Ready to get started

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by chitchat, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. chitchat

    chitchat New Member

    Hello all!

    I've decided to take the plunge and begin my pursuit of a degree through testing. Thanks to all here for their time and information. I have already learned quite a bit.

    My background: I am finishing up treatment for Inflammatory Breast Cancer. After a year and a half of Chemo my mind is largely mush. I want to use this opportunity to engage my mind and help overcome the effects of 'Chemo brain.'

    After searching the boards and reading many posts, I still have a few questions.

    1. How do people 'walk in' and take tests? Is this common in large cities? I've called the local test centers in my area and they need a week or more in advance notice for a Clep test, and they don't seem to know what a DSST is (they are on the approved list with a test center code.)

    2. I know there is a 6 month waiting period if one fails a clep test. Is the same true for a DSST?

    3. Test centers want the code of the college my cleps are to be sent to. I haven't enrolled anywhere yet...I wanted to wait until I got around 90 credits before I matriculate. I don't have to enroll, do I? I am leaning towards TESC as I started with the free and wonderful FEMA route.

    Based on what I've read here I plan on 'clustering' tests. I've organized them into groups with tests in order that one might build upon the next. A&I literature seems to help with English Literature, and English Literature seems to help with Humanities, for example.

    I am afraid of English Composition W/Essay as I feel I can barely compose a sentence after all the chemo. Forgive me if I am not making much sense; I am slowly getting better :)

    Thank you all for the guidance I have already received. This board truly is a wealth of knowledge.

    Courses I've Completed:

    All About Chemo: A hands on hair off immersive approach to learning that will have you asking, "is bone marrow considered weight loss?"

    Radiation 101: A 7 week program that meets daily in a classroom of one. The instructors provide detailed information from a shielded room.

    Under The Scalpel: A two-part series that will have you asking, "If you didn't find anything, why can't I have my lymph nodes back?"

    Sorry, I just couldn't help myself :) I have completed 29 FEMA courses, and that's about it so far.
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Hi - I'm sorry you've been ill. I hope that the worst is behind you. I'm not the expert on testing that others on the forum are but I thought I'd bump the thread so that it might get some more attention. Good luck
  3. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Some testing centers have paper and pencil tests and have to order the test while other centers are computer-based so no set up is required. I did not enroll at COSC until I had almost 120 credits. When I took the tests I would not fill in any code. When I had all the credits I needed/wanted I just ordered my transcripts like any other school. It ended up costing me about $15.

    The English comp with essay is not that hard. They will ask you a question and you should respond with a 5 paragraph essay – this link should help Practice writing he essays with a bunch of sample questions like, what is your favorite season, what is the most important invention of the 20th century (that was my actual question), or what is the most influencial person of the last decade.

    Hope this helps.
  4. chitchat

    chitchat New Member

    Thank you Kizmet for your warm welcome :)

    Thank you Randell for encouraging and providing me with links for the English Comp. exam. I am still fearful of it, but feel better about the testing process overall.

    I've successfully tested out on three CLEPS since posting at the end of January (feels like a long time to me!)

    American Lit. (69) A&I Lit. (63) English Lit. (67)

    I plan to take Humanities a week from today. It will be the final test in my literature 'cluster' of exams.

    Thank you thus far for all of the encouragement. It gave me that little 'push' I needed to get started.
  5. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist


    Way to go with the CLEPS! Have you considered taking an associates degree along the way to completing your bachelors? I completed an associates through Excelsior, and I have to say that it helped to keep me motivated.

    Anyway, just a word of caution. If you go with TESC or COSC, then the CLEP English Comp w/ Essay exam is fine. However, if you go with Excelsior, keep in mind that they will not accept this exam for meeting the written english requirement. Excelsior has their own (ECE) exam for english comp, or you can complete a "butt in the seat" course. Actually, I ended up going to the TESC building in lovely Trenton, NJ to take the TESC english exam (Excelsior also accepts this exam). :)

    Best of luck!
  6. chitchat

    chitchat New Member

    Good ideas I hadn't given much thought to

    I hadn't really give much thought to alternative tests, Tom. Thanks for the info :)

    I've been so fixated on the fact that the English Comp exam is changing in July (no opportunity to retake in 6 months in current form,) that I've overlooked other options.

    I had been planning my course of action based on a BA in Liberal Studies at TESC, but I am open to other ideas. Especially since I've learned they've changed their requirements (18 upper level credits,) and I'm not sure how to meet them. I thought it better in the end to try to get through as many credits as I can first, and then see what they'll accept and what I'll need from there. It's not a great plan, I know, but I felt I needed to get started.

    I've since 'realized' that I have additional credits that might be thrown into the mix. I have a few BM credits (Philosophy, Physics, Business Law, Intro to Algebra) and a couple certs (MCSE, A+) that may count as credit as well.

    I'd also like to make use of some of my FEMA credits (30 all Ace approved with corresponding course numbers for TESC.) I'm still not sure how many will be used, but I have the BM credits to compliment them now.

    I'm still new into my journey. I began everything January 11th when I took my first FEMA course.

    I began this exercise to try to 'rehabilitate' my mind and minimize the effects Chemo has had on my brain. I completed my last Chemo session Wednesday, and I'll need to start this same sort of process for myself physically once my heart has had a chance to recover a bit (Chemo and Herceptin are hard on one's heart.)

    Knowing I have a backup option for the English Comp exam takes much of the pressure off. Thanks Tom for planting that seed. If I don't pass I know I have other options available to me :)
  7. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    I think your plan of pursuing a BA in Liberal Studies through TESC makes sense, especially if you want to take advantage of those free FEMA courses. I have to say that the english exam that I took through tesc was fairly straight forward and pain free (I took the comp 2 exam). The only catch is that the tesc exams are quite expensive (approx. $450) unless you live in NJ.

    Best of luck to you and I hope you make a speedy recovery.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I'm in awe of you. A&I is supposed to be the easy one. I took that one and aced it, but wouldn't have touched either of the others with someone else's ten foot pole. Way to go!

  9. chitchat

    chitchat New Member

    Ready to graduate

    It's been close to one year since I first posted here. I've had a couple surgeries, finished up my chemo, and took my final DSST yesterday for my BA at TESC. I am filling out the Request for Graduation Form right now.

    Thank you all for your words of encouragement. It really helped give me the push I needed in the beginning.

    To all those out there who are ready to get started, do not delay. There are many here who will help guide you on your journey.
  10. b4cz28

    b4cz28 Active Member

    Holy crap you did it in a year...that's freaking great and I hope your health holds up
  11. emissary

    emissary New Member

    Congratulations! You are absolutely right about this board; many of us would never have even begun our journeys without it. But enough about those guys, right now it's time to celebrate you! When's the party? :fest30:
  12. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Wow. Congratulations!

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