Nursing Student Uses Free Course to Test Out of Prerequisites

How Claire Found the CLEP Exam

Claire Steiner already has a degree from Penn State University, but she decided to make a change and pursue a second bachelor's in nursing. She was completing some prerequisites at her local community college, but also needed psychology as a prerequisite course. She said, 'I took psychology in high school, my senior year, but (that was) five years ago. I remember a little bit about Freud and Piaget but really nothing else.' So, she felt she needed more knowledge in the subject in order to prepare for the CLEP.

Claire Steiner Photo

In addition to returning to college to study nursing, Claire is a private in-home French tutor. She was looking for something to help make studying for the CLEP easier and less time consuming. She did some searching and eventually came upon the EPA videos. She seemed to find just what she was looking for.

How Claire Found

She stated, 'I actually liked that there was no log in and you can just watch the videos because most sites now days have a log in function, and they can get really complicated. I have to click through so many things every time when, really, I just wanted to log on and watch the videos in the limited time that I had to prepare for the exam. It's just nice to go to the site and watch the video.'

In addition to using the EPA videos, Claire said, 'I got the official CLEP book, but there really isn't that much information in it. There's just a practice test and a list of the topics. I started by using that, but it was really difficult. I didn't do well on the first practice exam that I took.'

When Claire found the EPA videos on YouTube, she watched a few there before heading to the EPA website. When describing her experience on EPA versus the traditional classroom experience, Claire said, 'I like being able to work at my own pace. That was something that I really enjoyed and being able to go back and review the material as many times as I wanted. I'm a very visual learner and so seeing it in a video was more helpful.'

Claire's CLEP Experience

Here's how Claire describes her feelings when she went in to take her exam: 'I thought that I could pass but that I would just barely pass. I had already had the exam scheduled, so I figured I'd take it, and if I didn't pass, I could take it again.'

The whole morning before I took the test I re-watched videos and read over my notes. Then I went in, and I kept a tally of all the questions that I was unsure of. There were questions that were just worded differently than the instructor had worded them in the videos, a little bit more vague and broad definitions of diseases as opposed to 'this disease does this'. However, when I clicked on the report score button, I thought, 'oh, I totally aced it.'

So, What's Next for Claire?

Claire accomplished her goal of completing and passing the psychology CLEP exam, but we were curious about what she really thought of the videos. We asked her if she had any suggestions about how to improve the lessons or courses. She replied, 'I think the reason that I was so nervous about taking the class was I just wasn't familiar with the format, and I just didn't really know what I was going into. Putting some practice tests online would be really helpful or some links to free online practice exams.' She also suggested adding games to each lesson to help students study. (Editor's note: Stay tuned, Claire, some of those features are on their way!)

Considering Claire's experience, what were her final thoughts on the 'It was great. It was such a great tool to have. I wish there was one for sociology too to make studying for that CLEP exam easier.'

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