Posted in HS4CC

Pro Tip: Preview Studycom “Assignments”

If your teen is earning college credit through Studycom, they may have nearly finished a course only to find out that they had one or more assignments hidden at the end! That’s not a happy surprise, and that happened to my son this month! In this post, I want to show you how to find those assignments before the class starts, and give you a few tips for getting through them inside of your subscription month.

If you’re using the College Accelerator plan for, you won’t be able to earn college credit without completing every quiz, every exam, and every assignment. I think it’s essential to review the assignments carefully before even choosing the class. Since there are many courses to choose from (currently 221) it’s easy enough to compare courses and make the best decision for your teen.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to filter assignments through the search feature. You’ll have to do this long-hand.

Some classes have assignments that range in difficulty from easy (write a resume) to mild panic (record yourself giving a speech) to a potential brick wall (write a 3,500 word paper using APA style).

General Guidelines

Courses with 100 or 200 number in the title: may contain assignments

Courses with 300 or 400 number in the title: will contain assignments

(Computer Science 307, Business 306, etc.)

Upper-Level Problems

When parents plan for the upper-level courses (300-400) the justification for doing the assignments is that their teen’s target college will award upper-level college credit. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Just because assigns a course with an upper-level number, that doesn’t mean the target college will award upper level! In fact, if you browse their partner lists of colleges, you can open each document that identifies how the courses are going to be applied at that college. That’s a real zinger when you find out your teen did a lot of extra work when a simple lower-level course or CLEP exam would have checked the box.

Among partner colleges, credits are accepted, but how they apply to a degree can change based on your major or the college’s current policy. As a caution, if you’re ever going to hit a snag between Studycom and the partner college, it’s going to be that your upper-level course comes in as lower level.

This screenshot below is a transfer guide provided by’s website for those who plan to attend Excelsior University. Can you find the 2 instances of a upper-level course coming in as a lower-level course at Excelsior?

If you locate “Business 302” and “Business 309” you’ll see both will come in as lower-level credit. There are many others, but you wouldn’t know this unless you looked!

Why Level Matters

The level matters because the upper-level courses will always have assignments. Assignments are good for our teens academically, but will make it harder for your teen to complete their course and will add grading time to your subscription. To give you a comparison, it is possible for a highly motivated teen to complete 3-5 lower level courses in 1 month, but that same teen might only complete 1-2 upper level courses in 1 month. At $199 per month, you’ll want to budget accordingly. One final point about level, if your teen is a poor test taker, choosing upper-level courses will actually allow them to accumulate more points ahead of the exam, thus reducing the stress for “passing” their final. Since quizzes can be completed multiple times, it’s likely that they’ll go into their final with 100 points already earned. As you can see, the weight of the final is diluted when assignments are part of the grade rubric.

Grade Breakdown

Courses WITHOUT assignments are graded like this

Courses WITH assignments are graded like this

Find Assignments

You do NOT need to be logged in or have an account to preview for assignments.

  1. From the homepage filter courses by using the tick box “transferable credit” and “online college credit”

2. Results for all 221 courses will be displayed.

3. Select the course you would like to preview. Remember, some 100 and 200 level courses have assignments, but ALL 300 and 400 courses will certainly have assignments!

4. Pan down to the blue bars where each chapter is located. I’ve had to zoom out to capture this screen shot, but your screen will look like this:

5. Assignments are generally given in the last chapter.

6. In this case, the assignment is called “HR Consultation” and we can click it to open and read the requirements. This assignment requires 1 report of 2,000 words that cites 4 sources and is in APA format. The entire assignment is well-explained and gives you an opportunity to preview it ahead of time. THIS IS THE ASSIGNMENT. It will not differ once your teen is in the course.

Assignment Completion Tips

  • Expect it to take at LEAST 1 week for an assignment to be graded.
  • You can not take the final exam until your assignment is graded.
  • Work on the assignment(s) as early as possible, even before you begin the class!
  • You can submit the exam at any time once you’ve begun the class.
  • If you can submit the assignments during the first week or two, you’ll buy time to keep working on the rest of the class while they are being graded.
  • Perfect planning means the assignment(s) are graded about the same time that your teen has finished the course and is ready to take the final exam.
  • Pair “assignment” courses with “non-assignment” courses to balance out the workload.
  • Always look for assignments!

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Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit