Learning In School & Beyond: Part 2: Types of Classes, and Tests for Course Credit (AP, CLEP)

Continuing the discussion of  Learning In School & Beyond: Part  1 :

  In discussing the homework papers with Max, it seemed appropriate to share this with him:
Boom points out that the idea about the parking ticket came from a teacher.  He himself actually never evperienced this.
   Our family are great believers in the concept of testing out.  i gained an entire semester of college credit via testing.  and Boom took 5 AP courses. 

AP Test Benefits, as experienced by Boom, Part 1 

  They all benefitted him, though some in surprising ways.
  The AP physics and calculus, he passed with a 5, received full credit from his university, and obliterated his major's science and math requirements.

AP Test Benefits, as experienced by Boom, Part 2

  The Latin test netted him a 2.  This is a failing grade.
  (While a 3 is passing, most universities will only accept credit for a 4 or above, except for the Latin test which will widely be accepted with a 3 because of its difficulty.)
   In this case, the 2 was certainly due to running out of time to complete the numerous essays and electing to skip two of them in order to be able to finish all of the essays attempted.
  However, his university allowed him to take their own placement test.  This one he passed.
  And, while it's one of those things you can't know, Boom's own opinion is that this test earned him a higher placement than the AP  would have.  A side effect was this left him only a few hours (?6) toward a minor in classical languages that he hadn't planned on.
    So, in this case, failing the AP exam meant coming out ahead.

AP Test Benefits, as experienced by Boom, Part 3

  Perhaps most interesting were the history classes.
  He went to considerable trouble to take both AP-US and AP European history. The European course was meant for sophomores, but it was too popular in his own sophomore year and they attempted to weed out candidates with a meeting that he forgot about due to technical difficulties with the school announcements and the class he had during the school announcements.
 He needed both his junior year if he were to have them at all.  This was the only time i called the high school to intervene for him, since both were scheduled for the same period.
 A new section for one of the courses was suddenly deemed necessary.  Boom was now able take both.
  Fast forward to the end of the school year:
He passed both tests with a 4. (He estimates the European test could have earned a 5, but the two tests were scheduled back to back half-days because "nobody" takes both at once. Except for Boom, and a friend who had to miss the test the previous year.)

AP Test Benefits, as experienced by Boom, Part 4

 Normally, as i said before, a 4 is enough to get you course credit.  However, Boom's university did not offer either US or European History.
 He signed up for World History 100.
 This turned out to be like taking the European AP history course again.  The emphasis was different, but the material covered the same time frame, and the rigor was much less:.  The high school course required
  • 50-100 key terms to be made into flash cards per chapter 
  • frequent essays 
  • numerous presentation projects
  • and of course the usual quizzes and tests.
   In the college course there were
  • lectures
  • one midterm
  • and one final.
  Challenging European history course?  Easy A: already covered this ground.

CLEP, Other Testing-Out,  and Me

  In about October of my first fall in college, i heard about the CLEP tests being offered.  It looked like there were several that might be worth trying for.
  i decided to go for Developmental Psychology.  My college required 2 semesters of psychology to graduate, and students generally took Intro and "DevPsych."
  My roomie agreed to loan me her text for the weekend.  Reading that book was about all i did.
  Monday i took the test.
  A few weeks later i learned that i had earned a B in DevPsych.
  Not that i know much about the subject these days.  A lot of it is kinda common sense, plus names & dates, which come easy for me.  But stuff crammed like that doesn't stick.
* If anyone else takes similar classes the same year, you might check into the testing schedule.  Scheduling these tests has got to be complicated.  The possibility of a student taking a sophomore and a junior course  in the same area in the same year will likely not even come onto their radar.

You might want to visit  AP testing home.  Links at the bottom of the page lead you to info on CLEP and other testing/college prep services.

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