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 BA in 4 Weeks

Unauthorized reproduction prohibited


Copyright   Lawrie Miller  1997 - 2004




















 I was wondering if you know if it would be possible to obtain a degree in finance or accounting from Excelsior? If so, how would I go about finding the required exams for this (CLEP, DANTES, etc.)? Thanks!





In general, a large proportion of the requirements of any business degree offered by the big three assessment colleges can be fulfilled by following the BA in 4 Weeks business degree plan. It will be necessary to tweak/customize it, of course, to meet the peculiar needs of each institution and the focus of the degree major/specialization. Use the BA in 4 Weeks degree manual as a guiding template and superimpose the preferred specialization upon it. Refer to the appropriate college catalog for direction on detail of this customization.

Absolutely. The Bachelor of Science in Finance (BFI) can be completed almost entirely by exam. I designed a detailed personal degree program in the discipline (1998-1999), reducing the need for non-proficiency-exam based credit down to a single DL course, as I recall. Things change, of course, but likely the info following is better than ballpark.

The B.S. in Finance is offered by Excelsior College School of Business. You would follow through on about 75% to 80% of the exam-based credit plan delineated in the BA in 4 Weeks Business Degree manual, then diverge a tad to include a few TECEP exams and the one approved traditional DL course.

Approved course I’m thinking of meets the 3-credit upper level “Advanced Financial Management” requirement. This was the sticking point where I could find no valid proficiency exam substitute. Bummer.

No DANTES or ECE exam would do, I’m afraid. An acceptable DL course offered by the University of Wisconsin, Independent Learning, as “Business U216-427, Financial Management” definitely would do. So I guess crafting 95% of the degree by testing out, aint bad.

If no longer offered, there may be an acceptable substitute to that course available from UW IL, and certainly Excelsior’s academic advisors will be able to provide guidance to other alternative resources. Extra cost of the Advanced Financial Management course through UW was around $550 (price up now, you can bet). Could be completed in about 4 months. Not online – 3 proctored exams – initial, mid, and final. I did not find anything unusual in the course content nor in the structure of the assessments. If you can handle the DANTES Principles of Finance, and the ECE capstone, “Business Policy and Strategy”, you need not fear anything in this UW 400-level course.

As noted, possible to complete the rest of the degree by examination by judicious use of available targeted TECEP exams, and the rest (the bulk) of the burden borne by the good ol’ mainstays, CLEP, DANTES, and ECE.

Excelsior offers two bachelor degrees in Accounting: the BS in General Accounting (BAG), and the New York State CPA Track BS in Accounting (BAC). As will be clear from the title, the latter offering is designed for those who intend to pursue the vocational CPA designation (NY State variety). These two degrees likely require a substantial traditional DL course component. Have done no due diligence there.

Since I went to some lengths to research, develop, and document an exam-based BS in Finance degree plan, perhaps I’ll include in BA in 4 Weeks: The Book. The BS in Management Information Systems (another Business degree) will certainly be included.











I'm scheduled to take the ECE World Population test on Wednesday. I've read the book by Weeks, but is there any area I should be paying close attention to?







Ensure you understand the meaning of common demographic terms and the differences between terms, such as "birth rate" and "fertility rate", crude birth rate, total fertility rate, etc.


Understand the differences in the population age distributions of developed and underdeveloped nations. Apply common sense - in general  poorer nations – high birth rate - high death rate - pyramid shaped distribution. Rich nations low birth rate - low death rate - longer life spans - population distribution skews top heavy - more old people - bulges in the middle or is like inverted pyramid.


Underdeveloped nations still show marked population growth. Developed nations show little or no population growth, or declining population (exception – USA where immigration and immigrant birth rates high, maintaining population expansion).


Questions about largest populations   -  China, India - projections indicate India overtaking China by 2050.


Limiting factors to population growth - famine, disease (AIDS - particularly its effect in Africa), affluence.


Pay attention to the practice exam content outline.


Reference - use CIA world fact book - available free on the internet.


If you have not already done so, do the ECE practice exam for World Population. There are, if I remember correctly, 25 or so questions. Your score on this mock exam will be a useful proxy for your performance in the actual exam.  The actual exam had, as I remember it, 120 questions, though the exam book suggests there are 160 questions, I don't remember it that way.


A direct link to exam PDF file is available on the main menu of my web site (see bottom of this note) under the heading ECE PRACTICE EXAMS, subheading, "World Population".


Of the 14 CLEP, 10 DANTES, 13 ECE, and 2 GRE exams I passed over the course of two bachelor degrees, the ECE World Population was the easiest. However, one note on pass rates - as I remember it the DANTES statistics for ECE exam pass rates are generally higher than for CLEP or DANTES (DSST) exams. This I think is likely due to the much higher motivation and caliber of the average ECE test candidate, rather than any significant inherent ease in the ECE exams relative to the CLEP or DSST exams.


































Web site copyright © Lawrie Miller 2001-2004