Are Credit-by-Exams Right For You? Part 3
So Many Choices – Which Credit-by-Exam Is Right For You?
Now that you know a little bit more about the various types of Credit-by-Exam, how can you decide which one is right for you?
To some extent, the answer to that question is subjective. But here are a few points to keep in mind as you make your decision.
If you are worried that you may not do well on a test and that you’ll want the option to retake it, then CLEP exams may not be right for you. You have to wait 6 months after taking a CLEP exam before you can retake it.
If you are looking for a credit-by-exam that comes closes to replicating an actual course, then the Excelsior College exams are probably your best choice. They come with extensive materials, including a content guide, course guide, practice test, open courseware, and an open resources guide. And after the test, you don’t just get a score, you earn actual credit from an regionally accredited college, Excelsior College, on your college transcript. Over 2500 colleges and universities accept Excelsior College Exams for credit.
Excelsior College Exams are also a great choice if you if you already know a subject well. For instance, let’s say you took Abnormal Psychology in college, and you were doing very well, but you had to drop the course before you finished because of circumstances outside of your control. Taking the ECE for that and the other courses you didn’t complete could well be a vey affordable way for you to get the credit you deserve.
Now let’s say that you’ve been working at a job for years. Maybe you’ve been working in the family business or started your own small business, handling your own bookkeeping, marketing and sales, but now you’ve decided that you want to get an MBA. In that case, you might want to take a selection of ECEs like Financial Accounting and Principles of Marketing so that when you do apply for school, you’ve can get some of your required courses out of the way.
But what if the kind of work you’ve done is so unusual that you don’t even know how to categorize yourself. Or it doesn’t fit into a neat little selection of courses. In that case, you may want to consider a Prior Learning Assessment.
And what if you learned your skills in the military? After a few tours, you might have a wealth of experience and understanding about computers, or electrical engineering, or environmental systems, or mechanics, or any number of other subjects and jobs. In that case, you may want to think about the DSST or an ECE. By the way, you don’t need to be in the military to take the DSST. You can read more about veterans and civilians taking the DSST here.
What if you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of students who have taken a MOOC? One of the problems with many free Massive Open Online Courses is that you don’t earn any college credit for taking them. If you’ve taken a non-credit bearing MOOC from organizations like Coursera, EdX and Udacity and want to earn credit for what you’ve learned, you may want to consider taking a PLA or an ECE. They could represent the fastest, cheapest way for you to turn your “free” course into credits that can actually help you graduate.