2/26/17 – Sunday Progress Update

 

I’m trying to stretch my free Study.com credits as far as I can, so I plan to continue to focus on “Professional Business Requirement” and Area of Study credits. You can’t beat free business and area of study credits.

I just started Accounting 101: Financial Accounting with Study.com. I’m going to try to get through it as quickly as possible to free up two more free exams as quickly as possible. If I have enough time, I will take one more Straighterline Course and then cancel my Straighterline subscription for the time being.

Here’s where I’m at so far in terms of credits and dollars:

Completed courses

3.0 Digital Marketing & Advertising – Study.com – Free

3.0 English Composition – Straighterline – $79

3.0 College Algebra – ALEKS – $19.95

3.0 Intro to Sociology – Straighterline – $49 + $31.31 Textbook

2.0 Ethics – The Institutes – Free

3.0 American Government – Straighterline – $49 + $109.56 Textbook

3.0 Intro to Religions – Straighterline – $49 + $87.71 Textbook

3.0 Intermediate Algebra – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Trigonometry – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Principles of Management – Saylor – $25

0.0 Beginning Algebra – ALEKS – Free

0.0 Personal Finance – Study.com – Free

3.0 IT Fundamentals – Straighterline – $74

3.0 Principles of Finance – Study.com – Free

Courses in Progress

3.0 Microeconomics – Straighterline – Progress 35%

2.0 Cybersecurity 101 – TEEX – Progress 33%

3.0 Financial Accounting – Study.com – Progress 6%

Additional Subscriptions/Fees – $173

$25 ProctorU Fee

$49 Monthly Straighterline Fee – January

$99 Monthly Straighterline Fee – February

35.0 Credits Complete, 8 Credits in Progress, $746.53 Spent

2/12/17 – Sunday Progress Update

This was a rough week for studying. Due to attrition, a couple people left at work, so I’ve been training two new people, and I’m getting ready to hire two new people. I’m still in the phase of making sure we have the right people in the right seats on the bus, to use Jim Collins’s phrase. That’s meant 6:00am – 6:00pm workdays with no lunch this week and only one working day off YTD.

I’m not saying this looking for sympathy. I want to point out that if I can get my bachelor’s degree in a year or less with this level of work commitment and still manage time for raising a family, travel, and hobbies, there’s almost no excuse why you can’t.

Maybe it’s just me, but Straighterline’s Microeconomics course is far too difficult for my timeline. I’m going to skip it for now, just like ALEKS – Intro to Stats. I’ll come back to it later or find a better source for the credits. This isn’t the absolute cheapest strategy, but I believe it will be the fastest.

Here’s where I’m at so far in terms of credits and dollars:

Completed courses

3.0 Digital Marketing & Advertising – Study.com – Free

3.0 English Composition – Straighterline – $79

3.0 College Algebra – ALEKS – $19.95

3.0 Intro to Sociology – Straighterline – $49 + $31.31 Textbook

2.0 Ethics – The Institutes – Free

3.0 American Government – Straighterline – $49 + $109.56 Textbook

3.0 Intro to Religions – Straighterline – $49 + $87.71 Textbook

3.0 Intermediate Algebra – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Trigonometry – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Principles of Management – Saylor – $25

0.0 Beginning Algebra – ALEKS – Free

0.0 Personal Finance – Study.com – Free

Courses in Progress

3.0 Microeconomics – Straighterline – Progress 35%

2.0 Cybersecurity 101 – TEEX – Progress 33%

3.0 IT Fundamentals – Straighterline – Progress 15%

Additional Subscriptions/Fees – $74

$25 ProctorU Fee

$49 Monthly Straighterline Fee – January

$99 Monthly Straighterline Fee – February

29.0 Credits Complete, 5 Credits in Progress, $672.53 Spent

2/5/17 – Sunday Progress Update

I didn’t make the rapid progress I made earlier on because of all the time it took to research and write papers for English Comp. Luckily, I just submitted my final paper, so I can go right back to flying through other courses. Still, I’m proud of knocking out what equates to the first year of a bachelor’s degree in 36 days. Here’s where I’m at so far in terms of credits and dollars:

Completed courses

3.0 Digital Marketing & Advertising – Study.com – Free

3.0 English Composition – Straighterline – $79

3.0 College Algebra – ALEKS – $19.95

3.0 Intro to Sociology – Straighterline – $49 + $31.31 Textbook

2.0 Ethics – The Institutes – Free

3.0 American Government – Straighterline – $49 + $109.56 Textbook

3.0 Intro to Religions – Straighterline – $49 + $87.71 Textbook

3.0 Intermediate Algebra – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Trigonometry – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Principles of Management – Saylor – $25

0.0 Beginning Algebra – ALEKS – Free

0.0 Personal Finance – Study.com – Free

Courses in Progress

3.0 Microeconomics – Straighterline – Progress 33%

2.0 Cybersecurity 101 – TEEX – Progress 33%

Additional Subscriptions/Fees – $74

$25 ProctorU Fee

$49 Monthly Straighterline Fee – January

29.0 Credits Complete, 5 Credits in Progress, $573.53 Spent

1/9/17 – Straighterline – Intro to Religion

The UCard continues to pay off. I saved another $8.75 on ProctorU scheduling my Intro to Religion final exam with only 50 minutes notice.

I passed the final exam with a 92% giving me a 94% for the entire class.

My first impression of Straighterline was very good compared to Saylor. I like the format, the ebook, and breezed through Intro to Religion (in fairness, this is a topic I know a lot about already).

I signed up for American Government and found another coupon code, albeit a smaller one. $158.56 for the class and ebook for this one. (Not complaining – probably cheaper than even the textbook for a brick and mortar college, also it includes the cost of proctoring the final exam).

More on that and continued progress on TEEX tomorrow.

1/6/17 – ALEKS Intro to Stats FAIL

I studied and studied and took my time and still only managed a 51% on the ALEKS Statistics Assessment. I think at this point I need to pass on this one and come back to it or look to get my stats credits somewhere else. It seems like Saylor will keep asking you the same type of question over and over even if you clearly don’t understand that specific concept. At 51%, my assessment didn’t even ask me questions on over a quarter of the pie. The nature of the test seems harder than it needs to be and not something you would experience in a real classroom setting.

I did some more research and it sounds like a mix of Straighterline and CLEPs will be next in line for me.

I’ve started making a spreadsheet of all the credits I need and where they could/should come from. The weather this weekend is looking like snow with a side of snow, so hopefully I can knock out 6-9 credits by Sunday to be somewhere around 20-23 after my first week. Wish me luck!

 

1/5/17 – Intro to Statistics

Riding a wave of confidence I decided to go straight into Introduction to Statistics on ALEKS without studying to round out my math credits. I’ve never taken a statistics course. The initial assessment felt so easy and I felt like I crushed it.

I scored a 27% percent. Sounds like I’ll need to do some extensive studying and take another crack at it.

Also, I started Introduction to Financial Accounting at Saylor. I took the practice exam and scored a 58%. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the course material for the Saylor courses is very scattered and too exhaustive.

I hear people like Straighterline, CLEP and DSSTs better. I’m more interested in getting my degree quickly than for a rock-bottom price, so I may consider switching where I’m getting the credits from. Anyone have any first-hand advice on this?

1/3/17 – Saylor, ProctorU, and Principles of Management

So my plan was to take another ALEKS assessment, but the other two are still showing “Pending Organization Review” in ACE. I decided to hold off from taking another assessment until those are showing complete.

In the meantime, I decided to take an exam through Saylor Academy. They offer all of their content for free, the only thing you need to pay for is to have an exam proctored for credit. ($25 per exam)

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Since I’m currently in management, I decided to go for Principles of Management. The reading for this class is so voluminous I can’t imagine how long it would take someone to read it all. If it wasn’t on a topic I was already comfortable with, I’m not sure I would have gone forward with it, and might have selected another exam.

To prepare, I took the quizzes at the end of each section, took the practice exam (72%) and then decided to take the proctored exam right away while it was fresh in my mind.

To take the proctored exam, you need to go to ProctorU. Again, I was able to sign up in a few minutes on my phone, but it might be easier from a desktop or laptop.

screen-shot-2017-01-02-at-9-32-50-pm

I splurged for the additional $25 “fast track” since I plan to take a bunch of exams there and have a very busy schedule. I created a “Ucard” in a few minutes to make life easier and scheduled my exam for 8:30pm. I was done by 9:10pm. I would say that I nailed the theory of the content, but didn’t know some of the management pioneers by name as well as some of the acronyms.

I scored a 71%. Made it, barely, but 3 more credits down for $50 and maybe 3-4 hours. Hopefully more ALEKS tomorrow.