jcooper's degree log

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jcooper, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. jcooper

    jcooper New Member

    Inspired by unixman's CLEP Odyssey, I've decided to start a thread to track the progress I make towards my BS in Finance.


    After high school I bounced around between a few B&M colleges and accumulated about 75 credit hours. However, I wasn't applying myself, and ended up getting a job doing computer programming on campus. I managed to parlay this into a career that has kept a roof over my head for the last nine years.

    Last summer I decided I wanted to make a career change. Step one was to finish my Bachelor's. In enrolled at Excelsior and am pursuing a BS in Finance.


    I earned most of the core requirements while at the B&M schools. I need 45 credits, 39 in business.


    Like many others here, I've decided to use examinations to complete my degree. I'll keep a running log of the tests that I'm studying for and the materials that I used to prepare for the exam. I found unixman's CLEP thread very useful and I hope to provide a similar reference for others.

    Next Up:

    Today I scheduled my first two CLEP tests:
    - Principles of Marketing
    - Principles of Management

    Study Materials:

    - REA guide for Marketing
    - Comex guide for Management
    - www.netmba.com
    - www.instantcert.com
    - Official CLEP Guide practice tests
  2. B.N.

    B.N. Member

    Good luck! I'm looking forward to following your progress.

    Can you make a list showing which requirements you've already fulfilled and which are still open.

  3. jcooper

    jcooper New Member

    Hi Brandon,

    Thanks for the reply. I have completed all the general education requirements except for:

    - Information Literacy (1hr)
    - Ethics Requirement (3hrs)
    - Organizational Behavior (3hrs)

    I hardly have any business credits. I took macro/micro econ back in the day, as well as business stats. So I have 39 hours remaining in the business/finance side.

    General business requirements:
    - Introduction to Accounting I (Financial)
    - Introduction to Accounting II (Managerial)
    - Business Law
    - Managerial Finance or Financial Management
    - Introduction to Management
    - Introduction to Marketing
    - Production/Operations Management
    - Business Policy
    - 3.00 credits of U/L business electives

    Finance major requirements:
    - Advanced Financial Management
    - Money and Banking
    - Securities Analysis
    - Approved Finance Elective (3hrs)
  4. jcooper

    jcooper New Member

    A brief update.

    One thing I failed to mention before is that I'm currently enrolled in two classes at Excelsior. They're both Political Science classes. Why PolySci? Well, back in June when I made the decision to return back to school I entertained the idea of moving into the public sector and I originally enrolled in Excelsior as a Political Science major.

    My goals have morphed a bit, and I'm now looking into operations research (ok, they morphed a lot. I'm a bit of a jack of all trades, so forgive me). OR would give me the opportunity to leverage my programming skills. I still enjoy programming, but I no longer want to write end-user applications. I'd prefer to do research and analysis.

    This was finals week in both classes, and I've got two take home exams to write this weekend. Once I finish those I'll be able to shift my focus to the business requirements for my degree.

    Overall I was pretty happy with the Excelsior classes. My Comparative Politics class was excellent. The instructor was very good, and the material was very interesting. My Public Policy class was a bit less engaging. The instructor didn't participate in the online discussions very often. We basically just plowed through the textbook.

    I've been perusing business textbooks at Amazon. Based on what I've read here I've decided to stick to the online study guides and test prep texts for the first few exams. As I progress and start to take the upper level TECEP exams I plan to purchase regular textbooks. I'm happy to see that most books now have an online supplemental component with interactive quizes. I'll post my experience with those materials as I begin to use them.

    I also added a degreetracker image to my sig.

    Have a great weekend!

    -- James
  5. jcooper

    jcooper New Member

    Today I took the Principles of Marketing and Principles of Management exams.

    I had never taken a CLEP exam before. The interface is decent, and you're free to review all your answers before submitting the test for grading.

    Unfortunately on the first test I didn't realize that when the test asks for your state, it's asking for the state of the school that I was attending. I picked Washington, and then "School not on list". So I may have to pay $20 to have them send the test score to Excelsior. When I took the second test I selected New York, and picked Excelsior from the list.

    I did well on both. Scaled scores:

    Management: 73 out of 80 (A)
    Marketing: 79 out of 80 (Pass)

    Study Materials:

    - REA guide for Marketing
    - Comex guide for Management
    - www.netmba.com
    - www.instantcert.com
    - Official CLEP Guide practice tests

    I studied about 8-10 hours per test primarily using the Instacert site. I also took both practice tests from the Official CLEP Guide.

    Next up:
    Business Law CLEP

    - www.instantcert.com
    - REA Essentials - Business Law I
    - Official CLEP Guide practice test
  6. jcooper

    jcooper New Member

    I took the Intro to Business Law CLEP yesterday and passed with a 66.

    The key to this test is knowing all of the terms. I found that instacert and the REA guide were pretty good prep, but there were some terms on the exam I didn't recall seeing in those materials. Make sure to understand the contract and agency issues -- particularly the concept of 'consideration'. There were many questions about that one concept alone.

    All told I probably spent about 8-10 hours studying for this exam.

    Next up: DANTES Principles of Finance

    - Barron's Business Review: Finance
    - instacert
    - studyfinance.com

    Folks say this exam is non-trivial, so I'm planning on doing a lot of practice problems in the Barron's book and from the studyfinance site.


    -- James
  7. phaggood

    phaggood New Member

    Excelsior InfoSys BS

    I'm also progressing toward my Excelsior degree; I've taken a few CLEP and Dantes, have passed all so far except for Organizational Behavior which I missed by a single point. With that, I have the next major exams:
    - Ethics
    - Introduction to Accounting I (Financial)
    - Introduction to Accounting II (Managerial)
    - Stats

    I'm completing my computer-related credits mostly with CompTIA exams; the red Exam Cram series are fantastic for these. I do use InstantCert which had served fine (passing practice exam = passing real exam) for other exams except OrgBehavior which shook my faith in the practice exams and led me to more external reading - I did a *lot* of external reading for MacroEcon; passed about a month ago.

    If I could find a source as concise/exam-focused as the Exam Cram for Accounting/Finance, Org Behavior, Ethics and Stats I'd be a lot more confident going into these final few exams and I could be done quicker. As it stands, I am making progress and will be done before Spring06 with my cobbled-together study resources.
  8. jcooper

    jcooper New Member

    Which Ethics exam are you taking? I'm planning to take DANTES Ethics in America in January. I haven't looked into study guides for that yet, although I hear instantcert works well for that test.

    As far as Accounting, I ordered a copy of Schaum's Principles of Accounting I. It's cheap (I got it for $6 from Amazon) and it's a workbook format. My plan is to just work through the chapters and do the problems and then do some review on instantcert.

    I'm taking a similar approach to the DANTES Principles of Finance exam. I have the Barron's Finance book, and I selected the chapters relevant to the exam. I'm reading those chapters and doing all the problems. Everyone says that exam is difficult, and I'm guessing that's because there's a lot of formulas to memorize.

    Thanks for your post.

    -- James

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