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  • Meet a Few Members of our Staff


     In today’s modern world we might call an 800 number and  speak to one person in India and another in South Dakota; yet they all work for the same company. Then there are the times you call and speak to one person at a company and they give you the information you need but you call back only to get a new person who has no idea what you’re talking about. Here at iStudySmart.com the staff is customer oriented and gives you the feeling  of the old days. The days when you knew your grocer, when you saw the same Doctor from your birth and when you would walk in the barber shop and everybody knew your name.  

    We try to fill your needs on a personal level and understand your circumstances in order  to tell you what degree plan works with your schedule, your family, and your social life.  Are you a paramedic, LPN/LVN or Respiratory Therapist looking into becoming a Registered Nurse? We will help you decide if Western Governors program fits your lifestyle or if Excelsior College is the better choice. If you  have no idea what degree you want but have a lot of college credit we might recommend you look into our partners at The National Education Alliance Counseling Center (NEACC).  The NEACC will help you find the quickest path to degree completion, the least expensive degree and show you how to get the most credit for your prior college credit, military/corporate training, licenses, certificates and/or credit by examination (AP, CLEP, DSST and ECE).  The NEACC degree exploration system will also provide you with a complete list of iStudySmart.com courses you need to complete your degree. 

    Meet some of our staff and know who you are talking to! 

    Educational Consultant:  Ashley McCoury. 

    I am here to help you through the sometimes stressful process of finding the courses you will need to graduate from college and get that life changing degree you have always wanted! If you have questions about how testing out works, where to take your test, when to take your test and which test to take (CLEP, DSST formerly the DANTES exam or ECE) I can help! 

    President:  David Wright 

    Are you a college, company or hospital interested in a partnership with  iStudySmart.com?  David is the one to contact! He can set up a discount program for your employees or students.  If you have interest in creating a library for your facility give David a call.


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  • Military Exclusive Opportunity for Tuition & College Credit Savings

    Until recently, tuition assistance has been available to military personnel since the late 1940’s.  However, due to recent budget cuts, military branches have been forced to suspend their tuition assistance programs.  “These cuts will have an impact on military families.  The National Education Alliance is subsidizing the cost of the in-depth study materials from iStudySmart.com to help out during the suspension of tuition assistance.  This will allow military personnel to continue to prepare for and pass exams to complete college credit.  Our goal is to support the military during this time,” said National Education Alliance President, Shara Wright.  The courses are normally $225 each but with the funds provided by the Alliance, military personnel can have online access to the iStudySmart.com traditional courses for $49.95 per month per course with the exclusive military discount on the SmartSubscription.  There is no limit to the number of courses which may be purchased in this manner.  iStudySmart.com’s test preparation materials are a flexible alternative to help military personnel complete college credit toward degree completion or for work related advancement. 


    Military members can prepare for their college credit equivalent exams using iStudySmart.com materials at the reduced rate and test out with DSST and CLEP exams.  These exams remain funded by the military.


    Students can TAP into a program that is:

    • Transferable: over 3,800 colleges accept credit by exam
    • Affordable: one course per month for only $49.95 – for military personnel
    • Portable: work at your pace – anywhere in the world


    iStudySmart.com is the only publisher of in-depth study materials endorsed by DSST, formerly known as DANTES Subject Standardized Test. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth was recognized for its superior educational performance and Chief Master Sgt. Wanda Dillon stated, “Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth went from 5 graduates of the Community College of the Air Force to 77 graduates in one year and iStudySmart.com contributed to that success.” 


    For military personnel to take advantage of the iStudySmart.com discount, please email info@iStudySmart.com with Military in the subject line.  Members of the Military will be given a coupon code to use at checkout.


    About iStudySmart.com

    iStudySmart.com offers exam preparation for DSST, CLEP and EC exams that enable students to pass the first time and a path to the degree which accelerates your progress to completion, while saving a considerable amount of time and money along the way.

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  • Military Servicemembers taking CLEP, DSST(DANTES) or ECE, pass the first time for FREE!

    In the not so distant past Military servicemembers had their CLEP, DSST (DANTES) and ECE exams paid for no matter how many times it took to pass. So if they did not know the Biology material they could take the CLEP exam over and over until they passed and not worry about studying.  It made perfect since to take the exam multiple times without studying as long as the exam was free.  Why pay for study material when you can just retake the exams until you passed? However after a number of budget cuts this convenience to the military student was revamped.

    DANTES New Retest Policy: The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) announced they will only provide funding for initial testing for College Level Entrance Examination Program (CLEP) exam, DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) and Excelsior College Examinations (ECE) exams taken after May 20, 2010. If a retest is required for exams taken after this date, it will be at the expense of the servicemember. Retests will continue to be funded through DANTES for servicemembers who took a test prior to May 20 and take the retest before Dec. 11, 2010.” This according to Military.com

    Some exams can cost up to $350.00, imagine paying for that exam but receiving no credit, might as well burn your money right?  This policy makes passing the first time essential! In an earlier blog I talk about 7 Study Tips which can help military students pass the first time. Although this may be scary news to some or not news at all to others, it shouldn’t discourage you from testing out of college courses.  Testing out saves time, money, gives you flexibility, and allows you to study at your own pace in your own space. 

    “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” ~Vince Lombardi

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  • Testing Out Success: CLEP, DSST and ECE Exams

    Carswell AFB was recognized as a superior performer because of their use of Rosetta Stone and iStudySmart.com’scourses. Carswell AFB went from 5 graduates of the Community College of the Air Force to 77 graduates in one year and iStudySmart.com contributed to that success.
    Chief Master Sgt. Wanda M. Dillon at Carswell Air Force Base in Ft. Worth, Texas

    Thank you so much for your help! I have passed all my requirements for graduation with my BA in Music. Your company has helped me to gain 24 general education credits!
    Maggie Bristol

    Just passed today with an unexpected A! This has been the most difficult course for me, but with iStudySmart materials, I passed on my first try with an A!
    Christine C.

    iStudySmart helped me to complete 3 upper level required course requirements and achieve 'A's on my examinations. The assignments and exams helped me to focus on the information that would be expected of me. iStudySmart saved me time and money.

    Yes! I passed with a score of 72 - the highest of my group of dsst test takers! I answered all the questions (797) in the study guide, and kept reviewing the answers over and over for about three weeks. I took the practice exam twice, and then focused on the ones I got wrong both times. After that, took the practice exam again. Each time I received a better score. I went into the exam confident I would do well, and came out quite excited and fulfilled in my accomplishment. I am glad I purchased the i Study Smart guide. Thanks!
    Confident Test Taker




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  • You CAN earn your ASN degree!

    You CAN earn your ASN degree! iStudySmart.com courses are designed to help you pass CLEP, DSST (used by DANTES), or ECE exams to earn credit by examination so you CAN earn your ASN degree. Over 3800 colleges and universities will let you apply credit earned by examination toward your degree.

    Contact your local college and find out if will allow you to test out of your general education courses. If you are a LPN/LVN, Paramedic or Respiratory Therapist Excelsior College may be a  good option.  Excelsior will allow you to test out of your general education courses and your nursing courses.

    Whether you plan to earn your degree from a college in your home town, through Excelsior College, or another school, iStudySmart.com can help.


    Study at your pace in your space!


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  • Study Guides for CLEP, DSST and ECE

    iStudySmart.com writes in depth study guides for CLEP, DSST (DANTES) and ECE (Excelsior College Exam)exams. Passing these exams allow students to complete college credit at home.  iStudySmart.com offers an online format so students can access their courses anywhere at anytime.  Students can study at their own pace in their own place. 

    The online courses guide students through key concepts designed to make sure they learn the information that will be on their tests. Included with the assignments are sample tests and other study tools.

    All of the online study courses are the same format. The only difference is the subject matter. iStudySmart.com has over 60 courses within five major categories: Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Business and Nursing. The actual CLEP, DSST and ECE exams are all multiple-choice questions with the exception of English and Religions of the World, which have essay sections. The iStudySmart.com course sample exams are multiple-choice too and the computer scores your results to let you know your level of comprehension.

    Each assignment has a question, a reference to a section of the related text, and a place for students to type answers in an online form. Assignment questions and answers can be printed in an open-ended format, if desired.

    Each assignment question comes with the chapter reference to help students find the answers quickly. After a question is answered, it can be printed out for study.

    A sample exam provides a multiple-choice exam designed to emulate the proficiency exam a student will take. Each online course has a computer application built in that automatically scores the results. Therefore, students can review the questions they missed. They can reset the exam and try it again. In fact, they can take the test as many times as they wish.

    Each exam question is designed to help students recall the information they've studied. At the end of each exam, they're shown the questions they answered correctly -- and the ones they didn't. The exam results are designed to help the test takers determine their weak areas, he added.

    No instructors are involved as iStudySmart.com courses are designed to let students work through an entire course without needing outside assistance. However, they do have access to other students working on the same material via the iStudySmart.com forums. There are forums for adult learners, high school or college students, military, nursing, time management, testing companies, and a general forum for posting comments about distance learning.

    The online courses are completely self-paced. There are no time-limits. Once you have completed a course and feel comfortable with the subject matter, then you register to take the proficiency exam at a testing site nearest you. When you pass the exam, you can transfer it to the college of your choice as credit.

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  • Test Out of CLEP, DSST and ECE exams to Complete College Credit at Home

    Electronic education is increasing in popularity, which is good news for iStudySmart.com, a company that specializes in distance learning and provides online courses that allow students to comlete college credit by testing out of CLEP, ECE (Exceslior College Exam) or DSST (used by DANTES) exams. (These proficiency exams are accepted by over 3,800 accredited colleges and universities.)

    iStudySmart.com offers self-paced learning, complete with assignments and practice exams. Students buy the courses, study when they'd like, and take the exams when they're ready. The traditional courses cost $225* each. While every college treats scores differently, most courses are worth between three to six hours of college credit.

    Students will need to buy a textbook for each course. Students can buy the texts from the iStudySmart.com On-Line Bookstore. Of course, if students decide to pursue a degree, they'll have testing and college fees. However, federal loans or grants can't be used for iStudySmart.com courses.

    After registering at iStudySmart.com, students are given access to local testing centers for all exams, their own interactive study calendar, and access to forums for communicating with other iStudySmart.com pupils. Registration is free.

    "Registering is a marketing tool that we use to gather demographic information about our users so we can better understand their needs," David Wright, iStudySmart.com President, says. "Anyone interested in completeing college credit can register and find out how iStudySmart.com can help them specifically."

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  • Credit By Examination: CLEP, DSST and ECE

    Credit by examination programs enable you to apply your knowledge toward college credit at participating colleges.

    Earning credit by examination works like this: you study college level material and take a final exam, if you pass the exam - you get college credit!

    Our study courses prepare you to take exams that are recognized nationally by more than 3800 colleges and universities. Many colleges allow you to earn part of your required credits through credit by examination. Some colleges allow you to earn your entire degree that way! It's easy to get started!
    • Earn college credit for what you already know!
      It doesn't matter how or where you learned a subject, as long as you can pass the exam. If you're not sure you are ready to pass, iStudySmart.com courses guide you through a subject and guarantee your passing score!
    • Save Money!
      Our courses can be less expensive than enrolling in traditional classes!
    • Graduate Faster!
      Study at your own pace to "test out" of the required coursework you need to earn an associate or bachelor degree.

    Note: Each school has their own policy about which tests are accepted and how much credit is allowed to be earned by examination.

    There are three main Credit by Examination programs: 

    • CLEP:  College Level Examination Program
    • DSST:  DANTES Subject Standardized Exam
    • ECE:  Excelsior College Exam

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  • Three Primary Testing Organizations: College Board (CLEP), DSST and Excelsior College

    In the world of college testing for credit there are three primary testing organizations, College Board (CLEP), DSST and Excelsior College.

    1. College Board is a not-for-profit member association that is part of Educational Testing Services (ETS), a non-profit organization. College Board is responsible for SAT, CLEP, and Advanced Placement (AP) testing. It is the policy of College Board to remain neutral and avoid recommending any study materials other than their own so as not to risk conflicts of interest.
    2. DSST is also part of ETS, but is wholly-owned and independently operated. They are the largest test center network in the world, primarily offering test-taking services. If you are planning to take certification or licensing tests for the American Medical Examiners, the insurance industry, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or many other professional groups, you will do so through a DSST test center. DSST is a part of DSST exams are similar to CLEP exams in that passing scores are equivalent to college credit.
    3. Excelsior College has been a pioneer in the development of accredited online degree programs to serve the needs of working adults. They developed their own challenge exams that allowed students to test for competency in different subjects. Excelsior recognized that many working adults already had considerable knowledge in some subject areas and having them complete a course in those areas was not a good use of the student’s time or resources. If you can pass an Excelsior College exam, you are demonstrating knowledge equivalent to having taken the class. Because the exams are thorough and measure competency well, other colleges and universities also accept passing scores on these exams as credit earned.

    DSST lists iStudySmart.com as a resource for in-depth study materials and has done so since 2002. In addition, a link to the iStudySmart.com website can be found on many college test center webpages because, again, iStudySmart.com materials and customer service have been found to be excellent.

    Since 1986, iStudySmart.com has worked hard to develop materials that would be quality test preparation and that would help students as they pursue their educational goals. Earning the recognition of professionals in the industry is a much appreciated reward.

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  • CLEP, DSST (DANTES) & ECE Test Success

    CLEP, DSST (DANTES) & ECE Test Success

    Review Daily...

    1. Do a short review of previous lessons before you begin learning your new lesson for the day.
    2. Complete your new material for the day.
    3. Upon completion, do a short review of your new material.

    Review Weekly...
    Concentrate at least one hour per module per week to review completed material.

    Main Reviews...
    Do a thorough review at least one week before an exam. Begin with studying difficult parts first when you are most attentive. Study 2-5 hours with plenty of breaks. Use your sample questions in the back of your module to prepare you for the exam format. Also, please remember that you need to study every answer in your module, not just the sample questions.

    Module Review Methods...

    1. Flashcards-
      Instead of just re-reading the answers in the module, try making flash cards out of your answers. Jot down ideas, concepts, formulas, and facts onto index cards. Make sure to carry these cards with you wherever you go so that you can study them whenever you have a spare moment. Another alternative – use your module as a flash card. Cover each answer, recall the answer, then uncover to see if you have recalled the correct answer.
    2. Checklist-
      The answers you have written in your module provide a “checklist” of everything you need to know for the exam. Your answers, or “checklist,” should include brief descriptions of types of problems to solve, major ideas, equations, skills to master, theories, and definitions. As you begin your final study session, check-mark the items you are confident you know thoroughly. Concentrate on the items you have not checked off; i.e., the material that you are less confident of.


  • Test Preparation Tips

    1. Know what type of exam you will be taking ahead of time (example: multiple choice, essay, etc.).
    2. Find out where and when the exam will be held.
    3. Get specific directions to your exam site. If possible, do a test drive to the exam site to assure that you will not get lost on the exam day.
    4. Gather the materials you need to bring to the exam.
    5. Make sure to do a brief overview of your materials the night before the exam.
    6. Rest! Get plenty of sleep before the exam so you can function properly.
    7. Arrive at your exam site early to avoid the pressures of running late.
  • Taking The Test

    1. Reduce your test anxiety by...
      • Keeping a positive attitude.
      • Allowing yourself minimum anxiety.
      • Ignoring any distractions around you.
      • Relaxing – If you find that you are too nervous to be focused, take several deep, slow breaths. Then begin your work.
    2. Follow verbal and written instructions carefully.
    3. Quickly preview the test before you answer anything. Estimate how much time you will need for each section; then ration your time.
    4. After glancing through the exam, jot down any important facts or details that pop into your mind. For essay exams, make a quick outline for your discussion/essay questions.
    5. Answer the easier questions first to boost your confidence. Then go back and tackle the more difficult questions.
    6. Answer all questions (unless you are penalized for wrong answers).
    7. Circle key words when you encounter a difficult question. This helps you focus on the main point.

    • Types of Exam Questions

      Make sure to read the statement carefully. Just one word can make the answer true or false. Watch for the words “always” and “never.” These words could indicate a false answer since they do not allow for exceptions. “Often,” “usually,” and “sometimes,” could indicate a true answer since they do allow for exceptions.

      Multiple Choice...
      Read the question carefully and underline key words. Try to think of the answer on your own before reading the answers. Then read answers and use the process of elimination. Use these two clues to reveal potentially incorrect answers.
    • A totally unfamiliar term and
    • An answer that would make the statement grammatically incorrect
    • Essay...
      Your essay should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The last sentence of your introduction should be the thesis you will develop throughout the essay. Include facts and examples from your studies that will demonstrate your knowledge. REMEMBER: You must not only write the correct answer on your essay question, but you must also explain why or how your response is correct.
    • Last Thoughts
      Remember the reason you are studying your modules and taking your exams...to reach your big goal. Every worthwhile goal presents challenges. Meet your challenges with confidence and never, never quit!

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