It’s the first day of the new year and I want to complete my degree as quickly and inexpensively as possible. To accomplish this, I plan to take as many credit-granting tests as possible. Since I’m not enrolled at a college yet, I need a place to “store” all those credits – a transcript.

Luckily, the American Council on Education “ACE” does just this. I registered at the ACE CREDIT website in about five minutes on my phone, although I would recommend doing it on a desktop or laptop. I plan to use this system to keep track of many of my completed tests. Later on, for a small fee, they’ll send my transcript to the university I plan to graduate from.

Now, I’m not one to wait to take action, so I wanted to take a test right away to get started and prove that I can do this. I went over to Aleks.com and got signed up to knock out some math requirements. You pay a $19.95/month monthly fee but can take as many assessments as you want. To receive ACE credit, you need to manage a 70% or greater on each course. Here are more detailed instructions.

Once registered, you assign yourself to a class and take an initial assessment to see how much you know and how much you need to learn. If you get 70% or greater on this initial assessment, you’re done! You can go right to ACE and request credit for the course.

My goal is to knock out all the math-related assessments I can get credit for in the first 30 days then cancel my subscription.

In high school, I made it all the way through Calculus, but it’s still been about 15 years since I’ve taken any algebra. I brushed up quickly using a couple of online resources (which I’ll talk about more later) and managed an 83% on Beginning Algebra and 72% on Intermediate Algebra.

Bam, done. A couple hours factoring equations, calculating slopes of lines and distributing exponents and two tests are done. 6 credits. (Based on the major I’m planning, I probably won’t be able to use Beginning Algebra, but that doesn’t mean you can’t – more on that later.)