Regional accreditation is very important when choosing a dual enrollment college *during high school*  because credit earned at a non-RA college credit rarely transfers into RA colleges.  After your teen graduates high school, choosing an RA or non-RA college is a matter of career direction and personal preference.  Examples of careers that require an RA degree are generally those that require a state-issued license:  Nurse, Medical Doctor, Physician Assistant, Lawyer, CPA, Dietitian, Psychologist, K-12 Teacher, Social Worker, etc.  or that require a master’s degree or higher.  Non-RA college attendance is discouraged on this site as a general policy.

 


1. College of the Ozarks

P.O.Box 17
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Phone: 417-334-6411
http://www.cofo.edu

College of the Ozarks CLEP Policy

Fun fact:  Students here do not pay tuition!  


2. Liberty University

1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24502
Phone: 434-582-2000
http://www.liberty.edu

Liberty University CLEP Policy

Fun fact:  This is the largest Christian university in the world!


3.  Eastern Nazarene College

23 E Elm Ave
Quincy, MA 02170-2999
Phone: 617-745-3000
http://www.enc.edu

Eastern Nazarene College CLEP Policy

Fun fact:  All children of pastors or missionaries receive a $5000 grant each year.


 

4.  Texas Christian University

2800 S University Dr
Fort Worth, TX 76129
Phone: 817-257-7000
http://www.tcu.edu

Texas Christian College CLEP Policy

Fun fact:  Accumulating 30 CLEP credits will save $58,000 at this college.


5.  Bob Jones University

1700 Wade Hampton Boulevard
Greenville, SC 29614
Phone: 864-242-5100
http://www.bju.edu

Bob Jones University CLEP Policy

Fun fact:  High school students can take online dual enrollment courses at 50% tuition.


6.  Northwest University

5520 108th Ave NE
Kirkland, WA 98083-0579
Phone: 425-822-8266
http://www.northwestu.edu

Northwest University CLEP Policy

Fun fact: High school students can earn an Associate degree in Ministry Leadership online. 


7.  Biola University

13800 Biola Ave
La Mirada, CA 90639-0001
Phone: 562-903-6000
http://www.biola.edu

Biola University CLEP Policy

Fun fact:  Students can apply up to 32 CLEP credits toward their degree. 


8.  Cedarville University

251 N. Main Street
Cedarville, OH 45314-0601
Phone: 937-766-2211
http://www.cedarville.edu

Cedarville University CLEP Policy

Fun fact:  High school students can take online dual enrollment courses for $150 per credit (free through PSEO for Ohio residents).


9.  Oklahoma Christian University

P.O. Box 11000
Oklahoma City, OK 73013-1100
Phone: 405-425-5000
http://www.oc.edu

Oklahoma Christian University CLEP Policy

Fun fact:  Average student teacher ratio is 13:1


10.  Oral Roberts University

7777 S Lewis
Tulsa, OK 74171
Phone: 918-495-6161
http://www.oru.edu

Oral Roberts University CLEP Policy

Fun fact:  Students can complete 60 credits (50% of their degree) by CLEP and AP!


 

Posted in AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, Resources, Tuition

Cost of Tuition in the United States

The current and historical cost of tuition in the United Sates is tracked and sorted for us to learn from.   The United States Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics keeps data on this kind of information, and much more!  (Psssttt, it’s one of my favorite sites to browse)

The costs below reflect averaged “rack rate” tuition for 1 year, which is to say the price stated by the college as their tuition rate.  Individual student’s scholarships or other grants are not reflected here, this is simply the price of tuition.   Note that public colleges generally have “in-state” and “out of state” tuition rates- this is because of the economics of a state-funded educational system, and out-of-state students will typically pay a significantly higher rate than in-state students.

Now, because this is the Homeschooling for College Credit page, of course, I’m also including the breakdown for several popular college credit exams that your teen can take – you’ll be able to see the TREMENDOUS cost savings as you get down to the bottom of the page.

“Cost of attendance”  is also collected, and includes OTHER expenses besides tuition.  Books, meals, dorms, etc. may all be estimated on your college’s website. As you dig deeper, you’ll want to sort out the costs that are variable and those that are fixed.  For instance, if a student lives at home, there aren’t many living expenses to add in, but a student living in a dorm will spend about $13,000 more per year. For the purposes of this post, we’re only talking about TUITION.  


Official Calculation as per-year

(Data Source:  National Center for Education Statistics: November 2016)

 

Less than 2-year (Diploma/Certificate)
Public Non-Profit 248 schools $6,505 in-state $7,288 out-state
Private Non-Profit 86 schools $13,433 N/A
Private For-Profit 1,616 schools $15,269 N/A
2-year (Associate Degree)
Public Non-Profit 1,016 schools $3,941 in-state $7,780 out-state
Private Non-Profit 178 schools $13,899 N/A
Private For-Profit 891 schools $14,864 N/A
4-year (Bachelor’s Degree)
Public Non-Profit 710 schools $8,141 in-state $18,341 out-sta.
Private Non-Profit 1,602 schools $26,355 N/A
Private For-Profit 700 schools $16,066 N/A

 


Unofficial* Calculation as per-credit

Less than 2-year (Diploma/Certificate)
Public Non-Profit   $217 in-state $243 out-state
Private Non-Profit   $448 N/A
Private For-Profit   $509 N/A
2-year (Associate Degree)
Public Non-Profit   $131 in-state $259 out-state
Private Non-Profit   $463 N/A
Private For-Profit   $495 N/A
4-year (Bachelor’s Degree)
Public Non-Profit   $271 $611 out-state
Private Non-Profit   $879 N/A
Private For-Profit   $536 N/A

Credit by Exam Calculation as per-credit

Credit By Exam
AP Exam $93  3 credit exam=

$31 per credit

6 credit exam=

$16 per credit

9 credit exam=

$10 per credit

CLEP Exam $80 3 credit exam=

$27 per credit

6 credit exam=

$13 per credit

9 credit exam=

$9 per credit

DSST Exam $80 3 credit exam=

$27 per credit

N/A N/A
ACTFL foreign language $70 (written) 12 cr. exam=

$7 per credit

 

 

 

 

Saylor Exam $25 3 credit exam=

$8 per credit

 

Unofficial* = calculated by dividing the yearly tuition by 30, the standard full-time load.