I “tested out” of college. I “went” to Excelsior College in New York and I graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts; my GPA was 3.7.
The best books for non-traditional education are: Accelerated Distance Learning: The New Way to Earn Your College Degree in the Twenty-First Century by Brad Voeller, Bear’s Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning and Bear’s Guide to College Degrees by Mail & Internet by John Bear, PhD & Mariah Bear, MA. It is possible to get an accredited Bachelors, Masters, or PhD non-traditionally for a fraction of the “brick-and-mortar” cost. So gather up all your old high school and college transcripts, licenses, certifications, military records, any training you have done on the job, any documentable information from life events, and get started. Anybody from 18 to 118 can do this!
Best Distance Schools:
http://www.excelsior.edu Now has life experience credit.
http://www.cosc.edu Still awards credit for GRE Subject tests.
http://www.tesc.edu Life experience credit.
Best Tests (there are others):
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/clep/about.html CLEP: 3, 6, or 12 credits in a sitting, all lower level. $77 + proctoring fee.
http://www.getcollegecredit.com DSST: All are 3 upper or lower level credits. $80 + proctoring fee.
http://www.excelsior.edu ECE: Upper and some lower level credits, now have many online classes as well. $275 or $95.
This is how I started testing: Get a copy of CLEP by Barrons. Circle all the right answers using a medium pen. Read only the question and right answer, do one test at a time: Humanities, Social Science/History, Natural Science, and College Math (this one may take some actual study). Excelsior will award 24 semester credits for these 4 tests. Then start taking the individual CLEP and DANTES (DSST) tests: Use InstantCert and read 1 or 2 books in 2 to 4 weeks (or sooner!!) and take a test. There are over 50 to choose from. The discussion boards on InstantCert are invaluable for non-traditional education.
http://www.instantcert.com $20/mo CLEP, DSST, and ECE “flash-card” test help and a discussion board with people who have taken these tests!
http://www.free-clep-prep.com/clep-difficulty-list.html Difficulty comparison of the tests as well as study resources.
http://www.degreeforum.net/off-topic/15669-free-mit-classes-2.html Free schooling.
http://www.123collegedegree.com great overview!
http://www.rea.com books for individual test subjects.
http://www.thegreatcourses.com/ Lectures from the best professors on tape/CD/DVD; wait for frequent sales!! Buy these used at ½ Price or from Amazon. Amazing…really amazing.
http://bain4weeks.com explains the gist of all of this stuff.
http://www.scholar.google.com best for looking up academic papers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page the online encyclopedia is much better than it used to be.
http://www.textbooks.com is my newest find and you can rent textbooks there!
I also use Encyclopaedia Britannica: Ultimate Reference Suite DVD
ANY questions, just ask!