OOver the past few years, a new player has emerged on the scene for students utilizing alternative college credit sources: Study.com.
I remember first hearing about Study.com from a friend in late 2017 and being highly skeptical that it was legitimate. “Dot com? Is this real college credit?
It’s hard to tell sometimes, isn’t it?
The good news is: it is legitimate. I took eight courses for 24 credits through Study.com, and every credit did transfer to Thomas Edison State University towards my bachelor’s degree. I took a few courses toward lower-level general education classes, one for an upper-level writing class, several for elective credits, and I had no issues with any of the transfers.
My experience was smooth and several universities have solid partnerships in place with Study.com. However, if you don’t see a posted Study.com policy on your school website, you may want to contact your advisor about it prior to enrolling in Study.com courses. It’s never fun to take courses and later find out they won’t count towards your degree, so I always recommend communicating with your school as much as possible to alleviate later stress. With that said, Study.com courses are accredited by ACE and NCCRS (the same accreditations as CLEP and DSST exams), so the chances of successful credit transfers are promising!
So what is it like…?
If you can take CLEP exams, you can handle Study.com. No worries.
Study.com units are broken down into lessons. Each lesson has a short video, with notes highlighting key points for visual learners below the video. You can watch the videos as many times as you’d like; if you’re breezing through, there’s also the option to watch the videos on double speed.
After each video lesson, there is a quiz—typically five, occasionally six questions long—which you must score 80% on to pass. You can rewatch the lesson video and retry the quiz as many times as you need to in order to score 80% on the quiz.
Assignments vary some from course to course. Some courses will require papers to be submitted; a friend of mine took the public speaking course and had to submit three videos of herself giving speeches. Many courses have no required assignments! They do grade your assignments, but they have always been more than generous in grading my friends and I.
After all lesson videos, quizzes, and assignments, every course concludes in a proctored, closed-book, 100-question final exam. This is actually a huge plus, as you don’t have to deal with finding a testing center (or temporarily closed testing centers due to pandemic)—all you need is a quiet, empty room.
My friends and I agree that videos and quizzes are more than sufficient preparation for the final exams, and have never taken up additional studying. The final exam questions are usually very similar to those you’ve covered in all of the quizzes. Study.com is an all-in-one resource.
Your final course grade is made up of quiz scores, assignment grades, and your final exam grade, on a weighted scale. This score will determine if you earn credit, as there is a minimum “pass” score for all courses. Your course grade will transfer to your university, however, just like a CLEP exam—as a “pass” or “credit”—and will not affect your GPA.
Aside from the previously mentioned at-home testing perk, Study.com also does an excellent job of tracking student progress. In related subject areas, many lesson videos/quizzes overlap, such as you might expect for courses on world history and American history. However, because they track progress so well, if you have already passed the same lesson/quiz in another course, it will already be marked as “passed”, and you won’t have to retake it in the new course!
Study.com is also very economically efficient. The standard price for earning college credits is $200/month. This fee includes two final exams. Each course is three credits, so that is six credits for $200 in a single month. Even though it may be a little higher than what most of us are spending on CLEP prep these days, it is still so efficient to be able to knock out two courses in a single month.
If you’re exceptionally fast, you can take up to 5 Study.com courses in a single month—you just have to pay an additional $70 fee for every exam over two!
Study.com may be a new player on the field of alternative college credit options, but it is far from an underdog. With simple lesson/quiz formats, all-inclusive content with no additional studying required, and a highly efficient method to completing up to five college courses in a single month, it may just be worth a try.
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