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  • Online Learning is On the Rise - The Benefits Prove It's Here to Stay


    Whether you’ve tried it out or have never heard of it, one thing’s certain: online learning is here to stay. Online learning or E-learning is the use of electronic media and info/communication technology in education. Traditionally this has been used in companies and business to train their employees and has been ongoing for the past decade. In 2011, 77% of American corporations were using online/E-learning technology to train their employees. In 1995, this number was only 4%. It’s not surprising that more and more companies are utilizing online learning when a study by IBM shows that every $1 spent in e-learning has the potential to return $30 in increased profitability by increasing their productivity by 50% with a newly skilled and more agile workforce. E-learning cuts traditional training costs by 50% and instruction time by 60%, making online learning a valuable resource. However, this asset isn’t limited to businesses. More and more students and adult learners are seeing the value in taking online college courses through e-learning.

    In 2012 there were 4.6 million college students taking at least one of their classes online. Throughout 2014, this number is expected to increase to 18.6 million. By 2019, it’s estimated that half of all classes will be online. The reasons for the dramatic increase become apparent when we look at the major benefits. These include increased efficiency, lower cost, and increased knowledge.

    • Efficiency – Online learning classes are completed 25-60% faster than classroom training on the same subjects.
    • Savings – It’s estimated that 85% of every dollar spent on classroom learning is spent on the delivery of it (instructors, physical classrooms, materials). By connecting learners with material through virtual environments and digital approaches, these convert to large savings for students, often hundreds or thousands of dollars less for the same courses in a traditional environment.
    • Increased Knowledge – e-learning and online approaches to classes have proven to increase knowledge retention by 25-60%.  By presenting information via visual and verbal channels, removing non-essential distractive content, and giving the learner control of the pace and amount of information they learn at one time, online learning has proven to reduce the cognitive load in e-learning. This allows the learner to retain more information.

    One of the more surprising statistics is the demographic of the average online learner. These are adult students with an average age of 34 years old, with 82% being undergraduates. 81% of learners are currently employed. It’s easy to understand why this group is perfect for online classes. These are busy working adults that are trying to balance their education with their career, family, and life responsibilities and online learning provides the flexibility they need. To further save on time and money spent on education expenses, adult learners can take utilize testing out of college courses with credit-by-exam programs. The basis of credit-by-examination is the idea of awarding transferable college credit by examination. Students demonstrate an understanding of a subject matter by passing one standardized exam per subject and receive the full accredited credit for that exam. Over 3,800 colleges and universities across the country accept transfer credit from these exams, providing distance learners and even more flexible route to their degree and education goals.

    One of the leaders of college-by-exam is DSST (formerly DANTES Subject Standardized Tests). DSST offers an extensive series of 38 exams in college subject areas that are similar to the final exam given in undergraduate courses. These exams are frequently used in conjunction with CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests by students pursuing college degrees in non-traditional formats. Whereas CLEP tests are almost exclusively used for lower level credit at regionally accredited institutions, DSST's are available for both upper and lower level credit. These subject areas include Social Sciences, Math, Applied Technology, Business, Physical Sciences and Humanities.

    There are numerous ways to prepare for these exams and begin testing out. Of course, the best way to prepare for DSST exams is with study and prep material from DSST. The DSST Official Test Preparation Guide was created for students to include the Top 10 Subject Titles that students are most interested in testing out of. The Official Test Preparation Guide includes sample test questions, study resources, exam content outlines, and reviews of the subjects. These top 10 subjects include:

      Introduction to World Religions

      Here’s to Your Health

      Principles of Statistics

      Criminal Justice

      Personal Finance

      Management Information Systems

      Ethics in America

      Principles of Supervision

      Introduction to Business

      Principles of Finance

    To learn more about DSST and the Official Test Preparation Guide, visit www.collegetestprepguide.com.




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  • It's Graduation Time, Will Yours Be Next?



    It’s graduation season, when many proud graduates put on their cap and gown, walk across the stage for their diploma, flip their tassel, and toss their cap into the air in celebration of the accomplishments and an end to their days spent in school. For some, this graduation ceremony has only been experienced from the outside.  These could be parents in the crowd who sacrificed their own education and graduation in order to raise their kids and put their children’s needs before their own. These could be individuals who had to drop out due to financial or schedule/time reasons and weren’t able to finish their degree.  In today’s connected world, we have excellent technological tools to help us achieve our goals. If your goal is to finish your degree and view graduation from the stage instead of the audience while saving time and money, online classes might be what you’re looking for.

    Adult learners face obstacles to their education that are different than other learners. These are the biggest reasons adults list for not being able to go back to college. It could be a busy work schedule that doesn’t leave time for classes, a classroom and commute time that are too long or inconvenient for busy adults, or childcare responsibilities that conflict with traditional college classroom schedules. Perhaps it’s a financial obstacle, where the cost of tuition, commuting, textbook, college fees, and other expenses just don’t fit into your budget, especially for single parents with only one income. iStudySmart.com’s approach to education was specifically designed with adult learners in mind. Our courses were made for your busy schedule. You study when you want, on your own time, wherever you want, whenever you have free time whether it’s 30 minutes in the morning before heading to work, 15 minutes on your lunch break, or an hour before bed after tucking in the kids. You make your own schedule and study at a time that’s convenient for you. Then, when you’re ready to test, you schedule your exam when you feel prepared. Pass this one exam and you’ll earn 3-6 credits that transfer to over 3,800 universities nationwide. With iStudySmart.com you build your own class schedule and study times around your own busy schedule so you can take a lot of courses or a little, you’re in control. iStudySmart.com has over 60 courses within five major categories: Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Business and Nursing that are all self-paced with no time limits. To browse our courses, learn more, and get started today, visit iStudySmart.com. Throughout June, courses are discounted to $149, see our site to learn more!

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  • Education Options to Fit Into Your Budget

    iStudySmart.com was envisioned with flexibility in mind. You choose from over 60 courses to prepare for CLEP, DSST (formerly DANTES) and Excelsior College Exams, you choose when you study, where you study, and when you test. Flexibility is key, and our customers really enjoy being able to pick and choose the college courses they want to test out of. For those looking to test out of just one college course they are missing, choosing the single-course option is the best idea. However, did you know iStudySmart.com also offers long-term options for learners that want to take more than one course? The best part is there’s an education option for every budget!

    • SmartSubscription

    Access one online Traditional Course per month with an $89 monthly subscription


    • SmartClub

    1 year access to 14 online Traditional Courses for $740 or 2 year access to unlimited online Traditional courses for $990


    • Premier Bundle

    Bundle Premier self-paced online courses into easy monthly payments


    For details on SmartSubscription and SmartClub click here.  If you’re interested in learning more about how to bundle our Premier courses, give us a call at 800-737-2222. Whether you only need one college course or you want to test out of entire semesters, iStudySmart.com has the right options to fit every need and budget. If you’re ready to test out of DSST, ECE, and CLEP college course, iStudySmart.com has many ways to help you start.

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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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  • Top Five Online Learning Myths

    Which one is keeping you from getting started?

    Myth #1: Online courses are easy.

    Not true. Online courses can be just as challenging as traditional programs provided you earn your degree from an accredited online university with a well-respected, challenging curriculum.  As online learning grows, education experts predict that online education will actually be more effective than classroom learning with the next few years.

    Myth #2: Employers won’t recognize my online degree.

    Wrong. The large number of online learners (over 5 million and growing daily) are helping employers realize that "online" is simply another way to learn. The truth is, employers like the idea of having a more knowledgeable, motivated staff. Many employers appreciate the fact that online learning is less intrusive to an employee’s work schedule and obligations. And employers now realize they aren’t sacrificing quality either in hiring online graduates.

    Myth #3: Online students miss out on student resources and social interaction.

    Wrong again. Online learners realize that their education is more than just studying. That’s why they seek a plethora of learning resources to enhance their online experience. Online libraries, mentors, student communities—it’s all available if you know where to look. All you have to do is take advantage of it!

    Myth #4: Online programs are too expensive.

    There is some truth to this one. In reality, some online schools are quite expensive. It all depends on the school. 

    Myth #5: All online degree programs are the same.

    This is the biggest myth of all. Just like their on-campus counterparts, online institutions vary tremendously. You really have to do your homework.


    Western Governors University (WGU) has established a partnership with iStudySmart.com to expand educational opportunities.  iStudySmart.com prepares you to pass CLEP, DSST & ECE exams.  The guided study courses help you learn what you need to pass these tests – saving you thousands of dollars on college tuition.  After you’ve passed the standardized exams and received your transferrable credit, you’re ready to transfer them into WGU.

    As the nation’s only online, competency-based, nonprofit university, WGU offers accredited degree programs designed to enhance job skills and improve career opportunities.  WGU has a unique history and noble mission. Created by the governors of 19 U.S. states to expand access to higher education, WGU’s tuition is less than half what other online institutions and traditional universities charge. WGU is the only university to have received simultaneous accreditation by four regional accrediting commissions and the only exclusively online teacher education institution to receive NCATE accreditation.

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  • It's Not Just for the Military Anymore, It’s For Everyone!


    For decades military personnel have had the opportunity to study independently and test out of college courses.  Today, there are tens of thousands of people from all walks of life who have earned college degrees using only independent learning to test out of courses.  Passing standardized exam grades are transferred into an accepting college for credit.pass you exam


    10 Reasons to Skip Class and Test Out


    1. Earn 3 to 6 credits after passing a standardized exam

    2. Over 3,800 colleges and universities allow testing out credit to be transferred into a degree program

    3. You can test out even if you have never attended college

    4. Convenient programs available that fit into your schedule 

    5. Save money over traditional programs 

    6. No classes to attend 

    7. No waiting lists

    8. Go as fast or as slow as you want – you are in control – you set the pace 

    9. Education opens up job opportunities, promotions, and more money

    10. Today is the day to take charge of your future!


    Learn How You Can Prepare for and Pass DSST, CLEP & ECE Exams


    Testing out is not something that most people can do without studying and test preparation.  That’s where iStudySmart.com comes in.  iStudySmart.com offers three product types. 

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  • iStudySmart.com Online Bookstore Upgrade

    iStudySmart.com has upgraded its online bookstore to make it easier for adult learners to find all of the textbooks they need for courses at affordable prices. Not only will textbooks be more affordable through the upgraded bookstore, but students will now be able to sell back their books after use.



    Other bookstore features include:

    ·         ISBN Matching

    ·         New, Used and eBook Options

    ·         Book Order Tracking

    ·         Enhanced Customer Service


    To order textbooks, visit iSSbookstore.com.

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  • New iStudySmart.com Products Available

    iStudySmart.com is dedicated to finding innovative ways to help adult learners complete college credit. On February 15, 2011, three different product options for courses will be available: Traditional, Advanced and Premier. Be sure to check the courses page during February to take advantages of these new course options!

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