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Thursday, June 7, 2007

CLEP tests

Several years ago I met a mom and her son at a homeschool conference. The boy was seventeen years old and was on his way to law school in the fall. I asked the mother if her son had always been brilliant. She replied that he wasn't particularly brilliant, only very motivated. I asked where he went to college. "At home," she replied. He finished college at home and immediately took his LSAT and applied to Law School. He was offered scholarships to two law schools, but accepted a place in a law school close to home so he could live at home while attending. Why was he offered scholarships? Because the law schools were so impressed with his fortitude to complete an undergraduate degree in so little time and at home. They knew a kid who was used to that much studying could make it in law school. How did he do it? Through CLEP and DANTES testing.
When I was in college and ready to graduate, there were still a few classes I needed to get my degree - sociology and a particular math course. I learned that I could get the credit for these courses by showing that I had college level learning on the subjects through taking an exam called CLEP (College Level Examination Program). Though not all schools accept CLEP, most of the prestigious universities do. So, I took a one day crash course on both of these subjects and aced the CLEP tests I needed to get credit. Easy. Now I could graduate.
DANTES is another program that is similar, offering many of the same and several different credit-by-exam courses.
Someone wishing to get a degree quickly - in a couple of years or less - could actually take enough CLEP and DANTES credit by exams to procure the 120 credit hours needed to earn a Baccalaureate degree.
The trick is finding a university or college that will give you a degree without having to take any courses through their school. There are a few!
I'll be explaing more about CLEP for College over the next several weeks. I have found amazing resources that will help you get your student prepared to ace the CLEP tests, and I've even contacted the lady I met at the convention to get an update on her child that went to Law School. He's graduating this spring and they have a ton of advice to give - things they wish they had done and things they are glad they did.
Check back to learn more!

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