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#1 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Do universities let you test out of classes?

Posted 24 June 2013 - 03:27 PM

Hey guys,

I'm going to be studying computer science this fall, and I just completed the university-wide math placement tests. As my reward for doing well, I get to jump right into an intro to computer programming class in C++ or Java. Yay. But not really. My question is: do colleges normally allow students to test out of classes? I don't want to pay $800 or something for a class that I won't even attend. And I don't want my first CS class to make me feel that I don't have to put in any effort to excel.

Anyone know anything about this, or have advice on what to do in this situation?

Thanks

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Replies To: Do universities let you test out of classes?

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do universities let you test out of classes?

Posted 24 June 2013 - 03:32 PM

Many universities let you test to see if you can skip a given class if you already know the material. However, they usually only allow you to do this for entry level courses. So for instance if I was entering a computer science program and first semester they had an "Introduction to computer programming" they would let me take a test to see if I know enough to just go ahead and skip that class and receive credit for it instead of sitting through it bored out of my mind.

Now they don't usually let you do that for other more advanced classes because even if you know the material they want to make sure that you know the exact material they have taught you because they will often "build on that" teaching in more advanced classes.

I hope that is what you were asking. :)

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 24 June 2013 - 03:33 PM

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#3 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Do universities let you test out of classes?

Posted 24 June 2013 - 04:01 PM

I've done this. I got out of my Data Structures I class successfully. I tried to test out of the Discrete Math class, which turned out to be a proof training class instead of a survey class. I also took the CLEP test for English to get out of that.

To answer your question, it depends on the college. With CS classes, it's generally at the lower levels only. The math department at my school will let you attempt a credit by exam only a single time per class. College-wide, only 12 credits of CBE can count towards the degree.

Certainly I can imagine you'd want to punt intro to Java, and perhaps even data structures I. A lot of these classes though are good transition classes and GPA boosters. Be careful about jumping into 3000-4000 level classes right off the bat. Even if you are fairly comfortable with the material, the workload and intensity is different from what you've had thusfar. 1000-2000 level classes are great for GPA boosters early on, especially if you're in the college of engineering or other technical fields.

Hope this helps!
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#4 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do universities let you test out of classes?

Posted 24 June 2013 - 04:44 PM

I don't know much about data structures, formally, so I think I will try to skip only the very basics for the time being. Thanks for the advice.
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#5 Apokio  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do universities let you test out of classes?

Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:36 AM

My school didn't tell me about testing out of courses until my very last course when I tested out of Statistics. I had to take the CLEP test for it and when searching for some info on the test I found that there is a large community of people who get most of, if not all of, their college degrees just by taking tests. Granted most Universities will not let you test out of all your courses. There are a few schools out there that will let you pay a fee to get credit by test for all your classes.
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do universities let you test out of classes?

Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:50 AM

View PostAVReidy, on 24 June 2013 - 05:27 PM, said:

Anyone know anything about this, or have advice on what to do in this situation?


There are three people you should talk to: your academic advisor, the course instructor, and the department head. I'd start with the course instructor. They'll have the best idea of whether you're really in a position to skip the class, and if they say you should, then your advisor and the department head will probably defer to their judgement. If they think you should take the class, then you should be alive to the possibility they might be right - there might well be something to learn from it - and you might ask if you can do anything to take advantage of your advanced status, for example helping out with the class in some way. For example, if you're willing to help out with a discussion section or coach struggling students, you'll probably find this doesn't hurt your standing in the department at all. And as you know from your time here, it'll help you get even better with the material, so no loss there.

EDIT: and if you end up just stuck in a boring class, you can always prep for future classes:

http://www.dreaminco...im-roughgarden/


:)

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 25 June 2013 - 07:51 AM

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#7 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do universities let you test out of classes?

Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:44 AM

The university I went to allowed you to test out of course for a fee-- usually around $50.

saved me thousands..
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#8 FusionNinja  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do universities let you test out of classes?

Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:29 PM

It depends on the university. I know I personally was allowed to take any level during college, as long as I got approval from the chair. During my college education, I was essentially forced to take the 100 levels and after ripping through them, my adviser gave me free reign. I essentially went opposite in my education. I started with the hard stuff sophomore year, then junior year took the easier stuff with capstone during senior year.
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#9 robrich22  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do universities let you test out of classes?

Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:49 PM

Another thing to look into is ask your university if they grant credit for certifications. I didn't realize it but my university gives credit for Comptia and Microsoft certifications. I took a ton of classes that I didn't need to take.
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