All Distance Learning students take CLEP exams, but not all who take CLEP exams are Distance Learning students.
Not my best, but its been a long week.
I hope you enjoy this interview with Daniel Phillips, the oldest son of long time family friends.
Note, I asked Daniel for a picture of him with his “penpal” (the one he rather cryptically referred to in his interview), but he said he didn’t have her permission. 🙂
Hello, my name is Daniel Phillips (age 23), and I have mastered the art of CLEPing. I graduated from UAB a little over six months ago and am currently working for a regional bank in Birmingham, AL as an equity analyst. My current interests and hobbies largely consist of gmail chatting with someone in Florida (long distance is expensive when you’re on different networks) as well as analyzing equity investment ideas and trading. Let me tell you about CLEPing now.
Have you graduated from college?
Yes, I graduated from UAB in May 2012.
If yes, than with what degree and from what college?
University of Alabama at Birmingham; double majored in Economics and Financial Analysis.
Did/are you earning a degree through Distance Learning?
Which CLEP exams have you taken?
Western Civilization I, English I & II, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Accounting I, Marketing, Management, and Psychology. In addition, I did a similar test called a DANTES for the course Money and Banking.
What was your main reason for taking the CLEP exam instead of the course?
Save time on introductory courses that I could devote to a second major. Also, I did CLEPs to avoid burnout by going through a year of easy, introductory courses.
Which CLEP is your favorite (to date)?
Psychology, I’m very glad I was able to CLEP that one instead of taking it in class. That would have been unpleasant to say the least.
On which CLEP have you scored the highest?
I took all these 4-5 years ago for the most part, so it’s difficult to remember the exact score. Probably Psychology or Marketing…I seem to remember scoring in the upper 70s on those. Those were the ones I really didn’t want take in class. Nearly all the CLEPs are pass or fail though.
Do you have a humorous, bad, or interesting test memory?
Hmmm…not any that I can remember. It’s just you and the computer usually, so things tend to not get too out-of-hand. 😉
What is your favorite resource to use for test prep and study?
Old college textbooks that I would buy for $5-10 dollars off of Half.com or Amazon.com. Those courses don’t change much over the years and neither do the CLEP tests. It’s almost better to have older textbooks.
How many hours a day did/do you typically devote to test prep?
I would typically study a couple weeks for a CLEP, so if I was to just study for that period, maybe 6. It really depended on what was going on. CLEPs would usually fall to the bottom of my priority list until 2 weeks before the test date.
Would you recommend testing out of college classes exams to anyone? Why or why not?
I’d recommend testing out of all the lower level college classes that you can with CLEPs or DANTEs. Even if you have a full scholarship, you really don’t want to sit through those lower level classes. You’ll have to sit through plenty of them as is after doing all those CLEPs and they can really burn you out. Of course, this is assuming that the student is going to a brick-and-mortar school.
How do you plan to implement your degree into your life, after graduation?
I chose a degree that would position me for vocation I was interested in long-term. That happened to be asset and portfolio management. Within the degree, I also selected classes that would form a solid base for graduate level studies as well. Currently, I’m in the process of taking the CFA exams, and so I designed my curriculum by selecting degrees and classes that were included in the core curriculum of the CFA required body of knowledge. I completed the first exam a couple weeks after graduating from UAB. (FYI, The CFA designation is similar to the CPA for Accountants. The CFA program was created as an international set of standards and tests for Portfolio Managers and Analysts in investments. It stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. There’s a little more to it than that, but the above more than satisfies most people’s interest level.)