2/5/17 – Sunday Progress Update

I didn’t make the rapid progress I made earlier on because of all the time it took to research and write papers for English Comp. Luckily, I just submitted my final paper, so I can go right back to flying through other courses. Still, I’m proud of knocking out what equates to the first year of a bachelor’s degree in 36 days. Here’s where I’m at so far in terms of credits and dollars:

Completed courses

3.0 Digital Marketing & Advertising – Study.com – Free

3.0 English Composition – Straighterline – $79

3.0 College Algebra – ALEKS – $19.95

3.0 Intro to Sociology – Straighterline – $49 + $31.31 Textbook

2.0 Ethics – The Institutes – Free

3.0 American Government – Straighterline – $49 + $109.56 Textbook

3.0 Intro to Religions – Straighterline – $49 + $87.71 Textbook

3.0 Intermediate Algebra – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Trigonometry – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Principles of Management – Saylor – $25

0.0 Beginning Algebra – ALEKS – Free

0.0 Personal Finance – Study.com – Free

Courses in Progress

3.0 Microeconomics – Straighterline – Progress 33%

2.0 Cybersecurity 101 – TEEX – Progress 33%

Additional Subscriptions/Fees – $74

$25 ProctorU Fee

$49 Monthly Straighterline Fee – January

29.0 Credits Complete, 5 Credits in Progress, $573.53 Spent

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1/29/17 – Sunday Progress Update

I figured it would be nice to do a weekly progress update. Hopefully this will make it easier follow my progress. Here’s where I’m at so far in terms of credits and dollars:

Completed courses – 23.0 Credits, $420.53

3.0 College Algebra – ALEKS – $19.95

3.0 Intro to Sociology – Straighterline – $49 + $31.31 Textbook

2.0 Ethics – The Institutes – Free

3.0 American Government – Straighterline – $49 + $109.56 Textbook

3.0 Intro to Religions – Straighterline – $49 + $87.71 Textbook

3.0 Intermediate Algebra – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Trigonometry – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Principles of Management – Saylor – $25

0.0 Beginning Algebra – ALEKS – Free

0.0 Personal Finance – Study.com – Free

Courses in Progress

3.0 English Composition – Straighterline – Progress 79.2%

3.0 Microeconomics – Straighterline – Progress 26.9%

2.0 Cybersecurity 101 – TEEX – Progress 33%

Additional Subscriptions/Fees – $74

$25 ProctorU Fee

$49 Monthly Straighterline Fee – January

 

23.0 Credits Complete, 8 Credits in Progress, $494.53 Spent

 

My plan for the upcoming week is to complete English Comp & Microeconomics, transfer them to ACE and cancel Straighterline for the time being. Then I’ll start knocking out my 2 Study.com courses for the month.

1/6/17 – ALEKS Intro to Stats FAIL

I studied and studied and took my time and still only managed a 51% on the ALEKS Statistics Assessment. I think at this point I need to pass on this one and come back to it or look to get my stats credits somewhere else. It seems like Saylor will keep asking you the same type of question over and over even if you clearly don’t understand that specific concept. At 51%, my assessment didn’t even ask me questions on over a quarter of the pie. The nature of the test seems harder than it needs to be and not something you would experience in a real classroom setting.

I did some more research and it sounds like a mix of Straighterline and CLEPs will be next in line for me.

I’ve started making a spreadsheet of all the credits I need and where they could/should come from. The weather this weekend is looking like snow with a side of snow, so hopefully I can knock out 6-9 credits by Sunday to be somewhere around 20-23 after my first week. Wish me luck!

 

1/5/17 – Intro to Statistics

Riding a wave of confidence I decided to go straight into Introduction to Statistics on ALEKS without studying to round out my math credits. I’ve never taken a statistics course. The initial assessment felt so easy and I felt like I crushed it.

I scored a 27% percent. Sounds like I’ll need to do some extensive studying and take another crack at it.

Also, I started Introduction to Financial Accounting at Saylor. I took the practice exam and scored a 58%. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the course material for the Saylor courses is very scattered and too exhaustive.

I hear people like Straighterline, CLEP and DSSTs better. I’m more interested in getting my degree quickly than for a rock-bottom price, so I may consider switching where I’m getting the credits from. Anyone have any first-hand advice on this?

1/4/17 – College Algebra & Trigonometry

In the spirit of knocking out any potential math credits for $19.95 total, I decided to take College Algebra and Trigonometry today on ALEKS. This leaves only Intro to Statistics.

College Algebra wasn’t that much harder than the last two algebra assessments, but Trig was tough. I managed an 84% on the initial assessment for College Algebra. Trig, on the other hand, required a lot more reading and studying, but I still managed a 73% on the initial assessment.

Math is a strong subject for me, but I still can’t wait for it to be over.

I have a bunch more Saylor classes I can take, but I will need to start researching some other options like CLEP, DSST and Straighterline. More on that in the next few days.

If you throw out Beginning Algebra, that’s 14 credits in 4 days. Not a bad start.

 

1/3/17 – Saylor, ProctorU, and Principles of Management

So my plan was to take another ALEKS assessment, but the other two are still showing “Pending Organization Review” in ACE. I decided to hold off from taking another assessment until those are showing complete.

In the meantime, I decided to take an exam through Saylor Academy. They offer all of their content for free, the only thing you need to pay for is to have an exam proctored for credit. ($25 per exam)

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Since I’m currently in management, I decided to go for Principles of Management. The reading for this class is so voluminous I can’t imagine how long it would take someone to read it all. If it wasn’t on a topic I was already comfortable with, I’m not sure I would have gone forward with it, and might have selected another exam.

To prepare, I took the quizzes at the end of each section, took the practice exam (72%) and then decided to take the proctored exam right away while it was fresh in my mind.

To take the proctored exam, you need to go to ProctorU. Again, I was able to sign up in a few minutes on my phone, but it might be easier from a desktop or laptop.

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I splurged for the additional $25 “fast track” since I plan to take a bunch of exams there and have a very busy schedule. I created a “Ucard” in a few minutes to make life easier and scheduled my exam for 8:30pm. I was done by 9:10pm. I would say that I nailed the theory of the content, but didn’t know some of the management pioneers by name as well as some of the acronyms.

I scored a 71%. Made it, barely, but 3 more credits down for $50 and maybe 3-4 hours. Hopefully more ALEKS tomorrow.

 

1/1/17 – ACE & ALEKS

It’s the first day of the new year and I want to complete my degree as quickly and inexpensively as possible. To accomplish this, I plan to take as many credit-granting tests as possible. Since I’m not enrolled at a college yet, I need a place to “store” all those credits – a transcript.

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Luckily, the American Council on Education “ACE” does just this. I registered at the ACE CREDIT website in about five minutes on my phone, although I would recommend doing it on a desktop or laptop. I plan to use this system to keep track of many of my completed tests. Later on, for a small fee, they’ll send my transcript to the university I plan to graduate from.

Now, I’m not one to wait to take action, so I wanted to take a test right away to get started and prove that I can do this. I went over to Aleks.com and got signed up to knock out some math requirements. You pay a $19.95/month monthly fee but can take as many assessments as you want. To receive ACE credit, you need to manage a 70% or greater on each course. Here are more detailed instructions.

Once registered, you assign yourself to a class and take an initial assessment to see how much you know and how much you need to learn. If you get 70% or greater on this initial assessment, you’re done! You can go right to ACE and request credit for the course.

My goal is to knock out all the math-related assessments I can get credit for in the first 30 days then cancel my subscription.

In high school, I made it all the way through Calculus, but it’s still been about 15 years since I’ve taken any algebra. I brushed up quickly using a couple of online resources (which I’ll talk about more later) and managed an 83% on Beginning Algebra and 72% on Intermediate Algebra.

Bam, done. A couple hours factoring equations, calculating slopes of lines and distributing exponents and two tests are done. 6 credits. (Based on the major I’m planning, I probably won’t be able to use Beginning Algebra, but that doesn’t mean you can’t – more on that later.)