Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Looking to Speed Up Your Degree Completion?

NOVA students come to college with a wide variety of skills, knowledge, and information. Often they want to know how to apply their life and work experience to earn college credits.

Check out what one of our students has done to accelerate her course completion.

Christie Pilkington is a current ELI student who recently completed her Small Business Management Certificate and has decided to continue with the Business Administration degree. One of the courses required for her program (and pretty much all programs at NOVA) is ENG 111. After finding out the course objectives, she decided that she would try a CLEP (College-Level Exam Program) test.

Christie purchased a CLEP study guide for English and prepared for her exam. Once she felt ready, she registered to take the exam at the Alexandria Campus Continuing Education Department, and for less than $150, she earned credit for ENG 111. Congrats, Christie!

CLEP exams are offered in many general education subjects (like history, foreign language, math, science, etc.), and study guides can be purchased from the CLEP website to help you prepare.

Learn more here about CLEP exam dates and times. Please contact a NOVA counselor to discuss CLEP exam options and transfer considerations. For those of you that have taken CLEP exams, please share your experiences with us.

We’ll share more ways to accelerate your degree at NOVA in future ELIfe postings!


  1. I have more of question then a comment. It's been six years since the last time I enrolled at NOVA. I had to take another English placement test as a non native speaker to be able to enroll again. I did not complete my reading and writing composition classes successfully back in 1996. I scored pretty well this time around and I was placed in the last level (5). I feel (almost) confident that I could take the English 111. I was told that I could register for the reading and writing classes and the instructor may be able to make a decision based on an assestment to consider sending me to ENG 111 or I would also be allow to take the English placement as a native speaker. Now, if I do take the placement there's a chance that I'm assign to take composition class, but at for the 'regular' English class.

    What really worries me is the cost of taking a total of 10 credits (around $1050)composition classes as suppose to the ENG 111 class(around $315). It's a big difference. The time that I would have to spend to get to the regular class is not so much of a concern, but it's the money part that worries me. I'm no longer a young high school graduate nor have the flexibility to spend that much money on classes that it's not the class that I need, but the classes that will help me get where I need to be. Do you have any advice on material, tutorial that I should access before I consider taking another English placement test. I need to feel confident. Would CLEP help me prepare?

    For those of us who are not native speakers, how did you accomplished your English requirement courses (time and cost)? Your advice is appreciated.

  2. Yes! There are useful resources available via NOVA's website, such as sample questions and online tutorials for students to review that will help them gain confidence in taking placement tests--which ultimately saves time and money. There are even encouraging tips for those of us with test anxiety! For review materials and other general information about placement tests, go to

    If you have additonal questions regarding CLEP, etc., please contact ELI Counselors at 703-323-2425. They can help you determine the best course of action to meet your educational goals.

  3. This is a great post. I have thoroughly gone through he concept of degree completion few days back and i really liked the concept of such a unique program. No one will be deprived of education at any age.

    Degree Completion