In an educational system where credit is used to measure the completion of courses, earning sufficient credits is the priority of learning. For every hour spent on a course, a certain credit is given. Only when you have earned enough credits can you be perfectly justified to graduate. That is why every state sets a minimum number of credits required to graduate. That is why credit is one of the few topics that are able to ruin the prom party.
College degrees, in similar ways are given to students based on the credits they have earned over a period time of study. But what about those who have less than sufficient time to study, to earn the credits but are desperate for academic acceleration? What about those who seek the great flexibility not available at traditional schools? Or, what about those who don’t have the funds to support them on their journey of credit earning?
Are there programs that work for them? Yes, there are. What’s even better is that these programs can be attended online. Despite the varieties, these programs share the same name: credit-by-examination.
What are online credit-by-examination programs?
In order to understand what online credit-by-examination programs are, first we need to get acquainted with credit-by-examination programs.
These programs come with examinations of a diversity of subjects. They can be attended by college students, high school graduates, military personnel, home schooled students and continuing education students. Passing scores can either apply toward certifications, degrees or satisfy general degree requirements for prerequisite courses.
On a national scale, there are 4 credit-by-examination programs.
- College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
CLEP provides you with the opportunity to get credit for the knowledge you already have. As the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program, CLEP is developed by the College Board. It is currently available at over 2,900 colleges and universities.
Scoring high on CLEP exams grants you the same amount of credit offered by a college course.
- DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
DSST covers 38 examinations in college subject areas equal to the final or end-of-course examinations in undergraduate courses.
DSST is created to support the off-duty, voluntary education programs of the Department of Defense and education-related DOD functions by conducting special projects and developmental activities.
Under DSST, a variety of programs and services are offered to support all of the DOD components and Coast Guard.
- Excelsior College Examinations
Pass one of Excelsior’s proficiency exams, and you are earning college level credit in select subject areas. Credits earned at Excelsior are accepted at a lot of colleges and universities.
One more piece of good news is that college credit for Excelsior has been evaluated and recommended by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service.
- Thomas Edison State College Examination
Thomas Edison State College Examination has designed its unique credit-by-examination program TECEP to allow adults to get credit simply by taking exams.
Having been helping adult learners for 35 years, TECEP are designed by College teachers who have experience in college teaching and understand the needs of adult students.
Online credit-by-examination programs, of course, are programs that can be attended online.
Why online credit-by-examination programs?
Learners, especially adult learners, prefer online credit-by-examination programs mainly because
- The great flexibility
That is what online programs have in common. You don’t have to attend the classes on a fixed schedule. You can have your own schedule. You can study at your place anytime you see fit.
Commuting is saved. You can focus on the learning and the preparation of exams.
- The similar acceptance
Taking exams by attending online credit-by-examination programs rather than traditional colleges does not mean the credit you score is inferior. As introduced in the above, thousands of colleges and universities accept the credit earned by taking credit-by-examination programs.
These credits coming by taking examination apply to graduation, degrees, prerequisite course just like traditional credits. You don’t have to worry about the acceptance.
- The less time
The time required to finish a degree at traditional schools may be considerably shortened if you take exams to earn credits. Some NY employees have managed to obtain as many as 30 credits towards a degree by attending the credit-by-examination programs.
If you have a job and a family that require you to contribute much time and energy, getting a college degree by attending classes at a traditional school may sound impossible. But if you know the short cut and take exams in exchange of credits, things will get much easier.
- The less money
Typically, a 3-credit course can cost at least 300 dollars. There are even credit courses that charge more than 500 dollars to finish. Under credit-by-examination programs, the cost can be reduced to as little as 60 dollars.
Take CLEP for example. It offers the opportunity to earn qualifying scores on 33 introductory-level college subject examinations. For a 90-minute exam, the cost is only 80 dollars. You can attend the exam at 1,700 test centers, and 2,900 colleges and universities.
Even if money is not the problem in your case, why not get something of the same quality at lower cost?
- The sound student service
Taking exams under credit-by-examination programs does not mean you are isolated or forlorn. Yes, you will be study alone, but that does not mean you won’t find help when you need it. All of the 4 programs introduced earlier provide student service.
You will be provided with the necessary information as to registration, cost, program schedule and the like. CLEP even offers help on exam preparation. You are not alone on the road to get credits.
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