SpeedyPrep's service works on a tablet, laptop, and even a smart phone! You must have an internet connection or wifi to access SpeedyPrep and can only have your subscription open on one device at a time. You can study as many subjects as you want and need no additional study materials - just your subscription.
SpeedyPrep offers 24 college level courses that follow CollegeBoard.org guidelines.
In each course, you study facts, concepts, and vocabulary. Your student is expected to answer fill-in-the-blank flashcard formatted questions supplemented by videos and explanations to expand your student's knowledge of the flashcards.
Students learn best by repeated exposure, so progress is mastery based, and SpeedyPrep guarantees a student will pass the Clep if they reach 90-100% mastery.
Tip: To find out which courses your college accepts CLEP credit for, you can search your institution's policies here. This is very important because not every college will allow you to CLEP every course. Our college only accepts 15 of the 24 courses that SpeedyPrep offers.
How we used SpeedyPrep
My son and I both used SpeedyPrep. I started a course so I could walk you through it step by step, so I'll share my experience first, but I'll be sure to share about my son's experience, too. :)
From the above Course selections, I selected Natural Science for my course and then selected Biology Part 1 to study first.
The reason I selected one section is because if I were to Select All, I would get all 550 questions for this course in one test. That would be overwhelming. Biology Part 1 has 37 questions. That's doable!
Though the actual Clep exams are multiple choice, SpeedyPrep uses a combination of fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice to help students really learn the material.
Most of the questions are simply flashcard type questions, but may have a picture or illustration.
To "study" the course, you simply answer the questions!
If you get them right, you get a green checked box. If you leave a blank or get an incorrect answer, it is marked incorrect and the correct answer is given (pictured below). Sometimes a video link is included with the Explanation.
It took me 5 tries to get a 94% on this section.
Next, I selected Biology Part 2 to study. I got a 50% after my first try. Yay!
The progress bar shows my progress after my first session in this selection. It includes my score for the current study session, the time it took me to complete the session, including how many seconds per question, my Overall Course Progress, and the steps to take next.
I clicked on Study Missed Questions, and I now have 18 questions to study in this section. I studied these missed questions until I answered them all correctly.
Short answers are accepted as correct, such as when I answered "dicot" instead of "dicotyledon" as pictured below.
However, misspelled words are marked incorrect.
An explanation is given with each answer whether right or wrong.
Here's an example of a multiple choice question:
I got a 100% on my missed questions:
And then attempted the set again and again until I advanced my progress bar.
After two weeks of studying plus a two week break (to see if I retained the information), I studied Biology Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 and got an 89.19%.
I studied all my missed questions, and then did a few more questions in Part 1 before I was tired, but I made it.
According to SpeedyPrep, I have mastered this section since I have achieved 90-100%. I need to pass all the sections for this course, of course! But, it is fun to see my progress.
What did I like or dislike?
The program is easy to navigate, but the questions are challenging!
Since you have to complete 120 questions in 90 minutes, the timed aspect of SpeedyPrep is great. (That's 45 seconds a question!).
It's a little addicting! It was fun to test my knowledge and ability to remember the answers.
It's simply drill, but I like that the videos which are mostly blackboard type instruction, give background information on concepts covered in the questions (not the questions themselves).
I would love to see it include hints, tips, or even mnemonics to help learn the material. (I invented a couple on my own to help me with a few).
I like how the courses are divided up into sections. This made the course less overwhelming.
I learned that repeating a section over and over is necessary to progress. You have to demonstrate that you know the material more than once (up to seven times) since SpeedyPrep is mastery based. However, the questions are worded exactly the same every time.
The other thing I noticed is that some questions do not have an explanation nor are we given the correct answer, such as with the Spanish course. My husband recently took Spanish 1 and 2 at the college, but he didn't understand the narration or the question being asked - at all. However, when he clicked to answer it, it didn't give him the correct answer - just marked it wrong, so there was no way for him to "study" these flashcards.
My husband also took Western Civilization 1 last summer, so I had him do one of the course selections from this course to see how it compared to the actual class. He thought the level of difficulty of the questions was comparable to the difficultly of the class.
It's hard to imagine that the flashcard system is enough - to pass the test, yes, but not to really understand a particular subject, so I'm not sure how much of the information will be retained long term. Many of these courses are prerequisites for more advanced courses. It must work though, or they wouldn't have the Clep Test! As mentioned above, I purposely did not study the Biology portion of my Natural Science course for 13 days to see how I would do. I got an 89.19% on my first try, so not too bad. However, I think this is ideal for students who do well on tests (the rest of us may need the class time to learn the information).
What did I find helpful?
A chat box is available for questions. The response time says it is 4 hours, but it is convenient to find if you do have a question.
I submitted a question and got a reply within a few hours.
How did this benefit my homeschool?
My 12 year old is taking a SpeedyPrep course. He is working through U.S. History 1 and has completed Civil War and Reconstruction and Causes of the Civil War. This is a college prep course, but the Classical child in him loves memorizing names, dates, events, and locations so he is loving it! He uses the course about 4 times a week and is progressing more quickly than I am.
I'm excited about the opportunity to use SpeedyPrep to prepare me as a teacher. I'm brushing up on a lot of facts I learned in college.
My high school junior is interested in doing the Principles of Marketing class. I originally was interested in the College Algebra course, but our college does not accept that course. But, with him taking college classes, soccer, and working a job, I knew I couldn't add anything to his schedule this spring, so I'm hoping he will do at least one of these courses over the summer. If he likes SpeedyPrep, I will consider purchasing it on a monthly basis ($19.95 a month). I think he would benefit greatly from SpeedyPrep because he's smart as a whip, has a good memory, and is a good test taker, but he has never liked to do schoolwork.
My husband is interested in both the Principles of Management and Principles of Marketing to Clep for his degree. Working full time and being a husband and father has made pursuing his degree hard, so he is very interested in using SpeedyPrep. However, only one student can study a course at a time, so they will have to figure out who gets to take Principles of Marketing.
So, I can see SpeedyPrep being a benefit in more ways than one.
Would I recommend it?
I'd recommend it for a high school student who has already taken the equivalent course in high school and who is serious about going to college, a Classical bent child who loves to memorize facts, names, dates, and events, or students who are naturally good test takers. Because the questions are challenging, they must be willing to work through the program on their own and "study" the questions. My 12 year old is doing well with it because he is good at memorization, likes the subject matter in the course he is taking, and likes to be able to ramble off interesting facts he's learned.
SpeedyPrep recommends this for ages 16 and up and I understand why - most colleges require students be 16 to earn college credit. I called the College Board and they said a 12 year old could take the test if the parent signed a release form - otherwise they need to be 13 to take the test. I called our local college, and they said that they don't accept test scores until a student is 16, but the test scores are good indefinitely, so once they turn 16, they can receive college credit from home!
Will we continue to use SpeedyPrep now that the review period is over?
Yes! Crazy as it seems, my 12 year old loves SpeedyPrep! He never complains and willingly does it. The questions are challenging, but he doesn't think they are hard because if you don't know an answer, all you have to do is hit enter to learn it! He did utilize the videos, but not a lot. He mostly just studied the questions.
He started with The Civil War because that is one of his favorite time periods in History. Then he started at the beginning with The Colonial Period and is currently working through that section.
Malachi's stats at the time of writing this:
Tips and Tricks from Malachi:
- When you enter an answer, do a quick check to make sure the word is spelled correctly. If you see a red underline under the word, right click to get the correct spelling.
- If you don't know an answer, just click enter and see what it is!
- Work on one section at a time.
- Challenge yourself to beat your last score.
If you're looking for a way to study for the CLEP test, please check out my Crew mates reviews to read about their experience!