5 Alternative College Credit Options That Can Fast-Track Your Degree

Years ago, the only way you could earn college credit was by sitting in a classroom for a set number of hours each week, carting around a stack of heavy textbooks as you shuffled from room to room, building to building or, even worse, campus to campus. In the cold. In the rain. No excuses.

Since then, a lot has changed.

Instead, your textbooks can be carried on a sleek and slim tablet while the hours you spend “in class” are entirely at your discretion. And your learning can happen anywhere, whether your classroom today is your dining room or some exotic locale.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment, Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

Speak a Foreign Language? These 6 Exam Programs Can Help You Earn College Credit for It

According to the Ethnologue, the official catalogue of world languages, there are currently an estimated 7,099 living languages worldwide. How many can you speak?

Whether you know a second language or you’re the world’s greatest living linguist (the world record is 42), studies have shown that knowing another language provides many rewards in the form of increased cognitive capacity and broadened knowledge, let alone the ability to bridge social barriers.

It also gives you the ability to earn college credit. Depending on your linguistic skill level, there are a variety of exams that allow you to earn credit toward your degree by testing your foreign language proficiency. Some of these credit-by-exam programs focus on the oral/speaking aspects of a language, while others test your writing, translating and listening abilities. In fact, if you already speak another language fluently, a single exam can earn you upwards of 12 credits!

Topics: Credit by Exam

7 Ways to Earn College Credit That Don’t Include Traditional Online Courses

Did you know that in just last year alone, TESU students received 273,753 credits toward their degrees that didn’t involve a single traditional online course?

That’s more than enough credits for a lifetime, for 1,000 lifetimes. Suddenly, fulfilling 120 credits for a bachelor's degree seems doable.

The truth is, almost 85 percent of the TESU student body is 25 or older, and so it makes sense that you may have acquired college-level knowledge outside of the classroom that might be worth college credit.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment, Transfer Credit, Credit by Exam

The Ultimate TESU Glossary: 97 Common Terms Explained for Students

Have you ever been confused by a term used at the University? Whether you are finishing your degree or coming to college for the first time, it may feel overwhelming when you don’t understand what is being communicated. After all, terms that may mean one thing at your first college may mean something different at Thomas Edison. 

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment, Online Tools and Resources, Taking Courses, Transfer Credit, Credit by Exam, Going Back to College, Mentors, Areas of Study and Degree Programs, Advising, Scholarships and Financial Aid, Applying

Beginner’s Guide: 6 Essential Ways to Transfer College Credits

If you could finish your degree in half the time – without sacrificing work and family commitments - would you be interested?  

The secret? Transferring in previously earned college credit, which can help you finish your degree on time, or even earlier than expected.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment, Transfer Credit, Credit by Exam

How to Answer Multiple-Choice Questions: What Exam Creators Wish You Knew

Picture a writer of multiple-choice exam questions. Who do you see? Someone who cackles with glee when she comes up with a really tricky question? Or maybe Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, muttering “Eeeexcellent” when he sees a question that has no answer?

You’ll be relieved to know that these are not the people who create your course exams. In fact, trick questions can ruin the day of an exam developer; we loathe trick questions and avoid them at all costs. This means that we avoid questions with double negatives, ambiguous meanings, no clear answer, two correct answers when there should be one, overlapping answers and many other problems.

Topics: Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

The Anatomy of a Course Exam: How a Test Becomes a Test


If it hasn’t happened already, then at some point it will: you’ll come face-to-face with a midterm or final exam.

Hopefully, you worked hard to prepare, learning the material inside and out, up and down. Then, once you take the test, you most likely breathe a sigh of relief and move on.

Exams are a fundamental part of college in general. But the University’s process for developing exams is probably different from what you experienced in other college courses. When all is said and done, exam development is not a simple process. Each day, you can find a team of people hard at work behind the scenes, dedicated to ensuring that every exam is fair and carefully developed.

Here’s what goes into the course exam you just took.

Topics: Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

What to Really Expect on Your First Online Course Exam or TECEP®

computer mouse on exam answer sheet
Taking an online exam can be intimidating. If you went to high school or college in the 90s — like me — you took tests on paper, either filling in bubbles or trying to fill up a blue book. At Thomas Edison State University, though, your course and TECEP® exams are primarily taken online. So, after you’ve studied, gathered your pen and scrap paper (and whatever else your syllabus or test description allows) and logged into the online proctoring service, you might be unfamiliar with this new testing experience. To help you get accustomed to your new assessment space, here’s what you can expect during an online exam that differs from the little blue book or bubbles you remember.

Topics: Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

3 Things Taking a Course Exam Reveals About You

man wearing cape and holding a laptop

No one enjoys taking exams. Why would we? Exams are stressful, they’re time-consuming, they can be really hard and they might have a big effect on a final grade. Sometimes, when we’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to see the benefit of taking exams.

However, succeeding on a course exam demonstrates your strong skills and abilities. So when you do well on a test, be proud. You’ve accomplished a major achievement. Next time you’re studying or logging in to take your exam, try to ignore the anxiety and remember: you can do this.

Topics: Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

5 Quick Facts You Didn't Know About Taking TECEP® Exams Online


Most students are aware that successfully passing a TECEP® exam® exam offers college credit without taking a single course, especially those who want to earn credit faster. But many students are often worried that they lack the specific subject knowledge or test-taking skills necessary to succeed and do not take advantage of these exams - even when they do possess the critical knowledge and experience to successfully pass and earn credit.

Topics: Credit by Exam