There are several complementary ways to accelerate online bachelors and masters degree programs.
- Get transfer credit for any schooling that you may already have.
- Take CLEP exams to earn college credit without having to take those courses.
- Take more credit hours each semester as well as taking summer classes.
Because each college teaches a subject slightly differently, they vary in their acceptance of credits from other schools. Also, colleges decide what the course equivalent of a CLEP test is at their school, so make sure that the test counts towards a class you need in order to graduate.
Get connected with an accredited online college and gather specific information about their programs and how you can accelerate your degree by using the College Finder at the top of the page.
Transferring College Credits
If you have taken college courses at another college or university that may apply toward your new degree, it is important to transfer as many of those credits as possible to the new school. When evaluating schools to attend, you should pay particular attention to their credit transfer policies.
The College-Level Examination Program allows students to earn undergraduate college credit for a course by passing a computerized test rather than taking the course. There are more than 2900 US universities and colleges that offer CLEP exams. By passing CLEP exams, a student can significantly reduce the amount of time and class work it takes to earn a degree. The courses covered by CLEP exams are those that are taken as degree requirements during the first two years of college. They are therefore ideal for earning a quick associates or bachelor degree.
The policies concerning CLEP vary substantially across schools. Some schools give you complete credit for the course while other schools simply exempt the course as a degree requirement. Some schools may significantly limit the number of credits that you can earn via CLEP exams while other schools are not as restrictive. You should carefully investigate the CLEP policies for schools you plan on attending to see how they may benefit your education.
CLEP exams allow you to earn credit for knowledge that you have already acquired through previous education, employment experience, and self-study without having to take the courses. This not only saves time, but it also saves money on tuition and books.
Taking CLEP Exams
CLEP exams consist primarily of computerized multiple choice questions which are scored on a scale from 20 to 80. Some tests also have fill-in-the-blank questions and written essays. A CLEP exam takes about an hour and a half to complete and costs $77 plus any service fees, which are usually $15 to $20. The exam is free for qualified military service personnel and some veterans.
For exams that are completely computerized, you will get your scores immediately after you take the test. You will receive your official report for all tests in about a month. Most schools grant credit for a score of 50 or higher.
CLEP Study Guides
There are many CLEP study guides, including the Official CLEP Study Guides and Finish College Fast CLEP Study Guides.
General information about CLEP exams and the currently available exams:
CLEP Study Guides
Take More Credit Hours
Most colleges limit the number of credit hours a student can take in a semester. If you want to accelerate your education, it’s important to keep your semesters fairly loaded. If you want to accelerate your education even more, and your academic performance permits, you can meet with your advisor to waive the credit hour limit. Just remember that fast online college degrees generally require more intensive study time than studying at a normal pace. You can also take online summer classes to add additional credits. Summer classes are particularly well suited for classes that meet general education requirements.
Other Acceleration Pathways
Some occupations or professions require more than just a degree. They require accreditation or certification. Continuing education for licensed professionals is also commonly performed online. Many professionals are required to perform continuing education to stay eligible for employment in their specific careers.
For example, Advanced Cardiac Life Support or ACLS online courses allow healthcare professionals to keep their certification current without having to attend a live class. ACLS online is just one of several courses available to healthcare providers.
Other courses made possible through the power of the Internet, besides ACLS online, are Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS certification) and Basic Life Support (BLS certification). Here on this site we want to help you find solutions for all of your educational needs.