The idea of the guarantee that SpeedyPrep offers for your child to pass a CLEP test was too good to pass on. We have been using our 6 month course access for the past month and I feel like we, well Salem, is already well on his way to CLEP success.
What is a CLEP?
A CLEP exam is a test your child can take, and if passed, can offer college credit. Each test covers a specific area of study at a college level based on the College Board standards. Subjects include things like College Algebra, Biology, Foreign Languages, English and even Business.
Why CLEP a college course?
Quite frankly, to save time and therefore save money. Taking a CLEP tests currently costs $80. An average college class costs anywhere from $200-$600 per credit hour depending on whether you are in state or out of state. Keep in mind most college classes are 3 credit hours. You do the math- it can get expensive quickly. If your child can pass a CLEP, that is savings in your pocket and less time they have to spend in school. A win for you and a win for them!
What is SpeedyPrep and how does it work?
SpeedyPrep is a web based program designed to help your student study and pass a CLEP test. They offer 24 courses to choose from, but with your subscription, you are given access to all of those courses. You simply choose one and begin. The flashcard type system will ask you a fill-in-the-blank type question in which you then give your answer. Immediately you will be shown if you are correct and if not, you will be shown the correct answer and an explanation of that answer. There are also numerous video clips referenced you can watch to further your understanding of that particular subject as well as additional written explanations. You can also choose to watch the videos separately. Using the Mastery Learning approach, questions are repeated so you are exposed to them many times, allowing you to program that answer into your brain. Each time you enter a correct response a progress bar goes up in percentage. Once you have answered the question correctly a few times in the fill in the blank fashion, many questions go to a multiple choice format, much like that of an actual CLEP test.
My oldest son is a high school freshman, so this review was PERFECT timing for me. I learned from past experience with his older sisters that the best time to take a CLEP test is right after your child has taken the class. At that point the subject material is still fresh in their minds. I have also seen that if your child studies, it will make a difference in their CLEP experience. Since Salem has been doing American History and happens to love the subject I knew that it was the perfect place to have him start. Because he is in his last months of the school year, he is pretty busy but we have been able to make some progress already with this program just a few nights a week. Once he is finished with school we will use the summer months to study hard and hopefully take the CLEP in July or early August.
After a quick log in, Salem simply clicks on the subject he wants to study, in his case, American History, and then chooses a sub category. As each question pops up, he types in his answer, sees if he is correct, and reads the explanation. He then proceeds to the next question. He does one section at a time, and has chosen to repeat the same session many times in a row to fully master those particular questions before he moves on.
What has been neat to see is his drive. When he first began it was easy to get frustrated if he did not know something. After getting a few wrong and then seeing the question come up again and him knowing the correct answer really motivated him. At that point, he became competitive with himself and pushed to remember even more.
More than a few times I admit to getting pulled into the study! While I would not say my answer out loud, as we want an accurate progress bar report, I would see what I knew and if I could think of the answer before he could type it in. The game also became a motivator for him and a fun, friendly competition. Which I almost always lost, for the record!
Here's one of the things I like most about this program. It is thorough. Unlike a multiple choice only practice test, the fill in the blank format forces you to really know the answer. No amount of guessing is going to cut it. That does make it harder. BUT, it also makes you know the information. And then, the better you know it, the more easily you CAN identify the answer when you encounter it on an actual CLEP test that is multiple choice.
The only downfall I see of that format is spelling! Does anyone else have a child that is a poor speller? Well, beware. If you misspell the answer it will be marked incorrect. This was slightly frustrating to Salem, but he got over it knowing he would not have to spell on the actual CLEP. Hey, it's the little things.
And the best part-
SpeedyPrep is so confident of their program they have a special guarantee. If your child meets the parameters they suggest such as be at least 16, have taken the high school level course of the subject you are studying, AND you get your progress bar to 90-100%, they guarantee your child will pass that particular CLEP test or they will refund your subscription fees.
I am sold!