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A Homeschooled Student’s Guide to CLEP Tests – PART 2

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A Homeschooled Student's Guide to CLEP Tests PART 2This guest post by Madison Hughes, homeschool graduate and college senior, is part 2 of a 4-part series on CLEP tests for homeschooled students.  See PART 1 of A Homeschooled Student’s Guide to CLEP Tests here, and be sure to check back for parts 3 and 4!

The popularity of CLEP tests is currently on the rise, and you may have heard about them from friends or acquaintances as a way to earn college credit.  Homeschoolers especially can take advantage of this easy method of acquiring college credit.  This 4-part series will guide you through learning about and choosing a CLEP test, studying for and taking a CLEP test, and transferring CLEP credit to a college.  In part 1, we explained what exactly a CLEP exam is and how to determine if it is right for you or your student.  In part 2, we will discuss how to consider your options and choose a CLEP exam.

Need-to-know before choosing a CLEP test

  • Almost all colleges accept some form of CLEP credit.  However, many colleges place restrictions on the type and/or amount of CLEP credit that students are allowed to transfer.
  • Before purchasing study materials, you should check with your college on which CLEP tests they accept, what test scores they require for credit, and how many total CLEP hours you can transfer.  If your college only accepts a limited number of hours, this may affect your decision on what CLEPs to take and what courses to take as physical or online classes.
  • If you cannot find this information on your college’s website, you should call the registrar’s office, which handles transcripts, enrollment, and questions about classes and credit.

Selecting a CLEP test

  • Before deciding which CLEP exam to take, as mentioned above, make sure your college accepts this particular class as CLEP credit.  Some colleges only accept a few CLEP tests, and it may make a difference whether the class is part of the general education portion of your degree or whether it is required by your major.
  • Also double check the scores required for passing – some colleges impose higher standards than CLEP’s standard score of 50 out of 80.

After this, you should ask yourself why you are taking this CLEP test.  Are you hoping to avoid taking a particular subject, such as a physical class?  Do you want to be able to either get an easy course knocked out quickly or take more time on a difficult one?  Are you using this course as both high school and college credit?  These questions should help you narrow down which tests you may want to take.

Keep in mind that available CLEP study guides are mostly undirected except for a few practice tests in the back.  This means that if your student lacks the ability to self-direct, or if they struggle on a particular subject, they may need to take that subject as a physical class whether in high school or in college.  One of the easiest CLEP tests to start with is the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature exam, which doesn’t require much preparation if the student is already a good reader.  However, not all schools or majors require this course, so double check before spending time and money to get a useless 3 hours of college credit.

After choosing your CLEP exam you will need to get materials, study for the test, and finally determine whether you are ready to take it.  We will discuss this in part 3, so be sure to check back!

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My Whole30 Experience

My 20 year old daughter, Madison, bamboozled me into doing Whole30 with her.

Basically it is a very strict diet that is to be maintained for 30 consecutive days. The point of it is to develop an understanding of how many things we eat without thinking about what the ingredients are, while doing a sort of “junk food cleanse.”

Whole30 sugar detox

Since I am not one to turn down a challenge, I took my daughter up on it and immediately regretted it! It turns out I am a junk food junkie! Plus, I love me some Dr. Pepper, and that is strictly forbidden. Did I mention it lasts for 30 DAYS???

Here are a few of the things not allowed on the Whole30 plan:

  • Sugar
  • Artificial sweetener
  • Honey
  • Rice
  • Grains
  • Corn
  • Legumes
  • Peanuts
  • Dairy products

The first couple of weeks, I was miserable. I had a headache. I was cranky. I was tired all the time. I missed my sugar fix!

Whole30 breakfast

(Whole30 Breakfast)

Then something happened around Day 18. I got the “tiger blood!” It turns out it’s a real thing! That day, I came home from CrossFit, scrubbed the toilet and the bathtub, then taped off the dining room so I could begin painting it later in the day. This was in stark contrast from the 17 days before when I just wanted to crawl under the covers and sleep the day away!

Whole30 dinner

(Whole30 Dinner)

That’s when I started thinking there might be something to this healthy eating thing. I really have felt more energy than I have had in years!

Whole30 shopping cart

(Whole30 Shopping Cart)

My shopping habits have changed. My eating habits have changed. I have been changed.

I am now down to the very LAST day of my Whole30 challenge, and I have DONE IT! I only accidentally licked my finger once when I was serving ice cream to my children, and I immediately rinsed my mouth out. I have to say that even though it has been inconvenient at times, (especially when eating out or at friends’ houses) and I hated it at first, I’m glad I did it. Here are a few reasons why:

  • I proved to myself that I have the self control to do a hard thing.
  • I showed my children what it looks like to deny self and do a hard thing.
  • I now know I don’t need sugar to get energy.
  • I have increased energy!
  • I have noticed regular digestive function.
  • I no longer have stomach upset every morning from my morning coffee with flavored creamer, plus brown sugar.
  • I have expanded my recipe rotation to include whole foods, without artificial ingredients.
  • My friends cheered my on with recipe suggestions and tips.
  • I enjoyed participating with my daughter to cheer me on.

Have you ever tried Whole30? Do you think you could do it?

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