4. Get Ready!
Excelsior offers you a range of resources and services to make your credit by exam experience a successful one. Choose the resources and services that match your learning style and needs.
Exam Content Guides
Each exam's content guide provides an outline of the topics covered, a list of study resources, sample questions, and a how-to-prepare section. All these resources are recommended by the Excelsior College faculty who develop the exams, so using them is clearly a good idea.
Content guides are updated periodically to reflect changes in particular exams and textbooks. Be sure you have the most recent guide available before taking your exam. Current UExcel exam content guides can be found on each exam detail page or by following the link below.
Online Tutoring with Smarthinking
Work with a tutor in real-time or submit questions or essays for a next day response. You can also pre-schedule online appointments using Smarthinking, a free online tutoring service for our students.
Please note: We have learned of a Web site that may confuse and/or trick our students into paying for the tutoring support we make available to them - free of charge - via Smarthinking. NOTE the single "t" in the name of the legitimate site. An unofficial site has apparently been launched (www.smartthinking.com - notice the double "t.") This unofficial site contains listings for an array of vendors, unaffiliated with Excelsior or the legitimate Smarthinking, offering fee-based tutorial assistance on multiple subjects. As an Excelsior student, you can access the legitimate site via the Resources tab at your MyExcelsior main page. (Login required.)
Learn more about Smarthinking (for our students - login required)
Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that are readily available via the Web, at no or low-cost, that you can use to learn about almost any topic. OERs are presented in a variety of formats that support different learning styles.
Prominent U.S. educational institutions including MIT and Carnegie-Mellon University started the OER movement by putting their course materials online for anyone to access. Many other institutions, from small community colleges to prestigious research universities, now contribute content to OER sites.
Familiarize yourself with computer-based testing with Pearson VUE's free testing tutorial.
Excelsior College Library
Open to our students 24/7, our library provides online access to millions of the world's most current authoritative resources, as well as help and support from staff librarians. The Library has created resource pages for many Excelsior College Examinations.
Learn more about our library (login required)
Available for Purchase
UExcel practice exams provide exam questions built to the same rigorous standards as the live UExcel exams, in a timed environment, showing you what to expect when taking a UExcel exam. Information about specific UExcel practice exams can be found on each exam detail page.
By using the recommended textbooks for each exam, you can ensure that you’ve thoroughly studied all the material that may be included in the exam.
The recommended textbook(s) for each exam can be found in the Exam Content Guides located beneath the listing for each UExcel exam.
Guided Learning Packages
Guided learning packages contain all the recommended study materials needed to cover and learn the subject matter on an exam. They contain one or more of the following: textbook, study guide, book of readings, and computer disk. You may purchase guided learning packages through our bookstore.
Packages are available for English Composition and Ethics: Theory & Practice.
Test Preparation Advisory
Preparation for Excelsior College® Examinations, though based on independent study, is supported by Excelsior College with a comprehensive set of exam learning resources and services designed to help you succeed.
These learning resources are prepared by Excelsior College so you can be assured that they are current and cover the content you are expected to master for the exams. These resources, and your desire to learn, are usually all that you will need to succeed.
There are test-preparation companies that will offer to help you study for our examinations. Some may imply a relationship with Excelsior College and/or make claims that their products and services are all that you need to prepare for our examinations.
Excelsior College is not affiliated with any test preparation firm and does not endorse the products or services of these companies. No test preparation vendor is authorized to provide admissions counseling or academic advising services, or to collect any payments, on behalf of Excelsior College. Excelsior College does not send authorized representatives to a student's home.
Depending upon your individual learning style and needs, you may consider using the services and products of a test preparation vendor to help you prepare for an Excelsior College Examination. Some students have found such materials beneficial while others have not. The decision to purchase the services and products of any of these vendors is entirely up to you.
Excelsior College does not review the materials provided by test preparation companies for content or compatibility with Excelsior College Examinations.
To help you become a well-informed consumer we suggest that you consider the following before making any purchase decision regarding study materials provided by organizations other than Excelsior College.
Does the company:
- Clearly articulate that it is an independent business enterprise, separate from Excelsior College, and that it is not a degree granting institution?
- Clearly inform you that the products and services it provides have not been reviewed, nor are they endorsed, by Excelsior College?
- Openly indicate that it is not an agent of Excelsior College, that it is not authorized to provide admissions counseling or academic advising regarding Excelsior's degree requirements, and that all its costs and fees are separate from those you will pay to the College?
- Have a record of unresolved complaints/disputes with consumer protection agencies, nursing boards, attorneys general offices, or other similar organizations?
- Require clients to commit to long-term, binding contracts to access its products and services?
- Provide data to substantiate the satisfaction of its clients with its products and services?