Posted in Curriculum, Distance Learning, High School, Self-Paced Learning, Straighterline

Straighterline Dissected: What to Take

I first published this story in February 2017, though some of the point distributions have changed since then, the strategy is still going strong! Since you can see every Straighterline syllabus by entering their website and clicking on the course you’re interested in, you can adopt these ideas for any class you choose!

update.png


Not all Straighterline courses follow the same format.  In this document, we’ll explore the structure of each Straighterline course, and I’ll help you break down the differences between them.  This will help you choose courses that meet your specific need.


Courses are generally considered “easy” and/or “fast” to complete when they:

  1. Consist only of only exams, a midterm, and a final.  Those three exam types are multiple choice format, open book, and instantly graded by computer.  
  2. The course point distribution allows you to accumulate enough points to pass the course before taking the final.
  3. The course textbook is available digitally, which allows you to search out answers quickly during exams.  Tip: hold the Ctrl button and press the F key.  A “find” box will open, and you can search the text for any word or phrase.

Courses are generally considered “hard” and/or “slow” to complete when they:

  1. Have assignments that must be uploaded to Straighterline.  The assignment will be graded by a human, and can take 3-5 days.
  2. Are subject to a human’s interpretation of the course instructions, which can result in a low grade.  The nature of the grading system means your grader is anonymous and you can not ask follow up questions or make revisions.  You will likely have a different person grading each of your assignments.
  3. Require labs.  Science labs can stretch several days each, especially if you’re waiting for a reaction or culture to grow.  Labs also require uploading photos in every lab report.

Courses are generally “more expensive” when:

  1. You take a science lab.  Science labs all require lab kits purchased through the link in the course syllabus.  Lab kits can cost as much as $200. 
  2. You don’t use a discount code.  There are usually at least 2 codes at any time.  I keep a log of current codes on this website. Discount Codes

A passing score for every Straighterline course is 70% unless your college says differently.

Straighterline credit comes into every college as PASS/FAIL credit unless your college says differently.  

Charter Oak State College (CT) is the only college I know of that awards letter grades for Straighterline courses.  They use a standard 90=A, 80=B, 70=C grade scale.

When the “pre-proctor” column is 700 or more, you can pass the course before taking the final exam. Note, they still require you to take it, but there’s no pressure.


I pulled all of the following MASTER TABLE information from the Straighterline website on 2/25/2017.  I’ve kept the table for reference, but be sure to use a current syllabus when doing the math for yourself.

MASTER TABLE

STRAIGHTERLINE COURSECONTENT SUMMARYPRE-PROCTORPROCTORED EVENT
Accounting 14 exams @ 150 / midterm 200800Final exam 200
Accounting 24 exams @ 150 / midterm 200800Final exam 200
American Government4 exams @ 125 / midterm 200700Final exam 300
Anatomy & Physiology 116 exams @ 40 / midterm 160800Final exam 200
Anatomy & Physiology 1 Lab9 exams @ 42 *lowest score dropped

 

9 written lab reports @ 83 *lowest score dropped

1000-0-
Anatomy & Physiology 213 exams @ 50 / midterm 150800Final exam 200
Anatomy & Physiology 2 Lab9 exams @ 42 *lowest score dropped

 

9 written lab reports @ 83 *lowest score dropped

1000-0-
Biology13 exams totaling 700700Final exam 300
Biology Lab8 exams @35 / 1 homework @ 40

 

8 written lab reports @ 85

1000-0-
Business Communication14 exams @ 25 / midterm 150

 

3 written papers @ 100

800Final exam 200
Business Ethics4 exams @ 175700Final exam 300
Business Law4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250750Final exam 250
Business Statistics6 exams @ 125750Final exam 250
Calculus 14 exams @ 125 / midterm 150650Final exam 350
Calculus 24 exams @ 125 / midterm 150650Final exam 350
Chemistry6 exams @115690Final exam 310
Chemistry Lab8 exams @35 / 1 homework @ 40

 

8 written lab reports @ 85

1000-0-
College Algebra4 exams @ 125500Final exam 500
Criminal Justice12 exams @ 50 / midterm 200800Final exam 200
Cultural Anthropology4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250750Final exam 250
English Composition 1*15 exams totaling 610

 

9 written assignments totaling 400

1010-0-
English Composition 217 exams totaling 510

 

8 written assignments totaling 500

1010-0-
Environmental Science4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250750Final exam 250
Financial Accounting4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250750Final exam 250
First Aid4 exams @100 / midterm 200

 

1 demonstration 100 / CPR verification 100

800Final exam 200
Introductory Algebra7 exams @ 100700Final exam 300
Introduction to Business4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250750Final exam 250
Introduction to Communication4 exams @ 100 / midterm 100

 

3 speeches totaling 300

800Final exam 200
Introduction to Nutrition15 exams @ 40 / midterm 150750Final exam 250
Introduction to Philosophy4 exams @ 75 / midterm 200500Final exam 500
Introduction to Programming C++4 exams @ 50 / midterm 200

 

8 Program assignments @ 25

600Final exam 400
Introduction to Religion4 exams @ 125 / midterm 200700Final exam 300
Introduction to Statistics5 exams totaling 500 points500Final exam 500
IT Fundamentals19 exams totaling 700 points700Final exam 300
Macroeconomics*19 exams @ 40 / midterm 120880Final exam 120
Managerial Accounting4 exams @ 125 / midterm 200700Final exam 300
Medical Terminology4 exams @ 125 / midterm 200700Final exam 300
Microbiology6 exams @ 100 / midterm 200800Final exam 200
Microbiology Lab8 exams @ 48 *lowest score dropped

 

8 written lab reports @ 95 *lowest score dropped

1001-0-
Microeconomics*24 Exams @ 30 / midterm 140860Final exam 140
Organizational Behavior4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250750Final exam 250
Personal Finance14 exams @ 50 / midterm 100800Final exam 200
Personal Fitness10 Exams @ 70

 

Fitness test/Caloric Inventory/5K race @ 0

700Final exam 300
Pharmacology 14 exams @ 125 / midterm 250750Final exam 250
Pharmacology 24 exams @ 125 / midterm 250750Final exam 250
Physics4 exams @ 150/ midterm 200800Final exam 200
Physics Lab9 exams @ 42 *lowest score dropped

 

9 written lab reports @ 83 *lowest score dropped

1000-0-
Pre-Calculus4 exams @ 175700Final exam 300
Principles of Management4 exams @ 150 / midterm 200800Final exam 200
Psychology*4 exams @ 175700Final exam 300
Sociology10 exams @ 50 / midterm 150

 

5 discussion assignments @ 20

750Final exam 250
Spanish 14 exams @ 75 / 2 written assignments @ 75

 

2 oral assignments @ 75 / midterm 150

750Final exam 250
Spanish 24 exams @ 75 / 2 written assignments @ 75

 

2 oral assignments @ 75 / midterm 150

750Final exam 250
Survey of World History18 exams totaling 700 points700Final exam 300
United States History 14 exams @ 125 / midterm 200700Final exam 300
United States History 24 exams @ 125 / midterm 250750Final exam 250

NOTE: the quizzes, labs, homework, exams, and even mid-term exams are all open book.  The only closed book activity is the FINAL EXAM, and not all final exams are closed book!  In other words, your teen should be able to earn nearly perfect scores on everything leading up to the final exam.

SL courses WITHOUT webcam proctored final exams

English Composition 1
English Composition 2
Microbiology Lab
Anatomy & Physiology 1 Lab
Anatomy & Physiology 2 Lab
Biology Lab
Chemistry Lab
Physics Lab

SL courses approved as “Advanced Placement” by College Board

English Composition 1
Macroeconomics
Microeconomics
Psychology

SL courses you can’t pass unless you also pass the final exam

Chemistry
Calculus 1
Calculus 2
Introduction to Programming C++
College Algebra
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Statistics

SL courses that require written essays

Business Communication
Sociology
English Composition 2
English Composition 1

SL courses that require giving speeches/video recording

Spanish 1
Spanish 2
Introduction to Communication

SL courses that require a 3rd party to verify your activity

First Aid
Personal Fitness

SL courses that require purchase of a lab kit

Anatomy & Physiology 1 Lab
Biology Lab
Chemistry Lab
Microbiology Lab
Anatomy & Physiology 2 Lab
Physics Lab

TIP:  If you have multiple children that are earning lab credit, you only have to buy 1 lab kit.  Email Straighterline at Advisor@straighterline.com and request a “group lab form.” 

SL courses that can be “passed” before taking the final exam 

Macroeconomics
Microeconomics
Introduction to Communication
First Aid
Business Communication
Accounting 1
Accounting 2
Anatomy & Physiology 1
Anatomy & Physiology 2
Criminal Justice
Microbiology
Personal Finance
Physics
Principles of Management
Spanish 1
Spanish 2
Sociology
American Government
Business Law
Business Statistics
Cultural Anthropology
Environmental Science
Financial Accounting
Introduction to Business
Introduction to Nutrition
Introduction to Religion
Organizational Behavior
Pharmacology 1
Pharmacology 2
United States History 1
United States History 2
Western Civilization 1
Western Civilization 2
Personal Fitness
Psychology
Biology
Business Ethics
Introductory Algebra
IT Fundamentals
Managerial Accounting
Medical Terminology
Pre-Calculus
Survey of World History

Jennifer’s TOP 10 Suggested SL Courses

based on: fewest computer graded activities that can result in a pass before the final exam

  1. Psychology – not only is this course approved as an AP course (record it as such on your teen’s high school transcript) but it only has 4 exams @ 175 points each + final. If you want, your teen can also take the AP exam and/or CLEP exam.  The content of this course aligns with both very nicely.  Note: a target college will only award 3 credits for intro psychology once, even if you take the CLEP too.
  2. Business Ethics – some partner colleges consider this a philosophy or ethics course, which meets a general education requirement!  Only 4 exams and a 300 point open book final.
  3.  Accounting 1 & 2 – These don’t make sense for all of my readers, but if you’re looking for math alternatives or business courses for your teen, these two courses follow the same structure and can yield a full year of math.  There are 4 exams and a midterm (all open book) totaling 800 points.  Since only 700 is needed to pass the course, you can pass long before attempting the 200 point open book exams.
  4. Principles of Management- Also a less traditional option, the structure makes this class a winner.  4 exams and a midterm (all open book) totaling 800 points.  Again, easy enough to pass before attempting the 200 point open book exam. CLEP also offers an exam for this course.
  5. American Government- Almost every high school student takes a government course, so this acts as a great DIY dual enrollment option.  A straight-forward structure consisting of 4 exams and a midterm (all open book) totaling 750 points.  The final is closed book, however, it’s possible to pass this course before taking the final. CLEP offers an exam for this course, however, the pass rate is very low.  SL would be a significantly easier option if deciding between the two.  *While there is an AP exam in this content area, the SL course is not an approved AP course.
  6. Environmental Science– Considered a nice and easy science by most, the structure here makes this course a great option.  4 exams and a midterm (all open book) totaling 750 points followed by an open book final.  *While there is an AP exam in this content area, the SL course is not an approved AP course
  7. Introduction to Religion- This course is usually considered a general education course, not a theology course, making it a good option for any degree.  The structure is simple with 4 exams and a midterm (all open book) followed by a 250 point open book final exam.  In my opinion, I thought this course covered the major religions well and without a strong bias toward one over another.
  8. United States History 1 & 2 – Like Accounting, these two courses can be taken individually, but when taken together make a full sequence.  Both have the same structure: 4 exams, a midterm, and a final.  US History 1’s final is closed book, while US History 2’s final is open book.  Either way, it’s possible to pass both before taking the final.  There are CLEP exams for US 1 and US 2, but if you want to plan for an AP exam, be sure to take both classes!
  9. Western Civilization 1 & 2 – Identical in structure to US History 1 & 2, but both have open-book final exams.  Like all the courses on this list, you can pass the class before taking the final exam.  There are CLEP exams for Western Civilization 1 and 2.
  10. Cultural Anthropology- This course is an alternative to Sociology or Psychology as a social science option.  In some colleges, this course also meets requirements related to world cultures or diversity.  The structure is very similar to the others on this list- 4 exams and a midterm with a 250 point open book final.

If you want to learn how to Homeschool for College Credit, I recommend picking up the second edition from amazon or your local library! 

020-6x9
Homeschooling for College Credit
Posted in ASU EA, Dual Enrollment, High School, Math, Science, Self-Paced Learning, Transfer Credit

How to Sign Up for ASU’s Earned Admissions Courses

Arizona State University’s Earned Admissions program offers a unique low-risk high-reward opportunity for students to take college level courses at a reasonable price. The cost is $25 to sign up for each course, and $400 paid at the END of the course, but only if you like the grade! If you don’t pay, there is NO record of the course – and students can retake courses as many times as necessary to pass. We know of no other source of regionally accredited (the gold standard) credit offering this amazing option. Their hassle free registration requires no transcripts, and no placement tests, too!

How to Sign Up

  1. ASURITE Account
  • NEW Students who are still in high school (or lower), who do NOT have an ASURITE ID should go to HS.ea.asu.edu and sign up for an ASURITE ID. Adults can use the ea.asu.edu main portal to sign up. This step can take 2-3 days.

2. FERPA

(Step added 10/2/20) Once you receive your ASURITE ID and can login, you’ll need to fill out the FERPA agreement to allow parents or guardians to speak with ASU staff about the student’s account. Please login to myASU (far top right corner) and add the Parent/Guardian to the account by clicking on the “Add a Guest” and fill out the information. This is probably the ONLY time you’ll log into the myASU portal. The rest of the time you’ll use the Login link on the EA page (black bar). Obviously, adult students would skip this step.

3. Register for a course

  • Make sure you are in the EA portal ea.asu.edu or hs.ea.asu.edu and NOT in the myASU portal – the course are different from the main portal and charged at full ASU tuition! Log out if you need to or just put ea.asu.edu into your URL window.
  • When you log in to your ASU account using the Login button on the black bar in the ea.asu.edu or hs.ea.asu.edu portal, you will be presented with the Dashboard.
  • Click the “Add Courses” link either on the black bar at the top, or from the blue bar titled “My Current Courses”
  • Scroll through the list of courses and select the Add Course button.
  • Notice that some courses have both a self-paced option and an Instructor Paced option. Be sure to select the correct course.

4. Upgrade the Course

  • Click on Upgrade Course to upgrade the class for potential college credit. The normal fee for this is $25. A photo ID is required in this step, as well as a camera on your computer or device you are using.
  • All ASU courses require a photo ID to upgrade for credit. That can be a government issued ID, a school ID, Military or DoD or dependent ID, passport/passport ID, notarized College Board form with photo (used for AP/CLEP testing by underaged kids), and some have successfully used homeschool or co-op ID’s. If using a homeschool ID, ideally it would have their name, DOB, and Photo – must have a photo. If you have concerns, please email earned@asu.edu or call them! You will use this ID when you upgrade the course for credit at the beginning of the course, and again for any proctored exams (some have proctored finals).

FAQ

Q: How long should it take to get an ASURITE ID? 

A: It usually takes up to 2-3 days to get an ID and get into the system

Q: I have a problem and I’d like to call ASU… who can I call?
https://ea.asu.edu/about/contact-us 
or earned@asu.edu (their main email for the program)
We recommend NOT calling the main phone line for ASU. Not everyone manning the main campus phone lines understand the EA program.

Q: Do I sign up for the courses in the portal or do they sign us up? 

A: You sign up for courses yourself. Login and select courses using the Add Courses on the Dashboard.

Q: Do I need a photo ID?

A: Yes, all ASU courses require a photo ID. That can be a government issued ID, a school ID, Military or DoD or dependent ID, passport/passport ID, notarized College Board form with photo (used for AP/CLEP testing by underaged kids), and some have successfully used homeschool or co-op ID’s. If using a homeschool ID, ideally it would have their name, DOB, and Photo – must have a photo. If concerned, you could potentially combine one of these with a SS card or birth certificate. If you have concerns, please email or call them! You will use this ID when you upgrade the course for credit at the beginning of the course, and again for any proctored exams (some have proctored finals).

Q: Do these courses transfer to other colleges and are they accredited?
A: Yes, they are accredited. ASU is a well known and well respected 4-year college. 

As with EVERY class or exam, we always recommend you check with the colleges of interest to see how they transfer. I’ve personally verified classes like ENG101/102, College Algebra, etc transfer into our local (Texas) colleges exactly as they’d sound. You’d ask for the contact info for the Transcript or Transfer specialist (or some similar job title), to find out if they transfer. Some colleges may have a transfer pathway already setup as well. 

If you’re interested in transferring FROM your current program TO ASU for a 4 year degree, they have a Transfer Pathway page to help students plan their degree efficiently.

Q: I tried to login but I get an error saying my ID doesn’t exist

A: Be sure you are using the “Log in” link on the black bar on the ea.asu.edu or hs.ea.asu.edu pages, rather than the “sign in” link in the top far right corner. This is a known issue that has nothing to do with the portal change or the beta program. We tested it with adult ASURITE ID’s that had not changed portals and weren’t in the beta program and the same thing happened to them. It predates this change. Use the correct login link and you should land at the Dashboard as you normally would.

If you have a brand new ASURITE ID, it sometimes takes another 24hrs to log in once you receive it. If you still can’t login 24hrs after receipt of the ID, I would contact them. earned@asu.edu

Why we Love the ASU EA and HS Programs

  • ASU’s Earned Admissions (EA) and High School (HS) programs provide low-cost, high-reward courses at a reasonable price of $400/course, paid at the end if you like the grade. Plus a $25 ID Fee normally paid upfront, but they’re waived for the Beta program for those who tell them they are with HS4CC.
  • There are no other fees.
  • Books, as always, are included free online.
  • Labs are either virtual or use common materials found at home.
  • As with all Earned Admissions courses, you only pay at the end if you like the grade and would like it on a transcript.
  • No placement test like TSI / ACCUPLACER, just sign up for a course and take it
  • No paperwork to turn in, or transcripts to send. Signing up for an ASURITE ID with the college is quick and easy. Once you have an ID, you can log in and sign up for classes. (this is often a 2-3 day process)
  • Open to any age – no restrictions. If the child can handle the work, they can take the course.
  • Course Prerequisites are a suggestion, not a restriction. If the student is able to do the higher-level work, he or she can take the course.
  • I love the self-paced courses, in particular, because they enable us to weave an extra course or two into my kids’ community college schedule without impacting the grades. We can adjust and spend more or less time on the self-paced classes, based on the demands of the less flexible community college courses. We can also squeeze an extra college class into a semester or between semesters without jeopardizing grades in any of the courses.
  • See ASU list of courses here

One more thing!

Be sure to join our ASU Homeschooling for College Credit Facebook group! You’ll learn how to get the most out of the program with us!

Posted in Curriculum, Dual Enrollment, High School, Self-Paced Learning, Straighterline

Straighterline and my 10th Grader’s Spring Semester

Almost as an afterthought, when my 12th grader started using Straighterline this past semester, I decided to enroll my 10th grader- for just one month.  My goal was for them to share the textbook I’d just purchased for my older son.  Efficiency is always an important part of our budget.  They’d share the text, learn lessons together (mostly) and we’d assess after the first class.  (NOTE:  In our second month, Straighterline’s policy for books changed, and they started to include the eBook with each course’s tuition, so we ended up not spending anything on textbooks after the first month!)

You can read about the basics of using Straighterline in your homeschool, and how I picked their courses in my post. Straighterline Dissected: What to Take

For this post, I just want to provide a brief overview of what my son did, what we spent, and his outcome.  As you’ll see, the first month was so successful (earning 9 college credits) that I decided to continue for the duration of the semester (Dec-May).  You should know that he dedicated about 1-2 hours per day to his Straighterline course Monday-Friday as part of his regular school schedule.  He was able to complete his other homeschool courses (Chemistry with Lab, Consumer Math, and Building Thinking Skills) during another 1-2 hours each day.

As you read the schedule, I list each course and credit earned in the month that I purchased it, not the month he completed it.  Some courses were completed in a week, others in a month, and others took longer still.  As an example, Nutrition and American Government, courses he’d already taken in homeschool, took him only 1 week each, but writing-intensive courses like English Composition I & II took him about 7 weeks each.

As I write this, he enters his final month of the school year with Straighterline and me. We take a summer vacation, so I’m ready to wrap things up with our kids by Memorial Day.  He has completed everything except Chemistry and English II.  He has 3 more papers to write for English II and hasn’t started their chemistry course.  Since he’s been doing Chemistry with Lab all school year with me, I expect Straighterline’s General Chemistry I to go smoothly and take about 2 weeks.  Writing, for him, is a long and arduous process.  I expect he’ll struggle through until the very end.

Grades:  His grades have been fine.  Straighterline requires a minimum passing score of 70% for their courses, and he’s finished most of his courses in the mid-80’s.  His best course grade was English Composition I (100%) and his lowest course grade was Introduction to Psychology (79%).  Final course grades issued by Straighterline are based only on quizzes and exams (except composition and lab courses) so testing acumen is important if you want to score well.  Since these credits will only appear as “credit” on his college transcript, the final grades aren’t important to his GPA.  While I used his Straighterline courses to inform the grade I awarded him on his high school transcript, in most cases, the grades I gave him differed slightly.  (NOTE:  Since Straighterline is not a college, you never have to disclose any grades or credits earned/not earned through them.  Dual enrollment, on the other hand, requires full disclosure on college applications)


 

Breakdown of Costs & Credit

Month Class Cost Discounts Applied Credits Earned
December Membership

 

Introduction to Religion

Microbiology

Business Ethics

$99

 

$49

$25

$69

-$20 coupon

 

-$20 coupon

9
January Membership

 

Cultural Anthropology

Medical Terminology

Introduction to Nutrition

$99

 

$49

$49

$49

  9
February Membership

 

English Composition I

English Composition II

$99

 

$69

$69

  6
March Membership

 

Environmental Science

American Government

Introduction to Psychology

$99

 

$59

$59

$59

-$49 coupon 9
April Membership

 

Chemistry I

Introduction to Business

$99

 

$59

$59

-$50 coupon 6
May Membership $99  
  IMG_3442 $1376

 

-$139 coupons

$1237

  39

The total we spent over 6 months was: $1237

Total credits earned:  39 

Breakdown average per month:  $206/month

The average price per credit:  $32/credit

What I liked best about his semester:

  • I obviously liked that he earned college credit since he’s isn’t eligible to use dual enrollment in our state until next school year.  This gave him a great head-start.
  • I liked that the course rubric (point break down) is spelled out clearly, so, at any given time, he (I) knew exactly how many points he needed to pass the class.  This eliminated a LOT of testing anxiety because in most cases, he’d already earned enough points to pass
    the course before ever taking the proctored final exam.  While the exam is required, passing is not, so his testing anxiety wasn’t nearly as high as when he attempted (and failed) his first CLEP exam last year.
  • I like that they added free eBooks in the tuition of each course.  This helped me make sure I had the book on day 1 of each class without waiting for books to arrive.
  • I liked that I can pay for my son’s classes with Paypal.
  • I liked Straighterline’s video lesson format.  Since a couple of their courses didn’t have the video lesson format (Microbiology and Statistics) this can also be classified as what I didn’t like!
  • I liked that my son could do all of his courses without my help (after the first one!)

What I liked least about this semester:

  • I didn’t like finding a totally different format (reading only!) in the Microbiology course.  This was a huge disappointment.  There’s a reason that course is only $25.
  • Some courses had WAY TOO MANY quizzes, or the quizzes were WAY TOO LONG.  I can think of several instances where the quizzes were over 50 questions and covered 4 or more chapters in the text.  Both my sons hated these.  Obviously, since the quizzes are open book (I make them look up every answer on every question on every open book quiz- that’s low hanging fruit people!) these took a long time.
  • This seems to contradict what I just said, but other quizzes were too short.  Nutrition, for instance, was full of 10-question quizzes.  As you can imagine, missing a few questions really makes a difference between an A and a C!  The “sweet spot” according to my teens is the 20 question quiz.  I tend to agree.
  • Written assignments are not graded by teachers, they are graded by “graders.” Graders are anonymous people who you’ll never meet, and can never have
    a conversation with.  While they attempt to give good feedback, the loop is broken because the student can’t communicate with the grader!  In one instance during English I, my son turned in a paper that was kicked back for being off-topic.  It was clearly on-topic, so we had to submit a support ticket, which escalated to a course administrator, and finally resulted in his paper being accepted and graded.  The process is clunky and frustrating when compared with the other courses that don’t have graders (tests are automatically graded instantly).
  •  My son worked fast- and you have to because you’re being
    billed $99 per month.  So, there is a constant sense of playing “beat the clock” in a course. Since we were aware of the structure ahead of time, I adjusted his homeschool schedule and was prepared to pull back on his other work if necessary, but for me, the feeling was a little inconsistent with my normal approach to courses- allowing plenty of time for marinating.  When I asked my son, he said he liked finishing courses quickly instead of spending all semester studying something……so mark this up to personal preference.
  • ProctorU.  I really, really, really don’t love ProctorU.  ProctorU is the third party webcam proctoring service that is part of each final exam.  Your teen logs in, the webcam clicks on, ProctorU opens your final and then testing begins.  Initially, I didn’t like the feeling of the webcam experience, but my kids thought this wasn’t an issue at all.  But, the issue that we had at least 3 times (between about 24 courses with 2 teens) was technical issues getting logged in.  If there is any log in trouble, they route you to tech support, but if you don’t start your exam within the 15-minute window, you have to reschedule it and pay $5.  So, as you can imagine, this is really really frustrating because you have to reschedule your test!  Finals must be scheduled 72 hours in advance (or pay a rush fee).  2 of the 3 times Straighterline covered the $5 reschedule fee for us (I didn’t ask the first time because I didn’t think to) but it’s really inconvenient when you’ve planned your homeschool schedule around taking a proctored exam.  The room has to be private, quiet, and free of things that could be used for cheating.  In our home, the room that meets these criteria is our dining room, so keep that in mind too.  One final ProctorU comment, you’ll need identification for each test.  If you don’t have a driver’s license, they’ll ask for 2 forms of ID.  My son used his passport and driver’s permit.

    EDIT TO ADD ONE MORE THING!!  I can’t believe I forgot to share this earlier when I posted, but 4 Straighterline courses are also accredited as AP Courses. These are the SAME COURSE that is in their catalog, but if you take it, you can list the AP designation on your homeschool transcript.  Courses that qualify as AP are:

  • English 1
  • Psychology
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics

And no, you don’t have to take the AP exam to list an AP course on your transcript.  Taking an AP course and AP exam are two separate things and you can do either or both if you like.   If you’re sure that the ACE credit offered via Straighterline will be counted by your target college, the AP exam won’t give you “extra” credit – you’ll only get credit for one, but if you’re unsure or just want to take the AP exam for some other reasons, you’ll want to make sure you do extra study for the AP exam and find a high school that allows homeschoolers to register. You’ll need to register no later than October of the year prior to testing. Read more about AP  Advanced Placement Exam (AP)