(BA in 4 Weeks) Earning 2nd degree in 3 hours

Discussion in 'CLEP, DANTES, and Other Exams for Credit' started by Lawrie Miller, Mar 7, 2001.

  1. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    BA in 4 Weeks series - A SECOND DEGREE IN UNDER 3 HOURS


    You can earn two degrees from any of the three assessment institutions, Charter Oak State College (COSC), Excelsior College, or Thomas Edison State College (TESC). I have two degrees from what is now Excelsior College, one a BS Political Science (concentration) and the other, a BS in General Business. Excelsior College does not let their Liberal Arts graduates do a second BS or BA with concentration, but will allow Liberal Arts graduates of other schools to do a BS or BA with concentration. COSC will allow a second degree, but it will be in General Studies with a specialization or concentration (COSC degrees are all General Studies by major). TESC will allow a second degree BA with general concentrations, designated - BA in Humanities; BA in Math/Science; BA in Social Science/History. They also allow a BA with a specialization (much like the Excelsior concentration) in a variety of subjects. Additionally, they offer degrees with majors - BS Applied Science and Technology, BS Business, and BS Human Services.

    THe Graduate Record Subject Examination is offered in a variety of disciplines. Their primary purpose is to test the readiness of candidates for graduate study in a particular field. Most examinees writing these exams are Bachelor's graduates in the specific field or in a related discipline. Excelsior College is the only institution to award enough credit for a GRE subject exam, to trigger second degree conferral based solely on one's performance in that exam.

    Although the majority of GRE subject test examinees may be graduates in the field, this does not mean examinees who are neither graduates in the discipline or indeed graduates at all, cannot pass these tests at the required level. They can and frequently do. I used the GRE subject test in Political Science to provided all the necessary concentration credit for my first Excelsior degree. I wrote another GRE subject exam in Psychology, garnering an additional 30 credits.

    GRE subject examinations are an endangered species, and it seems that with every passing day there are fewer from which to choose. So if you're toying with the idea of doing this, don't hang about too long. Remember, you can earn such a degree by taking just one exam for around (these days) $120.


    Concentrations in numerous subjects can be completed by Excelsior College students by scoring above the 80th percentile in an appropriate GRE subject examination.

    Credit is awarded on a sliding scale, from 3 credits for a score above the 35th percentile to 30 credits for a score above the 80th percentile. Increment rate is 3 credit hours per 5 percentile increase in score. The first 12 credits are awarded as lower division credits, and the rest as upper division credits. Thus a score above the 80th percentile yields 12 lower division credits and 18 upper division credits, for a total of 30 credits. The minimum requirements for a concentration is 30 credits with a minimum of 15 in the upper division. Therefore, passing a GRE subject exam above the 80th percentile satisfies concentration requirements, and all requirements for award of a second degree.

    A list of acceptable GRE subject exams and their required scaled scores can be found at Excelsior.edu

    Exam materials..........................................

    Best are the "Practicing to take the [Economics/Physics etc.]" book series from ETS, who produce the actual GRE advanced subject exams.
    These are not study guides but past examination papers. They are *the* best indicator of what you know, what you don't know, and where you should concentrate your efforts within the relevant discipline.

    Most of the study guides from other publishers are of limited value. One notable exception is the series from THE PRINCETON REVIEW called "Cracking the GRE"... (Biology, Literature, Psychology). I've used the psychology offering and found it useful. The study notes are directly applicable to the GRE subject exam. The test questions are very close in level of difficulty and in scope to that of the actual exam. There are full answers to the questions in a subsequent section. Unfortunately, only 35 questions are included. So far as I know the series only covers the three exams listed above: pity. If using the Psychology offering, be sure to know and understand everything in this very thin volume. If you do, you *will* score above the 80th percentile.

    The Research & Education Association (REA) publishes a series of preparation guides for all the subject exams. These usually contain more than one full mock exam with answers (e.g. the mathematics book contains six full exams) and many of the books provide study notes. I found the study notes in the political science guide quite useful (GRE no longer offers the Political Science subject exam, unfortunately). However, the level of difficulty and focus of the questions did not reflect that of the actual GRE subject exam. This seems to be a common trait in the REA series. The REA Psychology book was of limited value.

    Other study guides from Arco and Barron's I found more a hindrance than a help, though the Barron's book was comprehensive, it lacked the keen focus of the Princeton offering.


    Go to the ETS.org site and register for the exam of choice.

    Sit GRE subject exam of choice for which there is a corresponding Excelsior concentration.

    Have ETS send your GRE results to Excelsior College. When you receive your score (from ETS), and if it's above the 80th percentile, immediately enroll in Excelsior College (they will already have your GRE scores) and, in addition to the enrollment fee, pay the graduation fee, for you have already met the requirements for a second degree BS or BA - 30 credits in the concentration of which at least 15 must be upper division, you would have 18 UD + 12 LD for a total of 30 credits. Total cost including exam fees, books, college enrollment fee and graduation fees, $1200 even.

    ETS "practicing to take" series: MUST BUY $13
    Princeton Review "Cracking the GRE" series: MUST BUY (if applicable) $20
    REA "preparation for the GRE" series: BUY (with reservations) $25

    Arco/Barron's: keep your cash.

    The books can be found at Barnes & Noble, Borders and other retail outlets, or from Amazon.com on the Web.

    Finally, Excelsior College produces reading lists for many of the GRE subject exams.
  2. sharon

    sharon New Member

    HI everyone

    I am new here and am looking for information and advice. Congratulations, Lawrie on your success with distance learning. I am planning to pursue the Excelsior BSc Liberal Arts (International Business) soon. Is the Associate degree = Bachelors degree? Cause i wanna do a Bachelor's. I am Malaysian and it has been 5 years since I last studied. My last being the Univ of London Diploma in Economics. I am eager to obtain my bachelor’s and after doing extensive research have found the American education system the most flexible, liberal, less dry and suited to my personality. Coming from Malaysia means that I have been much in the U.K. education system (rigid and in depth in mostly conventional academic subjects). Malaysia was once ruled by the Brits. My questions are:
    1. Can I do it?
    How ardious is the task for me to get thru CLEP or GRE or RCE exams having had no formal education and minimal knowledge of subjects even the easiest. Work has not given much exposure either. Are the books you recommended sufficient Lawrie, for one with almost zero knowledge like me? What are my chances of getting a respectable grade to earn as many credit hours. How long should I study while working/quit my job for the time being?

    2. Which tests?
    The American Education System is really new to me but thanks to the many discussions here, I have some grasp of it. However coming back to the exams, if anyone can advise me on the most ‘do-able’ tests. Are the MCQ (multiple choice questions) tests easiest vs. written? I prefer the former as written tests are more subjective and harder to score. I have not been able to download the prospectus and sample tests from the Excelsior College website.

    3. How many credit hours already eared?
    There is a local institution here (www.rima.edu.my) affiliated to Excelsior and offers a 4 year programme done fully in Malaysia. Graduation to take place @Excelsior, USA. I am thinking of taking this programme but would like to cut short the time taken by sitting for the said exams. Plus the programme is beyond what I can afford (USD900 for 4 years, USD50 per credit hour). I have not applied for exemption for the subjects I completed in the 1 year Diploma but reckon it will not be much as it was only Economics, Sociology, Maths and Statistics. I have yet to fully understand how credit hours are granted. I will be enquiring about credit hours I can obtain from the institute and also Excelsior. But if there is any indication here , that would help.

    4. International Recognition
    I like travelling which is one of the reasons why I am taking up Internat. Business as a major. I like business too. Therefore, how far is the degree recognized outside USA? It is recognised in Malaysia and Singapore (mentioned in Rima’s brochure-have not verified this with Singapore authorities). I do plan to work overseas in Europe, America and other parts of the world.

    It is quite difficult to get information in Malaysia on American Education as it is less popular. Here, we have MACEE (American Education Exchange) with counsellors but they charge a high fee each time you seek their help. I do not think they should charge for this service as in the end, if the student goes to USA or pursues a programme here, money is pumped back to America and the office is here to promote American Education! The British Council and the Australian version here doesn’t charge for counselling. Plus, I haven’t any friends who went through the American system.

    Please reply to my address at [email protected]

    1001 thanks in advance

    P/S:Hope i can get back to this thread.

  3. Lawrie Miller

    Lawrie Miller New Member

    The Degree in International Business is a Business degree at Excelsior , not a Liberal Arts degree.

    [NB - this particular thread is dedicated to earning a second bachelor's degree, not a first bachelor's. You need to read the thread, "EARN A BUSINESS DEGREE IN 4 WEEKS"]
    No. An Associates degree does not equal a bachelor's degree. It represents half of a bachelor's degree, or (often) the first two years of study in a four year bachelor's degree.

    I've looked at the requirements for that diploma, nor easy. Very good, Sharon!
    Given your U. of London diploma in Economics and the necessary general knowledge foundation that must have underlay that success, it could be that you can do it.
    Well, if you have "minimal knowledge", meaning little to none, then you will not be able to pass the exams without VERY extensive study. You cannot pass the exams without knowing the subject to the required depth and breadth, defined by the difficulty and range of the exam questions themselves. If that is your true situation, I would not recommend you proceed with the plan, but rather that you consider an alternative approach using traditional formal class instruction. However, I am at a loss to understand how someone can execute a post like this one, have the necessary foundations to be accepted into, and then graduate from, the U. of London External Program with a diploma in Economics, and still say they have no knowledge and no formal education.
    The method of garnering college credit detailed in "BA in 4 Weeks" and in "EARN A BUSINESS DEGREE IN 4 WEEKS", is NOT for anyone with "almost zero knowledge". However, I am less than convinced, based on the evidence of your post, that you are anything other than an educated and articulate individual. So, while someone with almost zero knowledge could not likely succeed using the method, YOU might well do, if you are as bright and capable as your post indicates.

    The details are provided in the thread, "EARN A BUSINESS DEGREE IN 4 WEEKS", still on the first page of posts on this site, and also accessible in the Usenet newsgroup, alt.education.distance.
    The exams necessary to complete a degree in Business are identified and analyzed in the articles comprising the thread, ""EARN A BUSINESS DEGREE IN 4 WEEKS".
    All of the questions relating to required courses for a BS in General Business, are answered in the thread, "EARN A BUSINESS DEGREE IN 4 WEEKS".

    For a definitive answer to which exemptions you will be granted for existing credentials, you will have to contact Excelsior and eventually have your formal qualifications assessed by ECE. However, from what you say, I think you may have completed most or all general education requirements - this based on your entry into the U. of London diploma program, and your successful completion of that program.

    As I remember it, Singapore government jobs require a degree earned traditionally. That is, they will not accept any DL degree. Could be wrong on that, but that is what I believe the situation may be. As to the rest, we have had "spirited debate" on the subject of international recognition. All I will say is that Excelsior College is regionally accredited, and that regional accreditation in the fundamental standard of legitimacy for U.S. institutions. Read the various threads on the subject on this site, and voluminous posts contained therein, and draw your own conclusions.

    Most importantly, contact a representative sample of the type of employer with who you plan to seek employment in the specific countries in question, and ask them if they will accept the degree.

    Here you will receive mostly first rate advice, for free. However, it pays to do your own research and satisfy yourself that what is being offered as fact, is indeed so.

    For a better understanding of what is involved in earning an Excelsior Business degree, please read the articles comprising the thread "EARN A BUSINESS DEGREE IN 4 WEEKS", then, if in doubt, check the statements made against the various relevant documents available on the Excelsior web site.

    Once you have read the articles, if you still have questions, please feel free to ask them.

    Good luck.

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