As I continue to look into how to life hack this whole college experience and get the most bang for our buck for Miss Moe, I am finding a few interesting things about our education system. This is one of those that I wish I would have known while I was in high school. I would have had my degree a lot sooner. Now, with Miss Moe starting her journey, I will be using this information to help her shorten her path to a degree.
How to get college credit for high school curriculum:
- Go to your school county curriculum page to research your classes (a simple Google search) or just review the syllabus for the class.
- Compare this to the exam descriptions for CLEP equivalents.
- If there is a PERFECT match – go take the test right after the final – all of that information is nice and fresh in your brain.
- If you have a less than perfect, but close match – buy a study guide and scan what you know, and study for a couple of days on what you don’t – and go take the test!
- In high school, the majority of students take algebra. Math is MATH. Get to the nearest book store and buy an Algebra CLEP study guide to ensure you have all the concepts down and take the test. Why would you take it again in college? Especially, if you are more of a liberal studies/non-STEM kind of person. Get that credit today.
- How about Spanish, French, or German? Most people forget over time because we don’t use them, and sadly in the U.S. we introduce languages too late for them to “stick”. These three languages have Levels 1 and 2 CLEP exams. The American Council of Education (ACE) recommends 6 semester hours for Level 1 (that’s a whole year), and if you get 1 and 2 – they recommend 9. That’s a year and a half of college credit for high school curriculum! A college won’t look at your high school transcript and award the credit, but some will accept CLEP credits to prove mastery. So, research your college choices and figure out which tests makes the best sense for you to take.
There are literally DOZENS of examples of overlap. College general education does a lot of regurgitating of the content in high school. Some say that they go “deeper” into the content, but looking at my child’s education quality against mine – it is much more difficult today.
I think it is a safe bet that overlap is nearly complete in several general education courses – at least in Miss Moe’s school. For less than $100 you can buy the test, and a small study guide, and upon passing, have a transcript to walk into college with. Additionally, it probably won’t look too shabby on your college applications to show your drive and ambition toward your higher education goals – all while paying about $33 a credit! The best deal in town.
I’m encouraging Miss Moe to do this to avoid a lot of repeat content in college. It takes about 50% of the time to re-learn something that has been previously taught. I’m trying to save Miss Moe that 50% of time and (a bit more selfishly) buckets of Mr. and Mrs. Moe’s money by taking a little bit of time to schedule that exam. What is the worst that will happen? She’ll waste a little bit of money and time – the best that can happen? She’ll have passed her first college courses!
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