(Sidenote: I’m sorry for the really academic post today, but this really got me thinking about why this hasn’t been brought up to me in the past, especially since my hometown does not advertise this whatsoever within their public school systems.)
Yeah, that’s right, I said it. Four college credits. For most people, that bad boy constitutes as a general education course. I got mine in 40 minutes. Want to know how? Keep reading.
One thing I didn’t know going into college was that it WASN’T all about AP’s and IB courses. Sure, in my hometown, we prided ourselves on being AP Scholars and having fancy ceremonies in which parents would sit in a crowded auditorium for two hours just to see their child walk down to the podium to retrieve a piece of fancy Staples card stock that announced they got a 5 on their AP Calculus AB exam, but no biggie. Not everybody has that, I get it. Want to know what’s better than that? Seeing your child walk into a test center with a ticket in one hand, and walk out with free money in your pocket.
Today, not only did I get 4 college credits, but I also saved myself and my parents approximately $1540 in tuition and fees (UMass Amherst currently charges approx. $385 per academic credit according to their 2015-2016 data). Want to know how to do it too?
It’s called a CLEP exam, folks. I have no clue what it stands for, but in subtext, it means “a $90 exam in which you sit in front of a computer screen, get a 50/95 score, and receive college credit that also can possibly count as one of your required general education courses”. I went in this morning anticipating that my old AP Psychology skills were still extremely rusty, especially for the fact that I haven’t taken the AP exam for that since last May. But, surprisingly, I ended up scoring a 57/95, which is not good at all in the context of letter grading, but with a requirement for credit at 50/95, I was skipping out of that testing center. I even left my monogrammed coffee mug (probably never going to see that thing again).
If you’re a parent who’s reading this right now, I strongly encourage you to look into CLEP exams. You should only enroll in them if you know that your child’s university or institution accepts them. Not all do, apparently, so be careful. Don’t spend $90 for no reason. Additionally, find out what kind of general education courses will be needed for their years at that specific university. If, for example, they didn’t pass the AP Calculus exam with a 4 or 5 but got a 3, try out one of the mathematics exams from CLEP. Because it’s under CollegeBoard, just like AP and SAT tests are, they offer amazing study guides for a really low cost and can really help save some dollars. Because of this, I can graduate a semester early from UMass!
If you are interested in learning more about CLEP exams, you can click on the link here. Also, if you’re interested in what UMass does in terms of CLEP exam scores and what classes can be counted, click here.
Until next time everybody,