Credit by exam is an educational lifehack that’ll help you graduate with less coursework and less debt.
Let’s look at a common scenario.
Imagine yourself as a bright-eyed high school graduate about to enter the halls of your dream college.
You know the benefits of having a college degree:
- More earnings – college graduates earn up to $30,000 more a year compared to non-college graduates.
- The qualifications to apply for your dream job.
- The chance to grow your professional network.
But the journey towards a college degree isn’t easy.
There are bumps in the road you must avoid: debt, not graduating on time, dropping out.
In this blog, we’ll explore the biggest obstacles to graduating. Then, we’ll go into how you can defeat them by earning college credits the smart way.
Let’s get started!
Three Enormous Obstacles Standing in Your Way to a College Degree
Are any of these three obstacles an issue for you as you work to earn your degree?
1. The Cost of College
For one year at a private college, you’ll spend up to $18,000. That’s $72,000 for 4 years of college!
Because of the hefty price of going to college, more than 70% of American students end up taking loans and graduating with debt.
2. Working While in College Decreases the Chance of Graduating
To cover tuition, board, books, and other expenses, 8 out of 10 college students take jobs.
The bad news is college students who work have a lower graduation rate than those who don’t. In fact, only 1 in 5 working students graduate.
3. The Time Factor
Four years is a huge investment in time.
But it’s all worth it once you earn your degree, right?
The bad news is, only 41% of students graduate in 4 years. The rest take 6 years to complete their courses or drop out altogether.
The problem is that college students think they can take 4 courses (12 credits) per semester and graduate in 4 years. But doing the math shows this doesn’t work.
Since you need 120 credits to graduate with a Bachelor’s and each course gives you 3 credits, you need to take 5 courses per semester to graduate in 4 years.
If you have a job besides these 5 courses, it’s easy to see how you’ll burn out before completing your degree.
The Secret to Fast-Forwarding Your Graduation: How to Earn 3 Credits in 6 Weeks with Credit-by-Exam
The good news is there’s a smarter way to beat the three roadblocks that stand in your way to graduation. It’s called credit-by-exam.
Let’s look into it.
What is Credit-by-Exam?
Credit-by-exam is a nationally recognized process that allows you to pass one exam and earn the equivalent college course credits.
Here’s how it works:
- Choose where you’ll take an exam for credits. CLEP, DSST, and UExcel are three great choices.
- Study for the exams or use previous knowledge and experience to pass them.
- Gain three credits for every exam you pass.
The Benefits of Credit-by-Exam
When you take credit-by-exam, you’ll be able to:
- Avoid student loan debt. If you go to a private university, you pay up to $900 for one college course. On the other hand, you can take a CLEP or DSST exam for $85. These huge savings can make you part of the 30% of college students who don’t need a loan to earn a degree.
- Save time. A whole college course takes a semester to complete. When you take credit-by-exam, you’ll earn three credits in just 2 hours.
- Increase your chance of employment in the future. Taking credit-by-exam shows you’re innovative. It shows that you think out of the box and find workable solutions to problems. These are excellent traits in the eyes of employers.
How Credit-by-Exam Lets You Earn 3 Credits in 6 Weeks
Some people take credit-by-exam on the spot and pass it.
But this isn’t a good idea for everyone. This is because of the way the exams are structured. You’ll need specific knowledge and enough practice to ace them.
That’s why we recommend that you give yourself 6 weeks to take one exam for 3 credits.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Speak with an advisor to learn if credit-by-exam is the right option for you.
- Visit the CLEP, DSST, and UExcel websites for a list of exams you can take.
- Study for the exam of your choice. To gain insider knowledge of the exam’s structure and the type of questions you’ll be answering, it’s a great idea to get credit-by-exam guidance.
- In as little as 6 weeks, you’ll be ready to take the exam, and earn 3 credits. That’s a lot less coursework than an entire college course!
3 Helpful Tips for Earning 3 Credits in 6 Weeks with Credit-by-Exam
Yes, it can be scary to take an exam for a college course you’ve never taken.
But if you plan carefully and get the right guidance, you’ll be ready to take the exam in just 6 weeks.
Do these three things to increase your chances of passing.
1. Never Cram for the Exam
We get it, your life is jammed with a ton of things to do and places to be.
You have homework to pass for your regular college courses. You have a demanding job to run to after you leave the campus.
Maybe you even have a child to care for.
But no matter how hectic your schedule is, set aside enough time to study for your exam.
One approach is to give yourself just 15 minutes to study each day. It’s way better than cramming for hours with your exam just days away. Also, you’ll likely study more than 15 minutes once you get into the mood.
2. Block Out Time for Study
When you sit down to study, don’t do anything else.
Turn off your phone. Put distractions far away from you. It’s a good idea to keep a journal beside you. Whenever a distracting thought comes to you, write it down in the notebook “to think about later.”
Designate a quiet spot where you can focus on your studies. If you have kids, make arrangements with your spouse so they don’t run in and disturb you.
Remember, don’t expect that you’ll be able to study for hours straight. Since the average attention span of an adult is 20 minutes, take a break 3 times an hour to stretch, eat a snack, or cuddle your furry friend.
After 5 minutes on break, go back to your study with renewed energy and focus.
3. Take Credit-by-Exam Guidance
You can study your material on your own, or you can go for laser-focused, specific guidance from us at Smarter w Achieve.
With Smarter w Achieve, you’ll get:
- Instructor guidance. Our instructors are experts at credit-by-exam. This means they’ll teach you how to brush up on your skills and knowledge and give you insider information on how the exams are structured.
- An entire library of useful materials. When you register with Achieve, you get practice tests and guidelines so you’ll be well-prepared for CLEP, DSST, or UExcel.
- Access to exam-specific questions. It takes time to find the answers to specific credit-by-exam questions online. The good news is you can get your questions answered quickly by your instructors.
- 1:1 online tutoring. Achieve offers flexibility. If you’re drowning in the demands of your hectic schedule, studying online with a tutor allows you to set your schedule and learn at your pace.
With Achieve, you’ll be ready to earn those 3 credits in just 6 weeks.
Is Credit-by-Exam Right for You?
Here are three indicators that credit-by-exam is right for you:
- You’re on a budget and want to graduate college free of student loan debts.
- You want to graduate in 4 years but don’t have time to take 5 courses per semester.
- You’re looking for a way to graduate with less time and effort required of you.
If you need help with your graduation goals, the Smarter w Achieve team can help.