Business Degree

































































































































































































































































































BA in 4 Weeks

Unauthorized reproduction prohibited


Copyright  © Lawrie Miller  1997 - 2004 









This manual is specifically tailored to earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Excelsior College, Albany, NY.  Excelsior college is a  regionally accredited institution. Regional accreditation is the gold standard of higher education institution legitimacy in the United States.


Excelsior College has not endorsed in any way, any information or advice contained in these web pages. The views expressed are those of the author alone. Readers are urged to review the disclaimer and copyright notices accompanying this work.















This week you are going to take the following exams:



·  CLEP Humanities

·  CLEP Natural Sciences

·  CLEP Social Sciences and History



·  ECE English Composition 

·  CLEP College Algebra



·  ECE Ethics Theory and practice

·  ECE Statistics




There are three CLEP general exams applicable to thisdegree. Each is worth 6 semester hours credit. Each is 90 minutes in length, split into two 45 minute sections. Successful completion of the three exams along with English Composition, College Algebra, Statistics, and Ethics, will fulfill freshman year requirements at Excelsior College.



The three CLEP General exams can be completed in one day of testing. The exams are:

·  CLEP Humanities

·  CLEP Natural Sciences

·  CLEP Social Sciences and History


These are general exams and as such cover a very wide area of, for want of a better term, "general knowledge".I do not know that your chances of passing these exams would be significantly improved by any sort of cramming, precisely because the tests are so wide ranging.


I think the best strategy is to try the mock exams and use the results to guide your study efforts. The shallowness of the tests mean that much of the knowledge deficit exposed by the mock exams may be filled by quick reference to  information on the world wide web via a search engine like Google.


The remaining four exams con be completed over the following two days of testing. They are:


·  ECE English Composition

·  CLEP College Algebra

·  ECE Ethics: Theory and Practice

·  ECE Statistics


·  ECE English Composition (3)

·  CLEP College Algebra (3)



The ECE English Composition exam is three hours in  length and consists of three one-hour essays. As I remember it, essays are a "contrast and compare", an advocacy letter/report, and an article critique. There is no "English interpretation" section in the ECE exam.


For the ECE English Composition exam, you might want to consider purchasing Excelsior College's proprietary English exam package. Certainly, you must download and study the mock exam PDF file, available free from the Excelsior web site.


CLEP College Algebra is the simplest math exam allowable that will meet the Business degree math requirement, and that's is why we've chosen it. The Exam consists of 70 questions in 90 minutes split into two 45 minute sections. I comprises questions covering factoring, powers, roots linear equations, inequalitiesquadratic equations, exponential and log functions, graphs. If you'd prefer to attempt something a little more complex, please feel free to do so. The are two other CLEP exams that will meet Business degree math requirements: College Algebra and Trigonometry;  Calculus and Elementary Functions. The CLEP College Algebra, I  believe to be the easiest of the three.



·  ECE Ethics Theory and practice (3)

·  ECE Statistics (3)



ECE Ethics Theory and Practice is a three hour exam. Expect to complete it in about two hours or less. It will be one of the more time consuming ECE exams to wrap up. Not because it is difficult but rather that the scenario questions can take a while to read and digest. As with all ECE objective exams, when you have reviewed your answers and indicate you're happy, your score and grade will appear on the screen. That's a buzz: immediate gratification. Download the free practice exam from the Excelsior College web site, and buy the Harper Collins primer, "Ethics". There is also an Excelsior official study guide for this exam, if you feel need of it.


ECE Statistics exam is three hours in length. There are 100 multiple choice questions on *basic* statistical methods. Questions on  regression and correlation, distributions, sampling methods,  estimation  and hypothesis testing. There is an Excelsior official study guide for this exam, if you feel you need the help. Otherwise, download the free practice exam, and if necessary, use any general purpose elementary statistics primer.






First off , get hold of the "CLEP official study guide" from The College Board. You can buy this at many bookstores, from on the Web, or it can be ordered from College Board Publications at 1-800-323-7155. This book has sample questions covering all CLEP general and subject exams. The questions in this book mirror those you will encounter in the exams in degree of difficulty and in focus. Alas, most of the other guides do not.


However, as in the case of the GRE subject exams, there is one exception. The Princeton Review "Cracking the CLEP". This  book covers all five general examinations with a full  complement of questions for each. There are detailed notes in the answer section. Most importantly, the difficulty and scope of the tests match (pretty nearly) the genuine article. You will need this book for the three GENERAL exams, Humanities, Natural Science, and Social Science/History, required for this degree program.


The REA offering only serves to mislead. The questions do not match the difficulty level found in the actual CLEP exams. As with some of their GRE guides, the questions are a higher order of difficulty than those found in the CLEP exams proper. This is not simply a matter of opinion. I have old score sheets of the mock tests taken within a day or so of each other using the REA tests, the Princeton tests, and the results of the actual exams. Where REA predicted 50%ile (a fail or a bare pass) in Humanities, Princeton indicated 93%ile; actual was 89%ile. REA prediction for Social Science/History 62%ile, Princeton 99%ile, actual 99%ile; Natural Sciences REA 68%ile, Princeton 99%ile, actual 96% and the pattern continues for all the other exams taken. These are empirical data. The results speak volumes about the relative utility of the guides.


Note that you don't have to score high in absolute terms to do well in percentile or scaled-score terms in these exams. For instance, a raw score of 50 out of 120 will get you a pass in the Natural Science exam (=500 scaled). That's under 42%. So don't  fear that a pass is unattainable, it is likely comfortably within your reach. Remember that the passing scores in these exams are meant to reflect the average performance of a freshman student 18 years old. Cannot speak for others, but at 18 my main interests and goals in life were sex, booze and getting into show business. You bring many advantages of experience, maturity and focus to the fray. You have managed to hold down a responsible job and perhaps have raised or are raising a family. Most freshman can't keep their room clean!


Get the Official CLEP Guide and the Princeton Review. Try out the mock exams. If you're scoring greater than 500 scaled score, sit the exams without further ado. Remember, a pass at 500 yields exactly the same credit as a pass at 800. There are no grades attached to the general exams. In the unlikely event you do fail, you can resit the exam and suppress the failure..... no one will know, or care.


Note that the passing score at Excelsior College is 420 for the CLEP general exams. At TESC, I believe the passing score is 500. At COSC, 500 and 470.


The exam guide for ECE English Composition can be found at



Note that with the move to computer based testing (CBT) in the U.S., the standard score ranges for the CLEP general exams has been changed from 200-800 to 20-80. Passing scores at Excelsior College are now 50 for the CLEP general exams. At TESC, the  paper test passing standard score for the generals was 500. At COSC, 500 and 470. The pass requirements at these institutions under the new scoring system is 50.


CLEP Humanities (6)
CLEP Natural Sciences (6)
CLEP Social Sciences and History (6)
ECE English Composition (6)
CLEP College Algebra (3)
ECE Ethics Theory and practice (3)
ECE Statistics (3)

CLEP Official Study Guide, The College Board - $20
Cracking the CLEP, Princeton Review - $20
The Best Test preparation for the CLEP, REA - $20
Course Guide for English Composition, Excelsior College - $25
Course Guide for Ethics: Theory and Practice, Excelsior College - $25
Course Guide for Statistics, Excelsior College - $25


Website  © Lawrie Miller 2001-2004