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Advantages of Taking Examinations for Credit

Guest Author - Elizabeth Stuttard

Taking CLEP, DSST, AND ECE examinations as well as others that are offered by some colleges for credit has some advantages for you as a distance learning student. Think about these advantages but do weigh them against the possible disadvantages before making decisions about how many of these exams you are really interested in taking. Here are some of the advantages of taking exams for credit.

  1. You will save money. This is not a minor factor in most peopleís lives. The average tuition cost is about $250 per credit hour for online courses which means that a three credit course will cost $750. Even if you were taking the ECE exams and paying $345 plus another $100 to buy guides, a textbook or other aids for studying, you would still save $300 on the cost of those 3 credits. Taking a CLEP or DSST exam and getting free study aids online or from your library would save you over $600. This could make such exams a very wise investment for many students.

  2. You will save time. Since you already know much of the material for at least one course, you will only need to study for a relatively short time to be ready for the exam and save yourself a whole semesterís worth of studying that subject. Some people are able to take enough courses in six months to cover a year or even two years of college credits.

  3. You will not have to take some of the lower level courses. That means you will not have to feel as if you are wasting your time taking basic courses for which you already know most of the content. It allows you to spend your time studying the more interesting advanced courses instead. If you earn 30 credits by exam which is a whole yearís worth of credits, you will be able to move into second year courses right away. Likewise, earning 60 credits by exam allows you to study upper level courses immediately Ė a much more interesting set of courses for someone who already has the knowledge of the lower level courses either from experience or prior studies.

  4. You can ensure that you graduate on time. If you are supposed to be graduating but you do not have enough credits to do so, you can take one or two examinations for credit to get those credits you require.

  5. You can gain some confidence. If you are not sure if you are ready and able to complete college courses, taking an exam for credit can help you gain confidence in your abilities if you are successful. If not, it help you to learn what you need to do to prepare for work on a college degree.


These are the main reasons why it can be advantageous for you to take exams by credit. However, taking exams by credit is not the best thing for every student to do. Each of you needs to consider what works the best for you and what your needs and goals are. One of the most important factors in determining that, is checking with your school to find out if they will give you the credits for any exams you take. You will not save money or time or be able to skip courses or graduate on time with credits by exam if they are not accepted by your particular college. As always you must do your research before making a decision to act.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Elizabeth Stuttard. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Elizabeth Stuttard. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger for details.

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