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A&I or Am. & Eng. Lit exams - Dilemma
#1
Hi all,

I just joined up after learning about the exciting world of CLEP exams. I passed my first one, Freshman Comp. without studying, for 6 credits - woohoo!

My college is picky about what CLEP exams I can take. Very much so, actually. They list ALL the exams and what credits you earn per exam on their website, but then stipulate that you're required to ask permission individually for each exam from a single administration staff-member. She gets to decide, before you sign up for the exam, if she'll allow you credit for it or not.

So far she has vetoed my taking the English Comp test: "it is too similar to the Freshman Comp. exam." Understandable.

I can't take both College Math (6cred) & College Algebra (3cred) - it is one or the other (Gee, hard decision there <sarcasm intended> Wink ) I'll be sitting for that next - I'll have at least one full day of vacation during the week of the exam to re-learn what I forgot from highschool.

Bio, Sociology, Intro to PCs ... all ok, but no overlapping!


Anyway .. the big decision I need help with:
She has given me permission to take EITHER the Analyzing Literature CLEP (for 6 credits of english) *_or_* BOTH the American Literature & English Literature CLEPs (for 6 credits each = 12 credits total).

I know I can pass the A&I with a brushing up on literary terms for a couple hours the night before the exam.
I know little-to-nothing about Am & Eng Lit. I don't read for enjoyment, only for academic reasons - and never anything "englishy."

I won't really have too much time to study before these, either. I'm currently working around 20 hours a week and taking a full semester of "real" courses at school. I might be able to cram flashcard-style information a couple hours a night for a couple days beforehand for each - unless my University classes I'm taking pound me viciously with reading and work those weeks (which, sadly, I cannot foresee before it actually happens).


So ... what would you that have taken these exams suggest? Take the easy route and blow through A&I and don't look back? Try and study sparsely while I can and take Am & Eng Lit? (Separately, of course, with time to cool down between.)



I don't need any Gen. Eds - they've all been waved - so that doesn't factor into the equation. I don't need any of the classes I'm CLEP'ing out of, either.

I'm basically just burning credit to graduate faster; this is purely "the more credit I can get, swiftly, the better." I need to cram as many in as I can before they change their minds and restrict me from taking these exams, which is possible at any time and has been mentioned in passing in a kinda' "I don't think you can take these much longer, they're only for early-year undergrads and you're getting too high up."

Every CLEP drags my expected graduation date closer. Two CLEPs bring it a semester sooner.

So ... thoughts? ... I'm leaning toward just taking A&I more-or-less cold and being happy with the easy 6 credits, for fear that getting the 12 would be too much to do right now.

~Dominae~


*Edit* I also asked about DSST exams .. and the woman asked me if I was active military. I told her no, but that wasn't required ... but I think the school (despite their website saying they give credit for all DSST exams) is thinking it is for active military only? Ugh.
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#2
For starters, get a definitive answer on the DSST question. There are many exams that you are eligible to take and you need to know if you can consider this in your tool bag or not.

As to your Literature dilema:

1) You seem fairly sure that you can pass A&I Literature for 6 credits.
2) If you take it, you pass up on 12 credits because it will bump out American and English Literature.
3) A&I Literature is probably by far the easiest route.
4) The other two Literature allow you to earn more total credits.

Things to consider here are how many credits do you really need? By this, I mean what is the MAX you can earn to complete your degree? Are there other exams that you can still take and reach this MAX?

Whether the answer is yes or no, you need to figure this part out. How many CLEP exams can you get away with in a perfect world?

You also mentioned time being an issue. This is something you also need to figure out. 6 credits are better than none if this woman changes her mind come next week. What are the odds of this happening?

You also said that it does not matter what matter which tests you take because you just need credits. What about FEMA credits? $60 a pop through Fredericks is expensive, BUT if you can use that to fill up your elective credits its good to know. If they tell you no more CLEP, can you take FEMA?

CLEP is definitely the most cost effective way to go in earning credit, but is by no means the only one. If they close the CLEP door, there are other options. FEMA, ALEKS, NFA, Penn Foster, etc.

As to your Literature dilema, I'd say to go optimistic but hedge your bets. Since you can essentially write A&I off as a gimme, take American or English Lit first. If you fail that test, then just take A&I and call it a day. If you pass the American or English Lit, then try and take the other one. You can rest in the fact that you have at the least earned 6 credits, but it also leaves open the option for earning 12.
[SIZE="1"]CLEP exams passed:
Management, Accounting, Marketing, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics

DSST exams passed:
Human Resources Management, Organizational Behavior, Statistics, Management Information Systems

Earned:
B.A. in Business Administration: Technology Management from Saint Leo University

M.S. in Leadership: Business Ethics from Duquesne University [/SIZE]
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#3
I loved getting 6 credits in a day. So I'm biased. Big Grin

My advice would be to take English Lit. first (it's easier than American Lit, in my opinion) and see how it goes. If you pass, great, you have 6 credits and the opportunity to try for 6 more. If you flunk it, you can always do A&I.

Thing is, about a third or more of both English Lit and American Lit is analyzing passages, just like the A&I test. So it's not like its ALL about authors and books.

I'd get the Official CLEP Study Guide practice test and get on SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides and read summaries of every single work mentioned on the practice test. Make notes to yourself of the work, author, and major characters. It's really pretty doable. If you've got time, get a basic high school English Lit book and read it on your lunch breaks.

Also brush up on basic literature jargon--various types of meter, synonyms, alliteration, metaphor, etc. You'll use that in A&I anyway, so you won't be wasting time.

That's my free advice. You know how much free advice is worth. hilarious
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#4
Hey thanks for getting back to me Smile

Old Rusty Pipe Wrote:For starters, get a definitive answer on the DSST question. There are many exams that you are eligible to take and you need to know if you can consider this in your tool bag or not.

Good call .. I'm waiting to hear back from her on the DSSTs. That'd give me more breathing room for sure Smile

Quote:As to your Literature dilema:

1) You seem fairly sure that you can pass A&I Literature for 6 credits.
2) If you take it, you pass up on 12 credits because it will bump out American and English Literature.
3) A&I Literature is probably by far the easiest route.
4) The other two Literature allow you to earn more total credits.

Yeah that is my big "what if" at this point.

I'm certain of #1 for 6 credits (which has #3 as a big positive) ... but then I give up #2 for #4 (lol). From looking around here ... it sounds like the Am & Eng Lit courses can be toughies, especially compared to how easy the A&I exam sounds. I'd be going into the two other Lit tests with no clue what I'm up against and trying to cram my mind full of facts, and hope it doesn't start leaking out before I get to the exam.

Quote:Things to consider here are how many credits do you really need? By this, I mean what is the MAX you can earn to complete your degree? Are there other exams that you can still take and reach this MAX?

Lets see ... the math behind all of this:

I can transfer a total of 90 credits into my college, including testing out (although that gets iffy with residency requirements, etc .. rules about how many of the last so-many credits can be transfer credits, etc ... but I'm doing Grad School after .. so I figure I'll still be around).

So, technically, I've only brought in 18 credits so far, counting the Freshmen Comp I completed. So I won't hit THAT cap of 90 anytime soon.

I will have 57 credits completed at the end of this semester (if I pass all my B&M courses, which hasn't been a problem so far either, although I'm not very focused this semester).

I still need: (let me look at my degree audit from school here .. uhm ... ) 2 classes here, 2 classes there, 4 classes over here. So ... 8 more B&M classes to finish my undergrad degrees ... maybe 10 classes total if I can't creatively "double count" some things (I'm in two BA programs that overlap - some classes fulfill requirements for both BAs, woohoo!). So .. there are 30 credits I require B&M probably, worst case scenario.


That will take me up to 87 if you add those to what I have already, above.

120 - 87 = 33 ... so ... I have maybe 33 credits of "filler" space that I was hoping to fill up with exams. More if I can creatively "double count" things as mentioned above.


This woman at school has OK'd me for these CLEPS so far:
A&I - 6 credits _or_ (or Am Lit & Eng Lit - 12 credits)
Bio - 6 cred
College Math - 6 cred
Info Systems - 3 cred
Sociology - 3 cred

So .. if I take A&I and the rest of those ... that'll give me 24 credits. If she lets me grab a couple more here and there I'll make up that 33 in no time, maybe. Especially if she OK's the DSSTs and doesn't just cut me out of earning test credits all together!

If I take the Am & Eng lit courses and the other CLEPs I'm ok'd for I'll sit at 30 .. leaving one more CLEP test to make up the difference.

Quote:Whether the answer is yes or no, you need to figure this part out. How many CLEP exams can you get away with in a perfect world?

That is the big issue. I have enough testing locations in my area to take 4 a month but I can't humanly accomplish that without busting a blood vessel in my brain.

It all depends on how many I can squeeze in without goofing up my B&M courses and without getting cut off by administration.

Quote:You also mentioned time being an issue. This is something you also need to figure out. 6 credits are better than none if this woman changes her mind come next week. What are the odds of this happening?

Well .. there is a policy on the books that after you achieve 56 credits, they cut you off from CLEP exams. "CLEP exams are for new students only, not advanced students" is the way they try and explain it. I think is discriminatory .. but .. hey.

She has already OK'd me in e-mail for tests taking me passed that 56 credit wall ... so I figure I can take at least the ones that I have current permission to take. If she changes her mind ... then I have a problem ... or if she doesn't OK any tests after these.

There is also a way around the cut off .. but it requires paperwork, and signatures, and legal-style fighting, and essays expressing why I feel I have "profound academic reasoning" behind why I believe I should be allowed to take CLEP exams passed the 56 credit cut off.

Quote:You also said that it does not matter what matter which tests you take because you just need credits. What about FEMA credits? $60 a pop through Fredericks is expensive, BUT if you can use that to fill up your elective credits its good to know. If they tell you no more CLEP, can you take FEMA?

I've asked about the FEMA classes and got a resounding "no" to that. Sad They don't accept transfer credits from Fredericks either.

Nor do they accept them from Excelsior or the other two colleges popular on this site. They call them "degree mills" under their breath ... even though Excelsior is a USNY college and I go to a SUNY/NY State College. (Yeah its confusing to me too .. and makes little sense).


Quote:CLEP is definitely the most cost effective way to go in earning credit, but is by no means the only one. If they close the CLEP door, there are other options. FEMA, ALEKS, NFA, Penn Foster, etc.

I'll have to look up many of those acronyms Smile .. but odds are, my school won't take them. They're pretty strict about things for some reason. I think they're suspicious of everyone and everything "taking advantage of the system" or, more probably, "taking money out of their pockets" by testing out of things.

Quote:As to your Literature dilema, I'd say to go optimistic but hedge your bets. Since you can essentially write A&I off as a gimme, take American or English Lit first. If you fail that test, then just take A&I and call it a day. If you pass the American or English Lit, then try and take the other one. You can rest in the fact that you have at the least earned 6 credits, but it also leaves open the option for earning 12.

That is a really good idea that I hadn't totally considered. I think I'm just so afraid this'll all end with a "sorry, just realized you aren't eligible to get credit for CLEPs anymore" that I wasn't considering the possibility of failing one and losing out on 6 credits.

I guess I could totally hedge my bets and sign up for an Am Lit and the A&I in the same weekend ... take the Am or Eng Lit test first .. and if I pass, skip the A&I exam (and only be out the $15 administrative testing fee) ... and if I fail Am or Eng Lit just go and pass the A&I and only be out the $85 total for paying for an exam I failed.

Wonder if I could do one of the Lit exams instead of the Math exam I'm about to sign up for ... and study enough in that day or two vacation to pass it. Hmmmmmm.
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#5
Here's my two cents. I had to take one exam out of A&I Lit, AmLit, EngLit. I definitely AM a literary type and read those kinds of books. However, I don't care much about the history of literature.

I looked at all three exams, and when I saw what kind of information I would have to learn fresh for AmLit and EngLit, such as authors' names, their main works, the content of those works, and the relationship with other authors, I realized it was beyond my ability given the time I had to study. So for me, the choice was clear.

If you're good at memorizing all that stuff I just outlined, and can keep it straight in your head just long enough to pass the test, then go for it, and my hat's off to you. If you don't think you can do that with the amount of time you have to study, then you might just decide to grab the easy six credits and call it a day.

Also, do you have to pass BOTH AmLit & EngLit for them to accept your 12 credits, or will they accept only one for 6 credits if that's all you pass? If you must pass both to get any credits, then that might be something to weigh.
Master of Management, Cambridge College, 2011. 4.00 GPA.
BS in Business Administration, Charter Oak State College, 2009. 75 semester credits earned by exam, 45 in the classroom. 3.91 GPA.
AS in General Studies, City University of Seattle, 1999. 50 quarter hours earned by exam, 40 in the classroom. 3.95 GPA.
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#6
I decided to take just the A&I exam for the easy 6 credits and call it quits. I'd probably go crazy trying to jam my brain with all the stuff needed to pass the other two.

Thanks to everyone who replied Smile




Now if I can just understand Economics enough to pass my B&M class... ugh .. it is like a second language to me (and this is AFTER passing both Micro and Macro).
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