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Taking Tests
Part 3: Test Taking Strategies

In the final part of this 3 part series, we’re getting practical with some test-taking tips.

Long-form question strategies

When you get into the test, this is what you do first….read EACH word of the question carefully. We have a habit of reading words in groups, which works well most of the time. BUT in a test, you have test writers who are trying to get you to make a mistake. They write the questions in a way that they hope you will read the words quickly, and miss their little trap. And we’ve all fallen into the trap, right?!  So you’ve been warned – read EVERY question carefully….. twice….. maybe three times.

  1. Identify the type of each question you have in the test.
  2. Mark each question with your priority we talked about earlier.
  3. Now start to answer your favorite questions, followed by your lower-priority questions.
  4. Remember to show all your work and thinking, to give the examiner the best chance to give you more points.
  5. Never write your thoughts and calculations on scratch paper.

Some more strategies

  1. If the question is not a simple one-part question, take the question to pieces. If it contains 3 question parts, write each part on a separate line, one under another. You can now answer each part as a separate question.
  2. If the question requires you to recall information from your memory write it all at the start at the top of the page – call it your brain dump. Just get it down in note form, and then you’ll use it later to answer the question. You can strike it through your notes later, and it will not count as part of your answer.
  3. Some questions will rely on how well you can recall information, as we mentioned above, whereas others may ask you to think, analyze, calculate or critique. Some people prefer to get these questions done first, as the information is fresh from looking it over while they ate breakfast, sat on the bus, or stood outside the test room. With every minute, more and more information is forgotten. So you may want to consider answering those types of questions first, even if they’re not your preferred type.
  4. Here is a personal favorite that I used myself many years ago. Part of my study preparation was to try to reduce my large quantity of class notes to a few sides of paper. I used keywords, acronyms, lists, and whatever it took to get information into a smaller footprint. Here’s the trick – rather than trying to commit all this to memory – all I needed to do was remember it from outside the exam room where I left the review papers in my locker, and then I would spend the first 15 minutes recreating my notes inside the exam room on a piece of scratch paper, from memory, while it was still fresh. I think if I had waited 5 minutes longer, I would not have remembered anything at all! Make sure that it is clear to your proctors, that you did not bring the paper into the room with you, and that you are writing it fresh from memory.
  5. One last thought from my personal trove of exam-taking tricks. Just like you should never leave a question unanswered, in case you get a lucky guess point, so too in long-form questions. If you have a question that requires you to recall, for example, a complex mathematical formula, and you simply can’t remember it, just write down any formula that you can remember. Then do your best to answer the remaining parts of the question, even though it may not make much sense. Hopefully using the error carried through rule we discussed above; you may get a few extra points. Only do this if you have spare time, otherwise concentrate on refining your other answers.

Multiple-choice question strategies

Even though multiple-choice questions seem to be a lot easier than long-form questions, here are a few strategies to help you maximize that grade.

In case you’ve forgotten…your first job is to read the questions carefully, word by word, multiple times!

  1. If you have a test of say 50 questions, write down on a piece of scratch paper, the numbers 1 thru 50.
  2. Each time you answer a question, make a note on your piece of paper next to the question number – if you are confident in the answer put a √ – if you are not confident put a ?, and if you don’t know an answer put an X
  3. After you complete the first time through all 50 questions, look at your scratch list and look back over the questions with an √ to check you got them 100% correct.
  4. Next, go through the questions marked ? and try and answer them fully. You can change the mark from a ? to a √ if you feel the question is now good, or you can leave the ? or change it to an X.
  5. If you have time, try and answer the ? and X questions.
  6. NEVER EVER LEAVE A QUESTION WITHOUT AN ANSWER! In multiple choice tests, you do not lose points for wrong answers. If by the end of the test you are still unsure of answers, always take a guess. You will not lose marks, but you might gain some!
  7. Of the five supplied answers, there’s usually 2 that are obviously wrong and there to confuse you. Try to identify them, and remove them from consideration. Now you should concentrate on the 3 remaining answers that could be candidates.
  8. Some people say that at the end of the test you should see how many of each answer you have, for example, you may have 50 questions and you may answer 7 with A, 10 with B, 12 with C, 6 with D, and 15 with E. They say that there should be about the same number of each, for example 10 A’s, 10 B’s, 10 C’s 10 D’s and 10 E’s. Don’t relay on this, but it may be fin to see if you have extra time available at the end of your test.

Hopefully you got something out of this test taking series, and it will make your test-prep and test-taking more effective and you’ll find that your test taking performance improves.

Good Luck!

Taking Tests
Part 2: How Do Tests Work?

In this 3 part series, we’re taking a look at tests. In part 1, we discussed how to effectively prepare for tests. Today we’re looking at how tests are written and how they’re graded. Next week in part 3 we’ll get practical with some test-taking tips.

Before you rush to take your test, we want to share a little background of how tests are written, what they are looking for, and how that will affect your answers. This is a real eye-opener and may change how you take tests for life – no joke. This applies to long-form tests, not multiple-choice tests, so if you will only be taking multiple-choice tests, you can skip this section entirely.

Now, if you are taking a full paper, or long-form exam, where you have to write many lines of answers and explanation, we’re going to share the secret of how and why long, multipart questions are written, and why, and hence how they are scored.

Let’s say that you have a 3 part question:

Part 1 – supply some information that you are supposed to remember from the study materials
Part 2 – now take the information from part 1 and, for example, calculate something from it.
Part 3 – finally, comment on the answers from part 2

So let’s say you answer the first part wrong, you say 25 instead of 45. That means that the calculations in part 2 will yield the wrong answer, and the comments in part 3 will also be inaccurate.

Do you think that the examiner wanted you to get no points in parts 2 and 3 because you answered part 1 incorrectly? In some cases, you may be right, but in most that was not the point. Here’s the big secret…

The examiner wants to see:

In part 1 – can you remember or did you learn the information you were asked?
In part 2 – the examiner wants to know if you can perform the calculation.
In part 3 – the examiner wants to know if you can make an observation about the results of a calculation like that in part 2.

It makes no sense if you’ve shown that you know how to perform the calculation in part 2, that you should get no points – you’ve done what the examiner asked. And if you have shown how to interpret the answers to part 2 correctly – you did what the examiner wanted -so you should get points there too.

Examiners need to write and grade long contextual test questions, to see if you know, in this case, 3 different things – the information, the calculation and in the inference. But the examiner needs a method to allow you to get points for parts 2 and 3, even if you get part 1 wrong. They can use a rule called the error carried through rule. That means, that if you get an error in part 1, you don’t continue to lose points because it is generating incorrect answers in later sections. Hence, the error is carried through the rest of the question, and not treated like a new error in every section.

In our example, if you answer part 1 incorrectly – then you will lose the mark for part 1.

However, if you then take the wrong answer from part 1 and correctly use it in part 2 then you have shown that you can work the calculation in part 2. Even though you ended up with the wrong answer to part 2, you will get the points as you showed that you know how to do the calculation – and that’s what is being tested in part 2. So you only lose points once for getting part 1 incorrect, you don’t lose points again in part 2, and 3.

That is the error carried through rule in action.

Next time, in the final part of the series, we’ll give you some more practical advice to use during your test.

Education at its best

The Cambridge Dictionary defines education as “the process of teaching or learning, especially in a school or college, or the knowledge you get from this.”
When you consider the investment in time and money put towards higher education, you want to make sure you’re getting the best education for your specific goals and circumstances.
A college should prepare you for your future and offer education at its best. You’ll want to choose a school that aligns with your personal and professional goals. Let’s face it, with all the options out there, the process can be daunting.
The first thing to consider are your grades and standardized test scores. Your grade point average, or GPA, reflects your overall high school performance. Challenging yourself with honors and AP courses in high school also looks good on your transcript. The admissions department will also look at how well rounded you are. For instance, do you volunteer in your community, and do you participate in extracurricular activities like sports or band?
Do you want to attend a two-year or four-year college? A larger institution that offers a variety of majors may be best if you’re not sure what path you want to pursue. On the other hand, a vocational or technical school would be a better fit if you want to focus on skills needed for a specific field. If job or family responsibilities are a concern, distance learning may be the best option.
Also, consider the size of the college. Would you prefer a larger school that has tens of thousands of students or a smaller one that enrolls a few thousand?  If you’re leaning towards a big school, you might be in a class with as many as 300 other students. Sound overwhelming? Then a smaller school that offers more individualized attention may be the better choice. If athletics and involvement in student groups are important to you, a bigger college or university is more likely to offer that than a smaller one.
And don’t forget location, location, location. Are you okay living hours from home?  Would you thrive in a big city filled with round-the-clock activity? Or is a smaller campus in a quiet, rural area more your speed?
As for academics, make sure the school has the degrees and classes you are looking for. You can also get a sense of its academic quality by checking its rankings among other schools. And make sure the college is accredited in the field you want to pursue.
While it might not seem like a big deal, retention and graduation rates are important too. They are a good indication of the quality of the school and student satisfaction.
Of course, you’ll want to consider the cost. A private college will cost significantly more than a not-for-profit or state-run school. Are student loans and financial aid available? How about work-study jobs? Living on campus brings the added expense of room and board. While you may be yearning for independence, living with your parents will save you big bucks. Your big expenses will be fuel and parking fees or public transportation fares.
Take advantage of open houses. Colleges and universities schedule them throughout the year to give prospective students a feel for college life.  Many of the tours are led by college students who undoubtedly know the campus best. So, during your visit, ask them a lot of questions about classes, professors, activities, residence halls, the dining hall and even the best places to order take out. Some schools will even let high schoolers stay overnight to get an idea of what you can expect as a college student.
After you have researched colleges, weigh the pros and cons of each you are considering. That will help you choose a school that will offer the best education for your specific needs. Family and friends may offer advice and their opinions on your top choices. Take it into consideration, but remember, it’s your future and ultimately your decision. After all, you will be the one spending the next 2 to 4 years or more there.
So, as you can see, education is not one size fits all. A quality learning experience depends on what best suits you. Good luck with your college hunt!

Taking Tests
Part 1:
How Do Tests Work?

In this 3 part series we’re taking a look at tests. Love them or hate them – we all end up having to take them. In part 1 we’ll delve into how to effectively prepare for tests; in part 2 we’ll discuss what and how tests are written and how they’re graded; and finally in part 3 we’ll get practical with some test taking tips.

Let’s get going with part 1 – Preparing for your test

To prepare for a test, it seems that learning all your notes and lessons materials should get you a great result. So this article just needs to tell you how to better organize your materials and retain more information, then on test day you can spit it all back out and get an outstanding grade. But we’ve all tried this and the reality is often quite different. How many times have you felt that you know the materials inside and out, but when you get to the test you either don’t know how to answer the questions or get a low grade. Sound familiar?

How to prepare well for a test

We’re going to suggest something that sounds so obvious that you’ll probably stop reading – but don’t! Please keep reading….

If you are going to be successful on a test, you need to learn how to answer the questions

Obvious right? I have to learn the subject matter in order to answer the questions. But that’s what I do, I learn the subject matter and still can’t answer the questions. No, let’s read it again, you need to learn how to answer the questions. Experienced test takers will tell you there are two parts to preparing for a test – first, there’s the subject matter – and second, there’s the questions themselves. You need to learn to deal with both. Most people forget about learning how to answer the questions.

Preparing to take a test

With our new insight, to prepare for taking a test, here’s your strategy:

  1. Learn all your class notes and subject matter thoroughly.
  2. Review previous tests and identify every type of question that can be asked. If you look through years and years of tests, you’ll be able to say when you see a particular type of question showing up again and again, but with slightly different content in it. Give each type of question you identify a name or a code, so that when you get into the exam, you can look through the questions and say “question 1 is a type A, question 2 is a type B etc..” An examiner once told me that ‘there’s only so many questions that I can ask!’ If you find that you cannot answer a particular type of question, reach out to your fellow students or faculty for guidance. You simply have to learn to answer each question type.
  3. Next you need to practice answering each type of question. You need to end up with a process that is something like – when I find a type X question, first I need to look through and find the data in the question, second I need to remember X, Y and Z that I learned, then three, I need to write down P first, then Q second, and take something from P and add it to Q etc. etc. You basically are becoming a question answering robot. Preparation is your programming.
  4. Once you have done this preparation in step 3 for each type of question, you get to be human again. You get to decide which types of questions you find easiest or prefer, and those you find hardest or dislike. Now go through the list of question types from step 1, and add a priority to each type. You can use A, B and C, or 1, 2 and 3. It’s a way for you to remember in the test itself, which questions types you will answer first, or if you have to choose say 5 questions from a possible 8, you can leave those types you like least.

IF you have reviewed and learned your class and study material, AND you know what types of questions to expect, AND you have a method to answer each type, AND you can prioritize which questions you will answer – THEN you are ready to take your test! However, next week we’ll take a look at how tests are written and graded, which may change how you go about answering questions in your next test.


What are the Benefits of Going to College?

While it may be obvious to some that getting a college education is a worthwhile investment, to many gaining an advanced education may be desirable, but the associated costs may need some justification. We’ll take a look at a few reasons why getting an undergraduate degree is a great idea, and we’ll even look at reasons that you may not have considered.

Let’s start with three career reasons that people go to college, one of which may not be so obvious…

Earn a better salary

Looking at data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cited data from 2019 that showed, on average, a bachelor’s degree could net you about $500 a week more than someone with a high school diploma. That’s a 66% increase. Bear in mind that when you start on the road of advanced education, you open yourself up to many more job opportunities that you may not have had, and also to advanced academic and professional education like masters and PhDs. So you can think of the 66% as a starting point, not an ending point in your calculations.

Also, don’t forget that these are averages that include fields that make no more than a high school diploma. So depending on your chosen career, and the demand for graduates in such fields, you could easily double your salary with an undergraduate degree.

Protect yourself during economic downturns

Unfortunately, this reason is once again becoming a more common problem. When companies are faced with the difficult decision during economic downturns, they more often than not have to downsize their workforce. When it comes to making the decision of who to let go, it’s not as simple as selecting higher wage earners. While that may work in the short term, companies also know that in most cases they will grow again. When it comes to selecting layoff candidates, one question managers will ask themselves is, who will be easiest to replace when things get better? The cost of on-boarding and training candidates who will take on more responsibility in a company is higher than more junior staff. Likewise, competition for good candidates is hot right now, so letting people go who are in demand, may not be the best decision. Who is in demand? You guessed it… graduates.

Spend less time unemployed

Here’s one you may not have thought about. Unlike previous generations, we no longer have a job for life at a single employer. While getting a higher salary may be obvious, we don’t usually consider that periods of unemployment between jobs, is becoming the new normal. We may get payoffs or have savings to cover times like this, but the less time you have between jobs, the less you spend, or you may even get to save some. The New York Federal Reserve, citing 2020 and 2021 studies, people aged 22 to 27 have a higher rate of unemployed if they don’t have a college degree. Unemployment is about 4% among those with a college degree, compared to about 10% for those without. That means for every 2 unemployed graduates, there’s 5 unemployed high school grads.

After considering the career advantages of a degree, let’s consider some things other than money…

Develop soft skills

Academic education is the core of a degree, but along the way you will learn many soft skills, skills that can be applied to working in a company. Skills like time-management, teamwork, planning, reporting, and research are in demand, and will set you apart from your peers…..but only if you can get your foot in the door. Having a degree is that foot in the door, but soft skills will make you so much more desirable. Think of it as gift wrapping around a gift. Sure everyone want s a gift, but the wow factor of presentation can’t be understated.

Get more employer-funded education

Even if they don’t, or you haven’t got student debt, getting into a more responsible role, and especially at larger companies, will open you up to internal and external company education and training opportunities. Companies invest in people they value, either to make them better for their present role, prepare them for their next promotion, or to cross-train them in other parts of the business, so that they can move sideways or be part of a mixed team. You may also have the opportunity to train for a professional qualification, for example in project management or a new software language, all of which you can add to your professional experience. While you reach for the stars, don’t forget that companies may pay for an advanced degree like an MBA. Suffice to say, once you take the undergraduate degree step, you’ll realize it was really a leap into another world of advanced education.

Expand your network

In today’s world, your network is not only your history of your professional interactions, but your future career pathway. While you may be thinking that adding a degree to your LinkedIn profile or resume will get you noticed, you have to consider that making your next career step may not actually come through such a formal hiring process. Business professionals are always looking within their trusted networks for their next hire. We’ve mentioned previously that hiring is not only about what is known about you, but also the risks associated with what is not known about you. You hear the stories of the superior on-paper candidate that turned out to be the office horror. Managers try to minimize this risk by hiring candidates that are known by people they trust, that’s the folk in their network. Starting with your relationships at college, you’ll grow your network, and also have access to your friends’ networks. So while college is getting you your degree, it will also be growing your opportunities for great roles.

A few words about student debt (and debt forgiveness)

Even though this article is about the benefits of a college degree, it wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t talk a little about the costs of a college education, let’s face it, even with all the benefits that we’ve discussed, there’s a big elephant in the room, which we’ve chosen NOT to ignore.

It can cost a lot of money to go to college, we don’t need to tell you how much, you know the numbers. While making an extra $500,000 to $1 million more over a lifetime is not out of the question when you get a degree, you may still have to shoulder student debt. It’s a daunting prospect for anyone to have $1000s of dollars in debt, let alone someone who hasn’t even started or is in the early stages of their career.

There’s three things we want to say about the cost of college:

Firstly, the exciting news is that the US government is taking student debt very seriously, recently announcing a student debt forgiveness program. We hope and expect this to become a new normal going forward, and see it as a government investing in its people and future.

Secondly, new online degree opportunities are changing accessibility to degrees for economic as well as geographic and physically challenged groups. Programs like Total Testing, now make it a reality to get a degree. The program offer unprecedented flexibility to study when you like, how you like and where you like. And the amazing news is that online programs can cost a fraction of what you would normally pay for your degree.

Finally, if you have run up some debt during your undergraduate degree, it is not unheard of for employers to pay something towards that debt as part of a starting package, if not all of it. It’s one of those negotiating points in an interview. Imagine starting your career debt free.

YES! You can get started on college while still in high school.

Is there a program that can help a high schooler to graduate college or university sooner? Sounds like a long shot, but Total Testing has a program that can help high school students earn their degree faster and cheaper.

Early Birds

Here’s a trivia question for you….what do Michael Kearney, Moshe Kai Cavalin, Sho Yano, Alia Sabur and Tanishq Abraham have in common? The answer is that they are some of the youngest entrants to undergraduate degrees in university. Michael Kearney was only 6 years old! But that’s not what we’re talking about here, we’re talking about how you can help your high schooler to finish their degree in less than 4 years. Why high school? Because students in high school can start taking courses that can be used for college..

Earning College Credits before College

How does it work? Total Testing has partnered with leading universities to bring you online pathways to accredited degree programs. Instead of earning all your college credits through college courses during many semesters, you pick a degree pathway, follow a university-approved degree plan, and complete up to 75% of your curriculum through self-study courses. And the great part about these courses is that you can start taking them when while in high school. That means that you can have college-level courses in hand when you graduate.

The program that works around you

This isn’t summer school or a crammer course. This is a self-paced online program. You decide how much or how little you want to study and you decide when you are ready for exams. Need some more time to study? It yours. Want to take an extra course during vacation? No problem. Want to work in the evenings? Your call. Again, you can start these courses when you are in high school, and when you complete your courses, enroll in the institution granting the degree, earn credits for the courses completed, and finish your degree online.

How much does it cost?

The Education Data Initiative says that the average cost for an on-campus 4-year bachelor’s degree is between $102k to $212k, which is between about $850 and about $1750 per course credit. Remember, if you choose to go on campus for your degree, on top of tuition costs, don’t forget that you may have to budget for books, class supplies, travel, accommodation, meals and other living costs. That only raises the cost per credit. For a similar on-line bachelors 4-year degree the cost between $38k and $60k, or $315 to $500 per credit.

With Total Testing you can complete 75% of your degree for under $300 per course if you study part-time, full-time the price can drop as low $99 per course. You could also finish in as little as 2.5 years, and if you started when you were still in high school, even quicker than that.

And it’s not only for high schoolers and high school graduates, if you’re a professional that wants to come back and take or finish your degree, this is also for you too. If you are raising a family or have retired, the flexibility of the Total Testing  program is a perfect fit.

Email one of our academic advisors today to get started.

Resume vs LinkedIn profile?

The explosion of online platforms, especially LinkedIn, means that finding and applying for a job has changed from just 10 years ago. Used to be a recruiter would pot a job, you would send your resume and a cover letter describing why you were the perfect candidate, and the last 4 left after a review process would get an interview. Today, social media and technology mean that nothing will be the same again.

What’s the difference between a resume and a LinkedIn profile?

Firsthand suggests that a resume and a LinkedIn profile serve different purposes. They suggest that your resume is a concise listing of your relevant professional experience, tailored to each specific job application. Whereas your LinkedIn profile is a place to tell your story, share your passions and add outside-of-work experience, in a more general way. Your resume should be written in tight professional language, whereas your LinkedIn profile may be more business casual. You can also use your LinkedIn profile to add certifications and accolades that add to your marketability. Finally, you should never just copy one onto the other.

Themuse also says to use your resume as a tailored, concise, and professional experience document. They position your LinkedIn profile as the place for the backstory. Whereas your resume may contain the job title and your accomplishments, LinkedIn will say how you achieved them. If you changed jobs, explain how your skills and experience played a part and the personal side of the change. As to fine-tuning your LinkedIn profile, they say that as you narrow your scope, so to you narrow who will find you. Keep it nice and broad, but make sure to include specializations as part of the breadth, but not all of it.

CV-nation tends to agree with firsthand and themuse, and gives some more detailed differences.

  • Write your resume in the 3rd person, and write your LinkedIn profile in the first person.
  • Your resume should start with a short and concise summary, but your LinkedIn profile should be longer and more detailed.

Everyone agrees that resumes are narrowly focused, and LinkedIn profiles must have broad appeal. In the past, photos used to be attached to resumes, but not anymore, in today’s job hunt, CV-nation suggests you use LinkedIn photo and video content to showcase your work and experience.

Execunet talks to executives and senior-level hires, but it’s worth hearing what they say. One of the barriers to success for older professionals is that they simply don’t buy into social media. They grew up with a Rolodex and made the switch to a smartphone, but that’s it. They point out that today, recruiters scan LinkedIn and then request resumes, turning the recruitment game on its head, now recruiters can check you out without you even knowing.

Ian Siegel, CEO of ZipRecruiter, in a recent interview highlights quite how much the future is here today. He says…

“… seventy-five percent or more of resumés are going to be read by software before they are read by a human. And that software is going to try and create a simple summary of who you are and sort the best candidates to the top. So the only goal of your resumé now is to be readable by the robots. You want to use the plainest, most straightforward language you can in your resumé — so that [the] robot knows what it is you can actually do and decide whether or not you match the job description.”

CV-nation takes it a step further and says to use keyword optimization techniques in both your resume and LinkedIn profile so that search bots can find you too.

In conclusion, you should make sure that your LinkedIn profile presents and positions you with a compelling, well-crafted story, and lots of detail and support. And just like you wouldn’t think twice about employing a resume writing service, you can always hire professionals to craft your LinkedIn profile for you.

Whatever you choose to do, the best of luck with your job search.

Benefits of earning a bachelors degree in business for entrepreneurs

Can a bachelor’s degree in business help entrepreneurs succeed? We’ll look at the world of the entrepreneur, what’s in a bachelor’s of business degree program, and where there’s overlap.

Inventors vs. Entrepreneurs

Many of us confuse inventors with entrepreneurs. Inventors are those geniuses that have the spark of an idea that can change the world. Whether it’s in chemistry, biology, engineering or computing, we could point out many inventions that have changed the world. These folk are experts in their fields, and have pushed the boundaries of their art. However, an entrepreneur, according to investopedia.com, is…

An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards.

Nothing in there about invention, and nothing about expertise. Simply put, entrepreneurship is about business. That’s not to say that entrepreneurs are not passionate about their art, creative, inventive or geniuses. It just means that their focus is on establishing, often risky, businesses and reaping the rewards for success. Often entrepreneurs take inventions and use them as part of a business to disrupt existing business models, such as Apple and digital music, Amazon and home shopping and Tesla and electric vehicles.

What does an entrepreneur need to know?

Entrepreneurs need to be able understanding any business and any industry they wish enter or disrupt. Such knowledge married with business skills produces market, product and financial insights that are the basis for successful business decisions. Along with business acumen, entrepreneurs also tend to be excellent written and verbal communicators with a track record of deal making. A third knowledge area is finance, stock and capital markets, which gives entrepreneurs an edge when it comes to funding and scaling their business.

Can a bachelor in Business degree help entrepreneurs?

As we mentioned earlier, today’s entrepreneur needs to understand how to run, grow and finance their ventures. While highly educated CEOs may earn millions for running huge corporations, they’re not usually the ones at the helm of startups. Patriot small business says your average entrepreneur is between 34 and 45. Indeed.com suggests that they are visionary, persuasive, tenacious risk-takers. But no-one says they’re reckless, all of these characteristics are underpinned by knowledge and skills.

If you want to jump into the business world, you need to get a background in how business works and the environment in which it operates. An online bachelor’s in business degree like one from Daemen University includes courses around…

  • Finance and financial accounting
  • Business organization and management
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Communication, writing, and composition
  • Negotiation

These courses can take you from being just a person with a great idea to one who really understands the ins and outs of building a business around your idea.

Can a Bachelor in Business degree make you an entrepreneur?

A dose of reality here. Just like we said that having a great idea doesn’t make you an entrepreneur, so having a business degree doesn’t make you one either. However, if you have a thorough grounding in business, you are in a better place to identify opportunities that may change the world and to be able to run a business that will.

In the meantime…

Even if you don’t create Facebook or Google within a few weeks of finishing your degree, you can still use your bachelors in business to gain real experience in real companies. A bachelors degree in business from Daemen University sets you up well to enter business careers in sales, finance, operation and marketing.

One thing is for sure, you can never have too much knowledge to start a business, so it’s a great idea to get started today.

Just the push you need…

2022 is half over, but there’s still time to start your degree. If you need a push to get you moving, here’s five of them…

Open Up New Opportunities

You know how frustrating it is to find a job that looks like a great fit, right work, right place, right people, only to look at the job requirements and find out you need a degree. A degree isn’t about money, it’s about opportunities. Don’t settle for your second best choice of job, get your first choice, get started on that degree today. Get in touch with Total Testing and learn how you can get that degree on your schedule.

Earn More Money

So here’s the bottom line from the US Department of Social Security: “Men with bachelor’s degrees earn approximately $900,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates. Women with bachelor’s degrees earn $630,000 more.” That’s a lotta money! Get in touch with Total Testing and learn how you can get that degree for as little as $9000. That leaves you with an extra $621,000 over your lifetime. How much is that advice worth?

Get new skills

There’s a story about a company that had a big machine in their factory. One day it started making a bad noise. They called in the manufacturer – they couldn’t fix it. They called in the best engineers – they couldn’t either. There was a guy in the factory who went to the boss and said “my grandfather could fix this.” The boss laughed and said he could have a try and he’d pay him if he fixed it.

The grandfather came and he listened to the machine, he got out a tape measure, and he made some calculations in his little notebook. He took a stick of chalk from his pocket and wrote a big X on the side of the machine. He went to his car, came back with a hammer and hit the X real hard. The noise stopped immediately. The boss was really impressed and told the grandfather to send him a bill.

A couple of days later the boss received a bill with 2 line items: (1) Charge for hitting the big X with a hammer – $1; (2) Charge for knowing where to put the X – $99,999.

Don’t you just want to be grandad? Get in touch with Total Testing and learn how you can get a degree that will make you wiser.

Change the World

You know the frustration – I want to change the world, be a social worker, a nurse, a teacher – guess what – you need a degree. So even if you don’t want to get a degree for you, can you please get it for all of us – we need you. Get in touch with Total Testing and learn how you can get started on that degree tomorrow.

Follow your dreams

Funny thing is that to follow your dreams, you’ve gotta stop dreaming and gotta start doing. Today is the day to change the script – today I’ll make the first steps to raising my value, raising my knowledge, earning more money, and changing the world – today I’ll start my degree. Get in touch with Total Testing and learn how you can earn up to 75% of your degree taking college level courses in subjects you studied previously, or for stuff you’re interested in learning. Then finish the last 1/4 of your degree with one of our partner universities.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Complete College Online

As the digital world continues to change how we live our daily lives, just like we can now bank from home, and shop from home, we now have the real option to learn from home too. Getting a college degree used to mean going to college, but today’s students may no longer receive a classroom education, they can get a living-room education. So what are the top reasons that students are choosing online degrees? We’ve put together 10 of the best, that we hear the most.

Lower Cost

Digitally delivered education offers the same high standards and curricula that you expect from a bricks-and-mortar college. By shopping the ever-growing online degree choices, you can find the right degree that meets your educational needs and your budget. And as your degree is coming to you, you can save all the money you would have spent on accommodation and travel.

More Flexibility

Studying remotely offers you the flexibility to fit in study when it best suits you. Whether you work in an office, run a home, or are maybe still in high school, you can log on when it suits you. And if you take a vacation, you can take your degree with you, no need to cut class. If you want to study before your day starts or fit in a class when you can’t sleep, the choice is yours. If something changes in your life, you can adjust the pace of your degree, or perhaps even put it on hold for a while. Total Testing can help you set up a degree pathway that revolves around you.

Better Time Management

When you study independently for an online degree, you’ll learn how to manage your time well. It’s not something that most students learn when they’re on campus and just have to turn up when required. As an online student, you’ll be in control of when, what and where you learn. You’ll learn how to reprioritize when something urgent comes up, and you’ll learn how to use slack time to catch up on stuff you’ve missed. When it comes to work, employers value the organizational skills that online degree students have developed.

Higher Quality Learning

Online degrees give you a wider choice of subjects and a higher degree of customization. When you are learning what you really want to learn, you get better results. As you are studying in your own space, when you reach out to faculty or fellow students, you aren’t vying for attention at the end of class, or in a crowded cafeteria, so the quality of your interaction is higher and the learning is better. And as your classes are online, you can benefit from reviewing part or all of a class, as often as you need, until it’s clear.

Improved Virtual Communication and Collaboration

The working world is slowly coming to terms with how to collaborate and communicate remotely. They’re trying to twist their in-office paradigm into an online world. Students that have studied online have a huge advantage in the remote work environment. They have learned how to study online, talk and collaborate with peers, meet with managers and mentors, and operate in online meetings and events. When you get your online degree, you’ll hit the remote-ground running.

Better Technical Skills

As part of operating online, remote students have a better grasp of essential online tools. While the office world is still wasting 20% of their meeting time fighting with the meeting platform, and sharing a presentation, you’ll have already mastered meeting, presenting and working online.

A Broader, Global Perspective

In-person degrees may not be a fit for everyone, for all sorts of reasons. Online degrees attract a wider and more diverse group of students. The newly leveled playing field means that you could be learning with students from other countries, with different socioeconomic backgrounds and at different life stages. With so many perspectives, your study will be more rounded and you’ll learn from your peers.

Better for the Environment

Speaking of the globe, studying at home means you don’t have to commute by car, bus or plane. You don’t need huge air-conditioned lecture halls and student facilities. With today’s focus on the environment, getting your degree online, means you’re doing your bit for the environment too.


Online learning has broken down the accessibility challenges that students face. It used to be that to get certain subjects, the choice of colleges was very narrow. What if you couldn’t get there, or even if you could, sometimes the physical environment was not accommodative to your needs. When learning is the focus, and you can bring your environment with you, you have so much many more opportunities to get at the education you desire.

Early finish

When we think of a degree student, we tend to think of post high school students continuing their education or professionals returning to complete their degree to advance their career. But there’s a bunch of high-schoolers out there that have realized that they can get college credits, not only before they go to college, but before they leave high-school. Online degree pathways, like Total Testing, allow students to complete college courses by self-study and testing, rather than attending class. Some of these students get to finish their degree after only six-months out of school.
When evaluating whether an online degree is the right choice for you, consider these benefits above and you’ll be on the best degree path in no time.

Seven Habits of a Successful Online Student

Every college needs a commencement speech at the start of the semester – here’s a quick one for all online-degree freshmen out there…. “Congratulations and good luck – today is the first day of your online college career – we want you to be so successful, reach new heights and set new standards for yourself – it’s not going to be easy – but here are 7 habits that you need to develop that separate the best from the rest…….”

Follow your schedule

There are actually 2 habits here: make a schedule and follow it. Unless you’ve been home schooled, online study may present a very new challenge – it’s up to you, and you alone. In high school, and often in work, your schedule is set for you, and you follow it – right action, right place, right time. Your first task is to put together a weekly schedule that includes what you are going to do, and when. This includes courses, assignments, and meetings. You may need to adjust as you go, but if you have no schedule you are quite probably going to get lost in your work.
Once you have your schedule, you have to commit to following it, no excuses – Just do it! (you may have heard that somewhere before).

Get tech’d out

Just like you’d expect a carpenter to turn up with a bag of the right tools, or a painter to have paints, brushes and canvas, you have to have all the tools you need from the start. If you are told you need a computer, get a computer as you won’t be able to do it from your smartphone. If you need to sign up for online services, do it, if you need to get to the office supply store, get there. The pace of a degree course is a whole lot faster than at high school, you’ll get more done in a class than you did in weeks of school. If you are fighting with the technology, maybe you can’t open a document, or you can’t hear a lecture, you are going to fall behind really quickly. Get organized now, no excuses.

Make a study place for yourself

Although it seems really cool to be able to learn in front of the game or while you eat, pretty quickly you’ll realize that you need to remove all distractions. Online college may be at home, but it’s still college. Maximize your chance of success, and make a quiet home for your studies, even if it’s a folding table and chair in a quiet room – you won’t regret it.

Practice immediacy

If you leave all your assignments until the night before, like you did in high school, you’ll quickly discover that the nights just ain’t long enough! When you get an assignment, start it immediately. Once you’re in it, you can decide whether to reprioritize if you get another assignment to deliver earlier, but if there’s nothing in the way, just get it done.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communicate with your course tutors and student advisors, they’re human and they want you to be successful. Reach out to them early and often and make them success partners. Ask good questions, come prepared and ask for advice.
Communicate with your peers, it’s amazing what others can bring from other perspectives. Online college is not like high school where you are all into the same things and live in the same place. You’ll be mixing with a demographically, geographically and socio-economically diverse group of people. Learn from them.
Communicate with your family, friends and old school friends. Discuss your goals, your projects, and your problems. You’re not a school kid anymore, time to use those adult resources that have been around you forever.

Read everything and then more

If you thought that you could get away with skimming or not reading all your coursework – no chance! When you get an assignment, read the supplied material, then read all the supplementary materials, and then seek out and read other materials. You need to get ahead, say something different and be noticed. It’s a great practice for life. Research is one of the key skills that you need to learn in college – you won’t regret it.

Start with the end in mind

Let’s leave the last habit for the master of the 7 habits – Stephen Covey himself. Even though this is an early habit in the 7 Habits System it’s important whenever you mention it. Whatever you do, think about how it will impact and fit into your end-game. It’s a great way to stop yourself from doing unimportant work. If what you are doing doesn’t have a positive effect on your end goal, don’t do it. If you could be doing it better, and getting a better outcome, change course. Never ever start without a plan, and a clear path from start to finish.
One of the advantages of getting started on your your online degree pathway with the Total Testing program is our academic advisors who are there for more than just signing you up. Their success is measured by your success. If you need help developing some good habits, get in touch, they’d love to hear from you.

What Is a Bachelor’s Degree? Requirements, Costs, and More…

Students who earn their bachelor’s degree can continue in education, attending graduate school and earning a master’s degree or doctorate, or can choose to launch their career. But what is a bachelor’s degree, what’s in it, and how much does it cost?

What’s a bachelor’s degree?

A bachelor’s degree, sometimes called a baccalaureate, is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by universities and colleges. It’s a basic degree and is the usual next course of study for high school graduates. Degree graduates get to put letters after their name, such as BA or BSc. For a bachelor’s degree the first letter is a B (for bachelors) followed by another letter which shows the area of their major concentration. The most common bachelor’s degrees are a BA – which is a Bachelor of Arts, and a BS or BSc – which is a Bachelor of Science. There are a few more like a BFAfor the visual and performing arts; a BASfor specialized fields; a BSBA for business administration; and a BE or BEng for engineering. After receiving an undergraduate degree, you may choose to continue your studies in a postgraduate degree course, starting with a master’s degree and moving on to a doctorate PHd.

How long does it take and what will I study?

Undergraduate degrees can take anywhere from 3 to 6 years at a university or college in the US. You are required to earn about 120 course credits, which means you’ll need to attend about 40 courses in all. Your studies divide into 3 three areas – a major, electives and general education. Your major will account for about 25 to 40% of your studies, electives for 40 to 55%, and general education for about 20%.

Depending on your program, you will choose your major when you apply or sometime before the end of your sophomore (2nd) year. Your major is an area of concentration you will study while earning your bachelor’s degree. Your choice of major will impact your future choices in both the education and professional arenas, once you graduate. Some common examples of majors include: biology, business administration, chemistry, computer science, early childhood education, engineering, and mathematics.

General Education includes subjects like math, English, computer science, liberal arts, history, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities (art, literature, and languages). Gen Ed, as students call it, is included to round out an undergraduate education and help to develop critical thinking skills that may be applied throughout your education and career. Electives may be courses that support your major or maybe something completely different.

Where can I get a bachelors degree?

You can study for a bachelor’s on campus in a US university, college, some community colleges or online through a university partnership program like Total Testing. Today you have the choice to study online or in-person, to live at home or on-campus. That’s a real game-changer for students and increases accessibility to a degree geographically, financially and physically. There are even opportunities to earn college credits before you even start. By taking self-study courses and proficiency exams, you can earn college credits, maybe in subjects you already know.

How much will a bachelor’s degree cost?

The Education Data Initiative says that the average cost for an on-campus 4-year bachelor’s degree is:

  • $101,948 in a public in-state institution
  • $172,644 in a public out-of-state institution
  • $212,868 in a private institution

Remember, if you choose to go on campus for your degree, on top of tuition costs, don’t forget that you may have to budget for books, class supplies, travel, accommodation, meals and other living costs.

They state for a similar on-line bachelors 4-year degree the cost is:

  • $38,496 with an in-state institution
  • $54,183 with an out-of-state institution
  • $60,593 with a private institution

Total Testing together with Daemen University has developed a 120 college credit system that isn’t tied to semesters. You can get your bachelor’s degree in as little as little 2.5 years for as little as $9000 dollars. With a  program like Total Testing you drive the pace of your progress, no one else. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get that bachelor’s degree in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost. And it’s not only for high school graduates, if you’re a professional that wants to come back and take or finish your degree, this is also for you too. If you are raising a family or have retired, the flexibility of the Total Testing program is a perfect fit.

Email one of our academic advisors today to get started.