If you have recently graduated high school, you may not have heard about the college credit system and how to earn it. However, you may be preparing for your undergraduate course and must be preparing yourself for a brand new academic lifestyle – that of a university student. This would mean that you will have to adapt to different study hours than usual and also dedicate more time to studying and completing course work. Usually, an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree will last for 2 to 4 years on average. But, if you are able to earn college credits, you will be able to finish your degree sooner than your peers.
What Are College Credits?
An academic credit system or a college credit system is a standard used by universities to measure and assess students’ work and effort during their tertiary education. It’s important to understand how the credit system works and how you can use your credit points from one academic system towards your degree. Sometimes students need to take preparation courses such as accelerated courses, and subject courses in order to meet starting credit requirements needed for university admission.
Depending on your past experience and evidence of current knowledge, you can even earn college credits in a single day. If you earn college credits for things you have already accomplished, you can skip certain courses and get to your degree faster. You can also cut your spending in half, as proving your prior experience is cheaper than taking the whole course. If you have big gaps in your learning or need a refresher, then taking the course again might be a good idea.
How To Earn College Credits And Make The Most Of It?
There are some basic ways in which you can earn college credits. The path you take to get college credits will depend on a number of factors, including your academic abilities, work experience, your areas of interest, your economic situation, your career aspirations, your geographical location etc. Whether you’re looking to get an early jump on your advancement through college or you’re looking to skip the end of high school altogether, there is a corresponding program for your needs. You can access this program and whether or not it meets your needs are different matters altogether.
Here are some ways you can earn college credits:
Knowledge Proficiency Exams
Challenge exams have been developed to test, with a modest fee, what older students already know about college-level subjects ranging from accounting to foreign languages to nursing. Exams such as the College Level Exam Program (CLEP) are accepted in more than 2500 universities around the world. CLEP assesses you on 34 single-subject college exams and five general exams.
The cost for each CLEP is $89—a fraction of the cost of tuition for a single college course. For military students, spouses, and some civilian employees of the military, the CLEP tests are free.
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Accelerated Online Courses
As we know, the average time for completing a college degree is 2 to 4 years. However, you can speed up this process by pursuing an accelerated degree. Accelerated classes online are the best way to earn college credits. These are short online courses that may last for 6 to 10 weeks. You may choose to complete the course at your pace just like distance learning programs. Accelerated courses are offered by many universities across the globe such as Capella University, Columbia College, Southern New Hampshire University just to name a few.
This is the best way to help you complete your course earlier than you anticipated. You may think that condensed courses such as this one may not prepare you for real-world challenges. However, accelerated courses are a great way to gain confidence in the subjects that come naturally to you. For example, you may have enrolled for an MSc in Business Analytics which consists of subjects like economics, statistics and data analysis. If you think you do not require a lot of help studying data analysis, you can choose an accelerated course in data analytics and finish your MSc. 3 to 4 months before the actual date.
DSST Standardized Subject Tests
DSST originally began as DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-traditional Educational Support) and is a 37 subject-specific exam covering business, social science, humanities, math, the physical sciences and technology. The cost of the exam is $85 per exam plus administrative fees at the testing site. For military members, the cost is covered for the first time you take an exam; however, you will have to pay your own examination fees the next time you take it. This test covers the following topics:
- Business & Composition, Literature
- Foreign Languages
- History & Social Sciences
- Science & Mathematics
DSST provides upfront funding of CLEP test fees, for the first attempt on all exam titles, for eligible military members. Military members who retest should use the civilian test registration procedures to pay for test costs.
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