Posted in CLEP, DSST, Math

DSST Math for the Liberal Arts vs. CLEP College Mathematics

What is the difference between the DSST Math for the Liberal Arts and CLEP College Mathematics exam?

~a question asked by MANY homeschool moms

Exam Information

DSST Math for the Liberal Arts

This exam was developed to enable schools to award credit to students for knowledge equivalent to that learned by students taking the course. This exam covers topics such as real number systems; sets and logic; metric system, conversions and geometry; algebra, graphs and functions (as applied to real-life applications); linear systems and inequalities; exponents and logarithms including financial literacy and counting, probability theory and statistics. The exam contains 80 questions to be answered in 2 hours. The use of a non-programmable calculator is permitted in this exam.

Passing Score for Math for the Liberal Arts
ACE Recommended Score: 400
Semester Hours: 3

CLEP College Mathematics

This examination covers material generally taught in a college course for nonmathematics majors and majors in fields not requiring knowledge of advanced mathematics.

The examination contains approximately 60 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. Any time candidates spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.

Questions on the College Mathematics examination require candidates to demonstrate the following abilities in the approximate proportions indicated.

  • Solving routine, straightforward problems (about 50% of the examination)
  • Solving nonroutine problems requiring an understanding of concepts and the application of skills and concepts (about 50% of the examination)

The subject matter of the College Mathematics examination is drawn from the following topics. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.

A scientific (nongraphing) calculator, the TI-30XS MultiView™, is integrated into the exam software and available to students during the entire testing time. Students are expected to know how and when to make appropriate use of the calculator.

Information about the scientific calculator, including opportunities to practice, is available here.

Passing Score for College Mathematics
ACE Recommended Score: 50
Semester Hours: 6


Overlap Between the CLEP and DSST Exams

The following information is taken from the DSST Math for the Liberal Arts fact sheet and the CLEP College Mathematics information page. This was my best attempt to match up the content of each test, however, I do not guarantee 100% accuracy! If you see any errors, please leave a comment and I will update the chart.

Blue indicates content overlap between the DSST and CLEP math exams. In some instances, the overlap is assumed because it is a foundational concept.

DSST Math for the Liberal Arts

CLEP College Math

REAL NUMBERS SYSTEMS – 11% NUMBERS – 10%
Real numbers: Natural Numbers, Integers, Rational Numbers, Irrational Numbers, The real number line. Operations with real numbers and their properties (including the distributive properties) Properties of numbers and their operations: integers
and rational, irrational, and real numbers (including
recognizing rational and irrational numbers)
Percentages; Fractions and reducing fractions; conversion between decimal numbers and fractions; operations with fractions (including distributive property)
Prime and composite numbers; divisibility rules; prime factors of composite numbers Elementary number theory: factors and divisibility, primes and composites, odd and even integers, and the fundamental theorem of arithmetic
Absolute value
Systems of Numeration: Place value or positional value numeration, Base 10 expanded forms; base 2 numbers; conversion between base 10 and base 2; (Including Roman Numerals)
METRIC SYSTEMS, CONVERSIONS, AND GEOMETRY – 12%
Introduction to metrics and U.S. customary unit systems
Conversions between metric and U.S. customary unit systems, including Dimensional Analysis Measurement: unit conversion, scientific notation, and numerical precision
GEOMETRY- 10%
Properties of lines and angles Parallel and perpendicular lines; Properties of circles: circumference, area, central angles, inscribed angles, and sectors;
Perimeter and area of 2D geometric objects; Area, Surface area and volume of 3D solid objects Properties of triangles and quadrilaterals: perimeter, area, similarity, and the Pytharorean theorem
SETS AND LOGIC – 16% LOGICS AND SETS – 15%
The Nature of Sets
Subsets and Set Operations, (setbuilder notation; roster form, using sets to solve problems) Set relationships, subsets, disjoint sets, equality of sets,
Using Venn Diagrams to Study Set Operations  and Venn diagrams
Infinite sets
Operations on sets: union, intersection, complement, and Cartesian product
Simple and compound statements; qualifiers “and” and “or” and their symbols; conjunction and disjunction; conditional and biconditional statements including Qualifiers Logical operations and statements: conditional statements, conjunctions, disjunctions, negations, hypotheses, logical conclusions, converses, inverses, counterexamples, contrapositives, and logical equivalence
Truth value of a compound statement including Truth Tables
Types of Statements ( Negations of Conditional Statements and De Morgan’s Laws
Logical Arguments including Euler Circles
COUNTING, PROBABILITY THEORY, AND STATISTICS – 20% COUNTING AND PROBABILITY – 10%
Fundamentals of Probability including the Counting Principle
Permutations and Combinations Counting problems: the multiplication rule, combinations, and permutations
Events Involving Not and Or
Odds and Conditional Probability Probability: union, intersection, independent events, mutually exclusive events, complementary events, conditional probabilities, and expected value
DATA ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS – 15%
Mean, Median and Mode; Range Numerical summaries of data: mean (average), median, mode, and range
Variance and Standard Deviation Standard deviation and normal distribution (conceptual questions only)
Graphical representation (including Bar graph, pie chart, histogram, line graph, scatterplots etc.) Data interpretation and representation: tables, bar graphs, line graphs, circle graphs, pie charts, scatterplots, and histograms
EXPONENTS AND LOGARITHMS INCLUDING FINANCIAL LITERACY – 22% FINANCIAL MATHEMATICS – 20%
Properties of Logarithms
Logarithmic and Exponential Functions
Percents, percent change, markups, discounts, taxes, profit, and loss
Simple Interest; Compound Interest Interest: simple, compound, continuous interest, effective interest rate, effective annual yield or annual percentage rate (APR)
Present value and future value
Installment Buying
Student Loans and Home Buying
Investing in Stocks and Bonds
ALGEBRA, GRAPHS, AND FUNCTIONS (AS APPLIED TO REAL LIFE APPLICATIONS) – 11% ALGEBRA AND FUNCTIONS – 20%
LINEAR SYSTEMS AND INEQUALITIES – 8%
Order of operations
Simplifying expressions; equations with one variable; proportion problems
Evaluation of formulas
Solving Linear Equations including applications and systems Solving equations, linear inequalities, and systems of linear equations by analytic and graphical methods
Interpretation, representation, and evaluation of functions: numerical, graphical, symbolic, and descriptive methods
Graphs of linear equations in the rectangular coordinate system; Graphing and solving Linear
inequalities; Graphing and solving systems of
inequalities
Graphs of functions: translations, horizontal and vertical reflections, and symmetry about the x-axis, the y-axis, and the origin
Linear and exponential growth
Functions including polynomials (not to include rational, exponential and logarithmic Functions)
The Rectangular Coordinate System and Linear Equations in Two Variables

 

Posted in CLEP, High School

CLEP for 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grades

If you’re planning CLEP exams as part of your teen’s high school journey, you’re probably worried about selecting a first, or next, exam.  Should your teen take Natural Sciences or Chemistry?  Humanities or American Literature?  When is the best time to take Composition?  Since my goal is to help you become your child’s best guidance counselor, I’m going to give you the tools to make that call yourself!

Through my own testing journey, I’ve found that CLEP exams tend to represent one of two exam types:

CLEP Exam Types

  1. Individual subjects
  2. Cumulative subjects

 

CLEP Exam Types

How and when your teen prepares for any given exam depends first on the exam type.  This is actually a really big deal- and may make the difference between success and failure!

An individual subject is one that you can approach with no pre-existing knowledge about the subject, and learn it well enough to pass an exam.  A few examples of these exam types are American Literature or Sociology.  In both cases, you can start learning from scratch without any kind of disadvantage.

An example of a cumulative subject is one that does require prior knowledge.  Exams in this category include College Algebra or Spanish.  In the case of College Algebra, you can’t begin the study of the subject without previous math preparation (ideally completion of Algebra 2) and in the case of Spanish, you’ll have to learn Spanish before taking the exam.  In both cases, where you start is a significant factor in determining how fast and how easily you can learn the material.

Why should you care?  Because in order to choose the best time for your teen to take a specific course/exam, you need to know where it best fits into your homeschool program.

Some exams fall neatly into categories, others can go either way.  I’ve sorted them for you.  Exams in the “Decide for Yourself” category are multi-disciplinary or require at least familiarity with elementary content before approaching the subject at the college level.  Meaning they incorporate more than one subject.    The exam titles in the list are active links,  so you can click the title to explore the content decide for yourself.

Clearly Individual Subject Exams

Clearly Cumulative Subjects


 

Tips for Individual Subjects & Exam Prep

  • Learning creates the foundation of knowledge, test prep memorizes facts and figures.  Make a learning plan that includes both.
  • If your teen typically studies one subject at a time, estimate 1 month of learning and test prep for each subject.  (Monday-Friday about 3-4 hours per day = about 60 hours, or 1/2 high school credit)
  • If your teen typically studies multiple subjects at a time, estimate about 60 hours divided over the course of your block, trimester, semester, or unit that you use.
  • I’ve never met someone who told me they were over-prepared for their exam.  When in doubt, allow a little extra time.
  • Some subjects offer exams in 2 parts (US History, Western Civ., Economics) and lend themselves to a full year of high school study.  The mid-year point is a good time to take the first exam, end of year is a good time to take the second exam.
  • Keep in mind all CLEP subjects are 100/200 level college learning- that makes availability of resources abundant!!  Discarded textbooks, thrift store finds, and online MOOCs are excellent sources of learning material. Learning material doesn’t have to be current.
  • Exam prep material should match the current edition of the exam so your test prep matches what they’ll be tested on.
  • Group subjects together to build on knowledge (Psychology, Educational Psychology, Human Growth and Development all have some cross-over)
  • Start with a subject your teen likes.
  • If reading level isn’t at or above the 12th grade level, learning the content might not be enough to pass.  Study the subject now, continue to work on reading level, and take the test in a year or two when reading level is higher.

Tips for Cumulative Subjects & Exam Prep

  • You’ll want to investigate what pre-existing knowledge is necessary to learn the subject.  For instance, Calculus requires first knowing Precalculus which first requires College Algebra which first requires Algebra 2 (high school).  The exam prep material assumes all preexisting knowledge is in place.
  • All college level sciences require a good foundation in high school level sciences.  For instance, college level chemistry assumes knowledge of high school level biology and chemistry as well as algebra.  Starting from scratch for CLEP Chemistry will be exceptionally challenging without that base- but not impossible.
  • Both composition exams and the Analyzing Literature exam assume strong command of college level language (reading and writing).  If you use standardized tests in your homeschool, your student should be testing beyond 12th grade Language Arts before you begin exam prep.
  • Foreign Language CLEP exams cover 2 semesters of college foreign language.  Your teen should have completed at least high school level 1 and probably 2 before attempting.

Now that you have a good understanding of if an exam will make up a subject in your homeschool, or if it will follow a year or more of study, you’re ready to make a schedule!  You can read my entire original post about creating a sample here:

Sample High School CLEP Schedule

In short, only YOU can decide where CLEP exams make sense in your homeschool schedule.  It’s based on what they’ve done, and what they plan to do in the coming years.  In part, it also helps to know if you’re planning to use dual enrollment options, and whether or not they have zeroed in on a college major.  The more information you have, the more specific you can be – but being uncertain isn’t a reason to do nothing.  If you have a teen with the knowledge, a CLEP exam can be a wonderful “final exam” in the bank.  The exam scores can be held for 20 years before being used, so the risk/reward ratio really supports testing while its fresh in their mind.

This is only ONE sample of how a family might inject CLEP credit into their homeschool.

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 1U.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 MathCollege Algebra
SCIENCE Chemistry Chemistry Natural SciencesChemistry
HISTORY Western Civ. I Western Civ. II Western Civ. IWestern 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!

Posted in AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, SAT, Saylor Academy, Straighterline, Study.com

Forms of ID when Homeschooling for College Credit

Parents of teens earning college credit in high school may be shocked to find that many exams require identification.  For those with a driver’s license, that’s usually enough, but many of you have teens without a driver’s license. What can they do?

You’ll find some very different policies regarding the acceptable forms of ID based on the test your teen is taking.  I’ve done my best to collect the most current information from the more popular exams we talk about here, but know that companies can change their requirements at any time!  Please, allow yourself enough time to confirm and also obtain acceptable ID for your teen.

 

CLEP (College Board)

Identification: Your driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued identification that includes your photograph and signature. You will be asked to show this identification to be admitted to the testing area. The last name on your ID must match the name on your registration ticket. The ID you bring must meet the following criteria:

  • Be government-issued.
  • Be an original document—photocopied documents are not acceptable.
  • Be valid and current—expired documents (bearing expiration dates that have passed) are not acceptable, no matter how recently they may have expired.
  • Bear the test taker’s full name, in English language characters, exactly as it appears on the registration ticket, including the order of the names.
  • Middle initials are optional and only need to match the first letter of the middle name when present on both the ticket and the identification.
  • Bear a recent recognizable photograph that clearly matches the test taker.
  • Include the test taker’s signature.
  • Be in good condition with clearly legible text and a clearly visible photograph.
  • Military test takers must bring their military ID.
  • Homeschooled students and high school students: If you do not have the required government-issued ID, please complete a Student ID Form (.pdf/55 KB) which is valid for one year. The form must be accompanied by a recognizable photo with a school or notary seal overlapping the photo. The form must be signed in front of a school official or notary. If you fail to present appropriate identification, you will not be tested.
  • Examples of other types of acceptable indentification include:
    • Government-issued passport with name, photograph and signature
    • Driver’s license with name, photograph, and signature
    • State or Province ID issued by the motor vehicle agency with name, photograph, and signature
    • Military ID with name, photograph, and electronic signature
    • National ID with name, photograph, and signature
    • Tribal ID card with name, photograph, and signature
    • A naturalization card or certificate of citizenship with name, photograph, and signature
    • A Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) with name, photograph, and signature
    • Source link

SAT & AP (College Board)

Note:  AP Students taking AP exams at their high school do not need identification.  More information about AP exams:  AP Bulletin for Parents

Test center staff will compare the information on your Admission Ticket and your photo ID with the test center roster to confirm your registration and identity. You cannot be admitted to the test center if any of the information does not match. This includes the use of a nickname on one item but your full name on another. Source link

The staff is not required to hold your seat if you did not bring acceptable identification.

ID Checklist

ID documents must meet all of these requirements:

  • Be a valid (unexpired) photo ID that is government-issued or issued by the school that you currently attend. School IDs from the prior school year are valid through December of the current calendar year. (For example, school IDs from 2015-16 can be used through December 31, 2016.)
  • Be an original, physical document (not photocopied or electronic).
  • Bear your full, legal name exactly as it appears on your Admission Ticket, including the order of the names.
  • Bear a recent recognizable photograph that clearly matches both your appearance on test day and the photo on your Admission Ticket.
  • Be in good condition, with clearly legible English language text and a clearly visible photograph.

Note: Not all of these requirements apply to Talent Search identification documents used by students who are in the eighth grade or below at the time of testing; however, Talent Search identification forms must bear an original student/parent signature.

Important:

Check Your ID—Every Time

Even if an ID got you into a test center before, it does not guarantee it will be acceptable in the future.

Acceptable ID Examples:

  • Government-issued driver’s license or non-driver ID card
  • Official school-produced student ID card from the school you currently attend
  • Government-issued passport
  • Government-issued military or national identification card
  • Talent Search Identification Forms (allowed for eighth grade and below)
  • SAT Student ID Form (.pdf/490KB); must be prepared by the school you currently attend or a notary, if home-schooled

Unacceptable ID Examples:

  • Any document that does not meet the requirements
  • Any document that is worn, torn, scuffed, scarred, or otherwise damaged
  • Electronic document presented on a device
  • Any document that appears tampered with or digitally altered
  • Any document that bears a statement such as “not valid as identification”
  • Credit or debit card of any kind, even one with a photograph
  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Employee ID card
  • Missing Child (“ChildFind”) ID card
  • Any temporary ID card

More About Names

If you need to make a change to your name after registering, please contact Customer Service at least 30 days prior to your intended test date. Middle names and initials are optional on your documents; however, if provided, the middle initial must exactly match the first letter of your middle name on your ID.

More About Photos

You may not be allowed to enter the test center, let alone take the test, if test center staff cannot sufficiently authenticate your identification from the ID you present. Your score may even be withheld or canceled.

Admission to the test center is no guarantee that the ID you provided is valid or that your scores will be reported. All reported or suspected cases of questionable ID or test-taker identity are subject to our review and approval before, during, and after the test administration.

ID Requirements Apply All Day

You should keep your ID and Admission Ticket with you at all times while at the test center, including during breaks. You may be required to show your ID and Admission Ticket and/or to sign a test center log multiple times and at various points throughout the test administration.

If it is discovered after your test administration that you used a false or invalid identification, your test scores will be canceled, and you will forfeit your registration and test fees. Your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) (if you are under 18), your high school, and the colleges and programs you have designated to receive your score reports will be notified and may be told why your scores were canceled. Law enforcement authorities may also be notified when fraud is suspected, and you may be banned from future tests.

If you fail to comply with these identification requirements and policies, you may be dismissed from the test center and your scores may be withheld or canceled. If you are dismissed from the test center prior to completing the test because of invalid or unacceptable ID, or failure to comply with these ID requirements and policies, your test fees will not be refunded.

If You Do Not Have Acceptable ID

If you do not have another form of acceptable ID you may be able to use the Student ID Form (.pdf/490KB). This form must be prepared and authenticated by the school you currently attend or by a notary if you are home-schooled. A current photo must be attached to the form in the area indicated before the form is notarized. This form is only valid as ID if you are testing in the United States and for test-takers under 21 years of age.

If You Are Waitlisted

In countries where waitlist status is used, you must present an acceptable school- or government-issued photo ID that has been issued in the country in which you are testing. Foreign passports, foreign national IDs, or IDs from foreign schools will not be accepted.

If You Are 21 or Older

If you will be 21 or older on test day, the only acceptable form of identification is an official government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, that meets all of the requirements above. Student ID cards are not valid forms of identification for test-takers who are 21 or older.

Testing in India, Ghana, Nepal, Nigeria, and Pakistan

The only acceptable form of identification is a valid passport with your name, photograph, and signature. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Testing in Egypt, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam

A valid passport or valid national ID card with your name, photograph, and signature are the only acceptable forms of ID. If you travel to another country to test, you must provide a passport as identification. There are no exceptions to this policy.


DSST (Prometric)

Q.4 What form of ID should I bring to the testing location when I take a DSST exam?

A. Prior to the test administration, all test takers must present current and valid picture identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or picture student identification. DANTES funded eligible military test takers must provide a valid Common Access Card (CAC). Only test takers should be permitted into the testing room. Unauthorized visitors are not permitted in the testing room at any time. Source link


Straighterline (Proctor U*)

Proctor U is the 3rd party online proctoring system currently used by Straighterline.  Proctor U’s website:  Always have your ID ready before connecting to a proctor. If you are unsure of what identification is needed for your exam, please reach out to your instructor for clarification. In some instances, a second ID may be required. This includes a school ID or passport. Source link

Straighterline’s Proctoring Page:  Source link

Two forms of IDs, one of which must be a government-issued photo ID, as proof of identification. Valid forms of government identification are as follows:

  • U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card
  • Driver’s license or ID card issued by a State provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address
  • ID card issued by federal, state or local government agencies or entities, provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address
  • U.S. Military card
  • Foreign passport

Saylor Academy 

OPTION 1 – Proctor U*

Proctor U is the 3rd party online proctoring system currently used by Saylor Academy.  Proctor U’s website:  Always have your ID ready before connecting to a proctor. If you are unsure of what identification is needed for your exam, please reach out to your instructor for clarification. In some instances, a second ID may be required. This includes a school ID or passport. Source link

Saylor’s website:  When it is time for you to take your test, log in to ProctorU and press the blue button under the “My Exam” tab to launch your proctoring session. To verify your identity, your Proctor will ask you to use a webcam to show a form of identification, and then answer a number of questions based on public record information.  If you live outside of the United States, ProctorU will not have access to public record information, and you will instead be asked to show a second form of ID. Source link

OPTION 2 – Private Proctor

Detailed information is not provided for this option.  Source link  While the proctoring instructions do state that the proctor must  “Verify student identification prior to entering the testing area” there are no further instructions.  My recommendation is to contact Saylor Academy well in advance for clarification.  Saylor Academy Help Center. 


Study.com (Software Secure)

Study uses Software Secure AKA Remote Proctor Now as the third party proctoring service.  Study’s proctored exam instructions simply state a student must provide “a photo ID.”  Source link


 

 

ACT 

Acceptable Forms of Identification

Only the following forms of identification are acceptable. If it is not on this list, it is not acceptable, and you will not be admitted to test.  Source link

Current official photo ID

Must be an original, current (valid) ID issued by a city/state/federal government agency or your school. Note: School ID must be in hard plastic card format. Paper or electronic formats are NOT acceptable. Your first and last names must match the ticket. The photo must be clearly recognizable as you.

ACT Student Identification Form with photo  

You MUST present this ACT Student Identification Form (PDF) with photo if you do not have a current official photo ID as described above. It must be completed by a school official or notary public; neither may be a relative. All items must be completed.

ACT Talent Search Student Identification Form 

If you are participating in an Academic Talent Search program and were not required to submit a photo with your registration you must present your ACT Talent Search Identification form. If you are participating in an Academic Talent Search program and were required to submit a photo when you registered, you must present either a current official photo ID or an ACT Student Identification Form with photo.

Unacceptable Forms of Identification

You will not be admitted if you present any forms of ID other than those listed as acceptable. The following are examples of unacceptable identification:

  • ACT ticket alone
  • Birth certificate
  • ChildFind ID card
  • Credit, charge, bank or check cashing cards, even with photo
  • Diploma
  • Family portrait or graduation picture, even if the name is imprinted on the photo
  • Fishing or hunting license
  • ID issued by an employer
  • ID letter that is not an official ACT identification form
  • Learner’s driving permit (if it doesn’t include a photo)
  • Temporary/replacement driver’s license (if it doesn’t include a photo)
  • Organization membership card
  • Passport or other photo ID so old that the person presenting it cannot be identified
  • Personal recognition by anyone, including members of the test center staff, classmates, parents, counselors, and teachers
  • Photo ID of parents
  • Photo with your name embossed or printed on it by a photographer
  • Photocopies or reproductions
  • Photos issued by a business for promotional purposes (e.g., amusement parks)
  • Police report of a stolen wallet or purse
  • Printed, stamped, or photocopied signatures
  • Published photo, including yearbook or newspaper
  • Report card
  • Social Security card
  • Telephone calls to counselors, teachers, or school officials
  • Traffic ticket, even with a physical description and signature
  • Transcript, even with photo
  • Web page with photo

 

ID2

 

*Proctor U :  While not disclosed on any the websites I visited, Proctor U has the ability to use a process called Acxiom-X identifiers.  These identifiers could require your student to answer a number of “unique” questions that they should know about themselves.  The best resource I found identified potential 115 questions in their question bank.  Acxiom’s website states

“The Acxiom Identify-X Authenticate process uses unique data generated questions to identify an individual and then verifies these individuals through our high-quality database, offering greater security to the end user.

Acxiom’s identification platform utilizes demographic and geographic data in challenge questions with nearly 900 data elements for more than 300 million individuals. Identify-X Authenticate data comes from public, publicly available and non-public proprietary databases. Identify-X Authenticate data is current and regularly updated daily, weekly and monthly, depending upon the data source.”

Obviously not all of these would apply- but examples of possible Acxiom questions that could be asked during identification verification when using Proctor U include:

  • Based on your driver’s license do you wear corrective lenses?
  • What professional licenses do you hold?
  • What subdivision do you currently reside in?
  • What state does your relative Joe live in?
  • How many fireplaces did you have in your last residence?
Posted in CLEP, NCAA

Member Question: CLEP Registration before 10th grade

Lori writes:  “I was attempting to sign my son up for the CLEP test in American Government and the registration form on the CLEP site does not accept any student designation that is less than 10th grade. My son is in the middle of his 9th-grade year, but he would like to take the test and I feel that he is more than ready. I know that some other parents have been successful in arranging for CLEP test for their students who are even younger than my son (15), so I was wondering if anyone had any information on how to get around this stipulation on the CLEP form?”


That’s a great question, Lori!  At least 4 other parents have asked this exact question this year, and I don’t know why The College Board can’t simply add more “tick box” options for lower grades.  It seems like a simple solution, especially since one advantage of using CLEP in a homeschool is that those too young for dual enrollment have an opportunity to earn college credit when they’re ready- not at a specific grade.

It is my opinion that UNLESS your child is an NCAA athlete, to feel completely comfortable selecting the 10th-grade box.  The College Board continues to maintain that the tick-box is strictly demographic data for internal use and that colleges will never see that box.  For non-NCAA athletes, that’s an acceptable answer, because even in the worst case scenario that this is untrue, a parent can simply explain why they selected the 10th-grade box, and The College Board can verify that info.

Now, for those who are NCAA athletes, it’s a different story.  NCAA is exceptionally strict regarding age and grade.  They are exceptionally strict about the number and type of high school credits a student earns, and they are exceptionally strict about the records documenting these activities…. and that’s just for public school students.  The scrutiny of homeschooled students headed into NCAA is at least twice as difficult- maybe more.  In summary:  NCAA doesn’t play around.  If they think something is “off” about your teen’s records, your teen will be disqualified from playing college sports- game over.

NCAA Homeschool Eligibility Guide

So, since the stakes are so high for the students in the NCAA category, I would take the extreme opinion of telling NCAA families to wait until 10th grade before attempting a CLEP exam.  This protects your teen from the extremely unlikely event that your identification of their (higher) grade is disclosed somewhere somehow.

Until then, parents with teens younger than 10th grade should continue to contact The College Board and simply suggest that they add a box for those younger than 10th grade.  It’s an easy request, and easy fix, and it keeps everyone honest.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

P.O. Box 6600
Princeton, NJ 08541-6600
Phone: 800-257-9558 or 212-237-1331
Fax: 610-628-3726
E-mail: clep@collegeboard.org (Professionals)  <– homeschool parents use that address
E-mail: clep@info.collegeboard.org (Students)Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

Posted in CLEP, College Admission, High School

We just saved $96,780

I have to share my correspondence with one of our Minnesota members. She has graciously agreed to let me post it here:

“With CLEP and PSEO (dual enrollment), I just calculated we are saving $96,780 at the University of Northwestern St. Paul.

1/3 of that is in CLEP alone: 32 credit hours, which is about $30,260. Then, two years free through dual enrollment which is another $30,260 X 2 =$60,520.  

We are saving far more money by CLEPping and dual enrollment than we could get in scholarships.  -Carol Lang Frisk


She’s not exaggerating, I pulled the numbers to share with you.  

It’s -seriously- phenomenal.  Read on…


2017–18 Tuition & Fees 

The University of Northwestern St. Paul

  1. Tuition……………………………………………..$30,260
  2. Room………………………………………………….$5,570
  3. Meal Plan……………………………………………$3,700
  4. Technology Fee……………………………………..$260
  5. Health Services Fee……………………………….$124
  6. Activity Fee……………………………………………..$150
  7. Personal Expenses** …………………………..$2,120
  8. Books & Supplies** ………………………………..$600
  9. Transportation**…………………………………….$620

TOTAL …………………………………..$43,404

 

It’s worth noting that the green items with ** indicate variable expenses you can control to some degree.  (Does anyone else think the college has under-estimated the cost of books?)  So, to be fair, let’s round down to $40,000 per year- just the cost Carol’s family will be BILLED.  

Without smart planning, Carol and her daughter may have wandered onto campus and signed up for a $160,000 degree!  Thankfully, she’ll found a way to bring that cost down closer to $40,000.


Secondary savings and benefits gained by Carol’s plan:

  • In addition to reducing tuition cost, this family will cut items #2- #9 on the list by at least two years!  She won’t have to pay the meal plans, health services fees, technology fees, etc. if she’s not there!

  • A scholarship, while saving cost, doesn’t save TIME.   Injecting college credit in high school is extra work, but it is saving this student a full 2 years off the TIME it takes to finish her degree.  

  • Graduating 2 years earlier than her peers puts her into her career 2 years earlier, thus accelerating her ability to earn a supporting salary.

  • If entering the workforce isn’t in the immediate future, she has time to travel, volunteer, serve, or attend graduate school while her peers finish their undergraduate degree.

  • If she does take out a student loan, she’ll begin repayment 2 years earlier than if she attended a full 4 years- which saves 2 years worth of interest.

  • The average in-state public college costs about $40,000 for 4 years- they’ve found a way to attend a private college for the same price.

  • Using CLEP exams allowed Carol to choose appropriate homeschool curriculum that aligned with their family values while earning college credit. 

  • Using CLEP exams allowed Carol’s daughter to move quickly through subjects she easily understood, and spend more time on those that gave her trouble. 

  • Using CLEP exams and dual enrollment allowed Carol’s family to make credit accumulation a “pay-as-you-go” situation, which is ultimately the most affordable option for many parents.


How much did they spend?  What exams did she take?


 

Carol shared that her daughter earned 45 CLEP credits, but this college only awards credit for 32.  Here’s her list, cost, and reward:

16 credits Spanish CLEP ($100)   This college awards up to 16 credits for the Spanish CLEP exam but requires the student to pass a second college based test for verification.  This will give her credit in Spanish I, II, III, and IV.  (note: most colleges award up to 9 credits)

4 credits World Religions DSST ($100)  DSST is nearly identical to CLEP.

4 credits College Composition CLEP ($100)

4 credits Western Civilization CLEP ($100) 

1 credit Here’s to Your Health DSST ($100) 

3 credit (CLEP) to be determined ($100)

TOTAL INVESTMENT:  $600


Parents who inject CLEP exams into their homeschool by using it as a “final exam” don’t really have that much extra added cost- they’re buying curriculum anyway, so the risk is in paying for an exam.  Currently, CLEP exams cost $80 but a testing center typically charges about $20 for proctoring services, so it’s safest to budget $100 per exam.

Since exams usually award 3-6 credits, the $100 investment is well worth the risk!  You’d have to fail the CLEP exam 5 or 6 times before it’s more expensive than the college class.


Have you thought about using CLEP or DSST to help offset college costs for your teen?  If so, what’s your strategy?  Do you have tips for getting the biggest bang for your buck? Share them below!


Reader D.M. sent me this lovely note:

“Hi. I just wanted to share a story with you. I have struggled to get my almost 15yo daughter interested in taking CLEP exams. This has recently changed! She is now obsessed with preparing. What has changed? She started the Dave Ramsey financial curriculum and I forwarded the blog post you wrote about Carol Lang Frisk. She is now hoping to take and pass three exams this summer. I hope this inspiration continues!” 

Posted in ACE, CLEP

CLEP Expiration / Revision Dates

ACE is the third-party review organization that colleges use to decide if a class or exam is “worth” college credit or not.  In other words, CLEP exams are worth college credit because they have undergone review by ACE.

When ACE reviews an exam, they always assign a date range for that review.  At the ending date, the exam must be reviewed again or removed.  If it is reviewed and renewed, a new date range is issued.  Recently, we saw a renewal for every exam except for Social Science and History (which was recently renewed anyway).  Even exams that weren’t set to expire were bumped.  We don’t know if any exams are undergoing a rewrite for implementation before 11/30/18, but that’s always a possibility.

All date ranges and the history of date ranges are available by searching the ACE Database.

These dates are not guarantees that there will be an exam revision or removal, but they are the expiration dates as established by ACE. As such, you should plan your high school accordingly, and proceed as if an exam will be revised or removed on its expiration date to be on the safe side.   

Currently, 33 exams are evaluated for college credit.  


American Government 7/1/01- 11/30/18

American Literature 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature  3/1/15-12/31/21

Biology 7/1/01- 12/31/21

Calculus 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Chemistry 7/1/01- 11/30/18

College Algebra 1/1/07 – 12/31/20

College Composition (essay) 7/1/10 – 11/30/18

College Modular (no essay) 3/1/15 – 11/30/ 18

College Math 3/1/15 – 12/31/21

English Literature 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

Financial Accounting 1/1/07 – 12/31/22

French Language 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

German Language 3/1/15 – 12/31/21

History of the United States I 7/1/01- 11/30/18

History of the United States II 7/1/01- 11/30/18

Human Growth and Development 11/1/06 – 11/30/18

Humanities 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

Information Systems 10/1/12 – 12/31/20

Intro. Educational Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Intro. Business Law 5/1/02 – 11/30/18

Intro. Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Intro. Sociology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Natural Sciences 7/1/01- 11/30/18

Precalculus 10/1/12 – 12/31/20

Princ. of Macroeconomics 10/1/12 – 12/31/20

Princ. of Microeconomics 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Princ. of Management 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

Princ. of Marketing 10/1/12 – 12/31/20

Social Science and History 3/1/16 – 12/31/23

Spanish Language 3/1/15 – 12/31/19

Western Civ. I 7/1/01- 12/31/19

Western Civ. II 7/1/01- 12/31/20

Posted in CLEP

My Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for PARENTS

Before I ever started homeschooling my own teens for college credit,  I wanted to know more about CLEP, and how it worked.  The super-short version is that I took one exam “just to see” what it would be like….but I ended up testing out of an Associate’s Degree (60 credits) in 6 months!  I didn’t need that degree; I worked as a chef and had my culinary credentials in place, but it was loads of fun and a little addictive once I got rolling.

By the end of my journey, I accumulated 146 new credits through CLEP, DSST, and online courses.   From 0-146 took me 18 months (yes, there was a Bachelor’s Degree earned in there too.)  As you can imagine, you learn a lot about the pros and cons when you do it for yourself… before bringing it into your home for your own kids.

So, today’s post celebrates the 10 year anniversary of my first CLEP test!  For the curious, it was Human Growth and Development.  I prepared using a college textbook I’d rescued from the trash at work and paid the $60 testing fee using coins I’d saved in a jar.  I scored 67, a solid pass, and earned 3 college credits in PSY211.

If asked, I could probably do a “Top 100” list of CLEP test tips for the test-taker, but in today’s post, I want to give you my 10 best tips for PARENTS.


Top 10 CLEP Prep Tips for Parents

#1  DO take your own test.  Wait, what? Who?  Mom?  Dad?  Yes!!  I know, this seems crazy, but if you take one exam, you’ll gain more insight and first-hand experience than reading my blog for a year, and you’ll be more confident in selecting good resources. It is my number one suggestion for a reason- it works!

#2 DON’T plan your CLEP tests around one college’s policy.  If I could have two number ones, this would tie for first.  I can not emphasize strongly enough how this can blow up your plans.  First, teens change their minds!  Even if your daughter has picked her college since kindergarten, she’s maturing, and with maturity comes more thought and consideration for one’s future.  You should know that nearly 50% of college students (teens older than yours) will change their major at least once- so even within the same college, exam acceptance policy can differ by major.   Second, even if everyone’s decisions are solid, a college can review their exam policy every academic year.  Without question, an exam that was accepted last year may be denied next year, and a new exam might receive apprmoleoval.  Finally, exam credit values change.  I remember in October 2015, 8 exams had their credit values cut in half! That was a big, hysterical day for many people.  You’ll drive yourself crazy playing whack-a-mole if you try to predict what type of policy will be in effect 1-2-3-4 years from now.  Look at policies for informational purposes, but then make your own plan for your teen.

#3 DO know the difference between curriculum and test prep.  These are 2 different things and can be very confusing.  In general, learning happens first (curriculum) and testing happens last (test prep).  You already know this, but let’s use a different brand of test to underscore the distinction.  Let’s pretend we were talking about the SAT exam for college admissions.  SAT exam prep builds on what a student learned after about 10 years of education.  The SAT exam happens in high school, but it doesn’t replace high school. This is also true of CLEP.  As you evaluate products, ask yourself if the product is curriculum (designed to learn) or test prep (assumes knowledge of the subject) and plan accordingly.  A solid CLEP-injected homeschool program uses curriculum and test prep.

#4 DON’T spend tons of money.  CLEP testing can save a lot of money if you’re industrious with your resources. By the time you’ve factored in the cost of curriculum, the cost of test prep, the cost of the exam ($80), and cost of proctoring fee, you might be spending as much as community college tuition.  My suggestion is to keep costs manageable!  You can budget your high school curriculum much the same way you always have, but you’ll have to factor in the test fee ($80) and proctor fee.  Proctor fees vary, so shop around!  Call every testing center in your area.  $20 is a reasonable proctoring fee. Now comes the wild card:  test prep.

Test prep is not curriculum!  Test prep is just that, something to help your teen prep for the test.  Test prep is often sold through flashy websites with big promises of saving THOUSANDS of dollars….  But be sure, you don’t save thousands of dollars buying test prep products.  You save thousands of dollars when your teen is well prepared for an exam, passes the exam, and enrolls in a college that awards credit for that exam.   There are a LOT of predatory CLEP test prep companies out there, but I want to share my favorite 2 free resources and my favorite pay resource.

FREE:  Sparks Notes  Online study guides for every CLEP subject.  You won’t be able to search using the word “CLEP” but you can search by subject (US History, Literature, Biology, etc.)

FREE:  Free CLEP Prep Outlines and practice test questions for most CLEP exams.

PAY:  InstantCert Flashcards I wouldn’t have taken my first CLEP test without IC.  InstantCert (often called “IC”)  costs $20 per month if you subscribe to their study flashcards.  Separately, the free member’s forum is a goldmine.  Between the forum and the flashcards (which are not required to access the forum), you’ll have insider information on every exam’s content, as well as alternative exams and strategies.  I’ve been an active contributing member of that forum for 10 years and dedicated my book Homeschooling for College Credit to the members of that forum.  It The link above will give you $5 off.  If you sign up, say hello.  My username there is Cookderosa. Your entire family can share 1 account.

#5 DO allow time for learning.  When I took both CLEP US History exams, the reason I found them both so manageable, was because I’d already taken US History in elementary, middle, and high school.  Beyond that, I’d spent a couple dozen years reading and watching the news, voting in elections, and living through 9-11. I had a lot of applied knowledge.   Real learning takes time!  If your teen has spent years studying a subject, it makes sense that they’ll have more success following up with a CLEP test than if they’re learning something brand new.   If this is their first time in a subject, test prep shouldn’t even be on your mind until you’re sure they’ve really learned the subject at least a basic high school level.  If they know the subject, test prep (flashcards, etc.) is much easier.

#6 DO use your favorite curriculum.  By now, you probably have a lot of exposure to various curriculum brands, and no doubt you have your favorite.  My suggestion is to stick with what is working.  Unless your curriculum completely clashes with the exam content distribution (more about that in a moment), you can use the curriculum you love and choose test prep material at the end of the semester.

#7  DO have the CLEP exam list handy.  Not all subjects are testable, but having the list allows you to inject college credit into your high school plan where it makes sense.  For instance, if you’re deciding on a foreign language, knowing the 3 foreign language options through CLEP (German, French, and Spanish) may help inform your decision about which language your teen should study. You can read my post on testing out of a foreign language here:  Foreign Language for College Credit.

#8 DO look at the exam content distribution.  That’s a fancy way of saying “know what’s on the test.”  The content distribution outlines that X% of the exam will cover a certain part of a subject, Y% will cover another part of the subject, and so on. During test prep, you want their study effort to match the distribution.  In other words, if something represents 2% of the exam, and something else represents 45% of the exam, their attention should be on the 45% section.

pie

#9 DO know exam revision dates.  This can get a little geeky but bear with me. Curriculum is curriculum. If your teen is studying American Literature, it really doesn’t matter what date your curriculum was published, and the literature covered on the exam is VERY old!  So, use old curriculum without hesitation.

What you should stay on top of, are exam revision dates.  Exam revision dates mean that the content distribution may have changed, and that’s worth knowing.  You can look up exam revision dates from the source in the American Council on Education’s database found here:  ACE Exam Database.  The link I’ve provided above is the summary I pulled.  You’ll also find a direct link in the tool bar on the top of this webpage for easy access.  In short, the curriculum can be old, but test prep should match the current exam edition.

Curriculum can be old, but test prep should match the current exam edition.

#10 DON’T give grades for CLEP exams.  Give grades and high school classes and credit for the course.  CLEP isn’t a class, it’s just an assessment.  Consider using the well-regarded model followed by 15,000 high schools using Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. (same idea as CLEP: college-level learning followed by an exam for potential college credit.)  In both cases, the high school student is responsible for their semester’s coursework and earns grades accordingly.  Later, at the end of the school year, the student has the option of taking the AP or IB exam.  Whether or not the student passes or fails the exam isn’t part of their high school grade.  In fact, exam score reports don’t even come out until summer!  Exam scores are a separate entity, and keeping them in separate categories keeps everyone’s priorities in check.  Your student’s grade should reflect the sum of their hard work, not just that of one quick exam.


If you still are unclear about how to use CLEP in your homeschool, take a moment to watch my 8-minute youtube video.   Quick Start Guide to CLEP