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Testing Testing Out Of College

  1. Aug 1, 2006 #1
    I know they have tests where you can take the test and if you pass you don't have to take the course.

    I was wondering, if I educated myself enough on physics through books and videos as well as Math could I take tests to get credits for courses and get a degree froma college?

    cience and Math are all I'm interested in I don't know if I'd have to take English Lit tests and Social Studies. Also would any companies or labs accept me if they saw I tested out of college?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2006 #2

    chroot

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    1) The chances of anyone being able to test out of every class with nothing more than self-study are virtually nil. In fact, the chance is so small than no university is even going to bother going through all the effort to pull together 40+ final exams and proctor them all only to find out that, no, you didn't pass them all.

    2) Universities are businesses. Even if they permitted you to take the placement exams, they'd charge you a pretty large amount of money for each. IIRC, Virginia Tech charged me $300 for each of the two classes I placed out of via final exam.

    3) Universities typically only permit credit-by-exam for certain courses, not their entire curriculum. Often the only courses offered credit-by-exam are the entry-level general-education courses.

    4) The degree carries along with it the distinction that you have been reviewed by a wide variety of professors, and that they have the professional opinion that you deserve all the recognition that the degree affords. They cannot make this determination about your general ability to meet challenges when their only interaction with you is proctoring a final exam. In other words, there's more to college than just passing exams: your general problem-solving ability, teamwork, time management, and other skills are important, too.

    5) If it were possible (and it's not), the degree you'd get would presumably be identical to the degree given to any other graduate, so you'd not be disadvantaged in interviews with companies and labs.

    Virtually everything you post here is about trying to circumvent the academic system, trying to get rich quickly, trying to become a CEO of a technology company with no experience or education, etc. What's the deal with you? What's so hard about going to school for a few years?

    - Warren
     
  4. Aug 1, 2006 #3
    As far as colleges in the US go, I don't believe that there is a single one without some, even extremely basic core curriculum that requires some type of hummanity course such as a writing or social science class.
     
  5. Aug 1, 2006 #4

    mathwonk

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    I know of at least one case of a student who went straight from high school to graduate school, perhaps in amthematics or computer science.

    he took college and even graduate level math courses while in high school, and was in fact the best student in my graduate algebra class whilea highs chool student. he then received a hgh school degree and acolege degree simukltaneously.

    he then went straight to berkeley grd school althugh i myself argued against it because he missed possibly the mostfun time of most peoples liuves, i.e. college with all its social life sports, political awareness, volunteer work, girls, etc.....

    but his parebnts were pressuring him to save them te mney collkege would have cost. I do nt recommend it, nor is it likely for most of us normal people, but it is possible.
     
  6. Aug 1, 2006 #5
    O are there any volleges that will allow you to test out of their entire curriculum?

    And why can't you just study. MOst of learning in college is studying. Half the people don't even understand the professors.
     
  7. Aug 1, 2006 #6

    jtbell

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    All undergraduate physics degree programs that I know of, require at least some laboratory work. How do you propose to satisfy those requirements via self-study?
     
  8. Aug 1, 2006 #7

    mathwonk

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    if you have ever benefited from answers to questions on this forum you know that profesors are helpful. all this stuff is available in books and yet thousands of people ask for help understanding it here.
     
  9. Aug 1, 2006 #8

    chroot

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    My, that sounds like the musings of someone who hasn't attended college...

    - Warren
     
  10. Aug 1, 2006 #9

    Pengwuino

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    Watch videos?
     
  11. Aug 1, 2006 #10
    Every college that I know of has some form of residency requirement. That is, you have to take at least a certain number of hours at their institution to graduate.
     
  12. Aug 1, 2006 #11
    Yeah, and I would bet about half the people don't understand the books that they study from, so then where does that leave them to go for help? To the professors. Professors aren't there to just lecture in class and assume that students understand perfectly every word that they say, there are reasons that they have office hours for students to come and ask questions about the course material. So sure you can just study, but outside of a college like environment if you have problems understanding the material from a textbook then you are very limited in places to turn for help.
     
  13. Aug 1, 2006 #12
    To PF. :smile:
     
  14. Aug 1, 2006 #13

    Pengwuino

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    To add to that, when it comes down to it you can't learn from either by themselves. Not many people can do a decent job learning simply from reading text books and not many people can do a decent job of learning simply from listening to lectures.

    And I repeat... "Videos"?
     
  15. Aug 1, 2006 #14

    chroot

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    I should add that even if you could learn by self-study alone, you'd certainly have to do all the exercises, too -- not just read the books. It would probably take you... oh, about four years or so.

    - Warren
     
  16. Aug 1, 2006 #15
    Exactly, I've tried to teach myself some math from textbooks, and trying to learn from a textbook by itself is not at all an easy endeavor, so there are times when you need someone to talk to about the material you're learning or trying to teach yourself, but if you're not actually taking a class at some sort of school and are only doing this as a means to bypass attending school then the professors probably be very willing to help you with your problems.

    To the OP if you really want to do this, then good luck, but you will probably be missing out on a lot of fun oppurtunities and fun that can be had in college, as well as losing out on gaining networking skills through interaction with other students and teachers.

    I think he means educational videos, like some of the lecture videos that are available on MIT's opencourseware site.
     
  17. Aug 1, 2006 #16
    Word. I've audited a couple math classes, and to really keep up with the class, I found myself doing a couple hours of work a day. In some ways, it would've easier to just register for the class and attend lecture, because I would've saved time that way. (Of course, there was the benefit that I could do it whenever I wanted to.)
     
  18. Aug 1, 2006 #17
    As for the people to talk to I've got that solved.....Physics FOrums. That or I could join a physics society. Now will they just let you take one course like lab and study the rest elsewhere.
     
  19. Aug 1, 2006 #18
    A lot of schools won't let you take a lab class unless you're also signed up for the corresponding lecture as well.
     
  20. Aug 1, 2006 #19

    Pengwuino

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    I highly doubt that's going to happen. If you think you're going to be able to ask every single question you can come up with when you get confused from reading a textbook... well it won't be fun :biggrin: You could get enough Q&A from one hour with a professor to be equivalent to a week of questions on the forum. Plus its a whole lot easier to be sitting with a professor going over things step by step so that you know what's going on.
     
  21. Aug 1, 2006 #20

    What part of 'No.' have you not understood so far?
     
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