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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have the personality for independent study?

You are probably perfect for independent study if you:

  1. complete assignments on time,
  2. are self-motivated and directed,
  3. are an independent learner, and
  4. are willing to try new things.

You are probably NOT a good candidate for independent study if you:

  1. need a more structured environment,
  2. are easily distracted, or
  3. are not comfortable with computers.

How does credit by examination work?

Credit by exam is completely self-paced. You study for as long as you want, and you take your exam when you feel comfortable with the material. Your scores will be transferred when you enroll at the college of your choice.

How do I register for a CLEP exam?

To register for a CLEP exam, request registration materials and test site information from CLEP at 1-800-257-9558 or at Select a college or university near you marked “O” (open test site). Contact the school for an examination schedule and registration procedures. You may also want to ask them about parking information. Fill out the Registration-Admission form and send or take it to the test center. You will need a check for $80.00 for each exam. Some test centers also charge a small fee, which you will pay separately. You will receive your score immediately after you have taken your exam. You will also be mailed a copy of your score report. The number marked “Candidate Score” is your score.

How do I register for an Excelsior College exam?

There are three ways to register for an Excelsior College Exam:

  1. Call Excelsior at 1-888-723-9267 to order a registration packet, which will list Pearson Testing Center locations in your area. Complete the form provided in the registration packet, and return it by mail to Excelsior College along with a check or money order for the test.
  2. Call the above number and use a credit card to register.
  3. Register online with a credit card at

When you receive your “Authorization to Test” letter, go online at to schedule your exam. You may also schedule your exam by calling (888) 926-9488. However, there is a $10 fee per call for utilizing the call center to schedule, reschedule or cancel your exam. You will have a nine-month “window” in which to schedule your exam. Except for exams with written responses, such as English Composition, you will receive your exam score before you leave the test center. Results for the English Composition exam typically take about 45 days.

In what order should I take my exams?

In most cases, the general studies exams like Life Span Psychology, Introductory Psychology, Introductory Sociology, Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology and American Literature should be taken before attempting the nursing exams. The last prerequisite exam we recommend is the one that fulfills your English Composition requirement. The nursing exams will follow. This is a very general schedule of the order in which you should take your exams. If you have specific questions about your study plan, please call your Client Support Representative at 1-888-837-8688.

How do I order my next guide?

You may order your next guide online. We also have a special automated system set up for your convenience. Please call us at 1-888-837-8688 and ask for our shipping line, extension 2413. You will be asked your name, your social security number, and which guide you would like to order. Please remember to speak slowly and clearly. The system is set up so you have as much time as you need to make your responses. If you are unsure of which guide you would like next, one of our client support representatives will be happy to choose for you. In most cases, you will receive your guide within 10 days of ordering; please contact us if you do not.

I signed up with Chancellor’s Learning Systems a long time ago and haven’t taken any exams yet. How do I get started again?

First of all, don’t worry! The beauty of this system is that you can study at your own pace. Life happens! You decided at one time that you wanted your degree. That goal must still be an attractive one to you. It’s not as hard as you may think to get on track again. If you’re ready to start again and have a study guide you have been holding on to for quite some time, call us first to see if there have been any changes that you need to be aware of before taking the exam. Any update for an outdated guide is $50.00. Your client support representative is a valuable source of information and motivation. Keep in contact!

What is the passing score for my CLEP exam?

The passing score for all of the CLEP exams is a 50. You will get an immediate score report when you finish the exam.

How long do I have to wait to retake an exam?

If you fail a CLEP exam, you have to wait six months before you can retake that exam. You may continue with your studying and work on another exam while you wait to retake that exam. If you fail it a second time, you only have to wait 60 days to take it again. If you fail an Excelsior exam, you have to wait 60 days to retake it. You can repeat an Excelsior exam a total five times. You may only take it three times in one year.

Is there a time limit on the completion of my degree?

Once you have actually enrolled in Excelsior College, you have seven years in which to complete your degree.

I’m so stressed out for my first exam! Do you have any tips?

DON’T RUSH! Take some time with this exam, and study until you’re sure you are comfortable with all of the material. This is the time for you to develop a routine and get into the swing of studying again. If you can, set aside time every day for studying. Set aside plenty of time to get to your exam, and try to arrive early to be sure of parking. For Excelsior College exams, try to arrive early enough to take the practice exam on the computer beforehand. Dress comfortably, and TRY TO RELAX!

What is the best way to use my CD’s/audio tapes?

We do not recommend that you listen to the tapes while reading the study guide. Many of our clients study their guide and use their audio tapes as review. Listen to the tapes while you drive, walk, jog, etc. You will retain more information if these materials are used separately.

What is the FCCA?

The FCCA® (Focused Clinical Competencies Assessment®) is an online course that Excelsior College requires immediately before you are allowed to apply for the CPNE. The FCCA® will test your ability to determine the patient assessments you will perform on specific patients as the RN responsible for their care. You will develop nursing careplans using the Mosby's Guide to Nursing Diagnosis and will make assignments by assigning yourself and your team members: RN, LPN and NA. You will also identify a priority need at the time of discharge for each patient assigned and list available community resources to meet that need.

This is an online course and you may need textbooks to complete it. You will list the textbooks used at the completion of the course.

After successfully completing this test you will be eligible to apply for the CPNE. Contact Chancellor's to schedule your CarePlan Lab after your application for the CPNE is accepted by Excelsior College.

Where can I take my CPNE?

There are several sites across the country where you can take your CPNE. The sites are:

  • Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY
  • St. Peter's Hospital, Albany, NY
  • University Hospital, Syracuse, NY
  • Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare, New Hartford (Utica), NY
  • New York Hospital Queens, Flushing, NY
  • Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, GA
  • Southern Regional Medical Center, Riverdale, GA
  • Northside Hospital-Atlanta/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite, Atlanta, GA
  • Memorial Health, Savannah, GA
  • Chambersburg Hospital, Chambersburg, PA
  • Meriter Hospital, Chambersburg, PA
  • St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center, Madison, WI
  • Covenant Women's and Children's Hospital (Lakeside Campus), Lubbock, TX

Chancellor’s offers CarePlan, a practice clinical lab to prepare for the CPNE. It is Monday through Friday in Fishers, IN. CarePlan covers everything you need to know to pass the CPNE. Please contact a representative at 888-837-8688 or email

What is Chancellor’s Iron-Clad Guarantee?

Chancellor’s study guides come with a money-back guarantee. We will give you your money back for our product if you do not pass your exam. Chancellor’s guarantees the use of its study guides as preparation to pass the standardized tests for which they were written. If, after two attempts within one year from the date you receive a guide, you are unable to pass the exam, Chancellor’s will refund the cost of the study guide. You must return your two original failing test results, dated within twelve months from the date of receipt of the guide, to receive a refund.