Achieve Test Prep.... anyone?

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    Hello, I'm wondering if anyone out there has tried Achieve Test Prep to help them get their RN through Excelsior? I've been a LPN for 2 years and work full-time in long-term care, plus have two young children. I really want to get my RN, but going to a traditional "brick and mortar" program is not going to be possible for me. I enrolled in Excelsior back in 2011, right after I got my LPN license. However, I lost motivation, got bored with it, and felt lost in the huge amount of reading I had to do with no guidance. So I dropped out of the program. Now, I'm thinking about doing it again. I am also considering Indiana State's online LPN-BSN program, but I still need two pre-reqs plus the TEAS, challenge exams, etc. And I know they've had some problems with their program lately (just in California from what I understand but who knows how it will affect their entire program in the future).

    Long story short, I'm considering trying Achieve Test Prep to help me finish Excelsior's program. I do NOT want to even try College Network or any of those other places. I'd love to hear input from anyone who's tried Achieve's program. Do you feel prepared? How much is the total cost, monthly payment amounts, etc.? How long will it take you to finish? I've had most of the general education courses, but with Excelsior's new rule about A&P and Microbiology being completed in the last 5 years, I will most likely need to retake those along with all the nursing courses, FCCA, and CPNE. Thanks to anyone who can help!
    hardworkingrn2 likes this.
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    Achieve Test Prep is a test prep company, just like The College Network BUT they offer classroom review sessions. Their costs are on top of the registration, enrollment, exam (and practice exam) fees and any other charges levied by Excelsior. In my limited experience, it's akin to taking a review class for the NCLEX (you still have to pay for your nursing education, NCLEX fees and BoN fees) for some it works for others it does not. If you need an in person tutor in a group environment and can afford the extra costs on top of the Excelsior costs, then it may be beneficial to you.

    Excelsior College is NOT for everyone. You must be internally motivated to be successful in the program. Have you looked to see if any of your local community colleges offer an onsite-online LPN to RN bridge program? These programs are gaining in popularity (online classes and in person clinicals once a week or so) to cater to the working professional who wishes to advance their education.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.

    Edited to add: It is NOT cheap, but you cannot get an exact cost and time plan without meeting with an enrollment counselor from Achieve Test Prep either oniine or in person. I understand that it isn't a hard sell and if it is out of your price range they often recommend that you not pursue their program. Unlike TCN who pushes enrolles to sign up right away with a credit card or for one of their affiliated high interest private loans.
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    Thank you JustBeachyNurse. I actually have an appointment "online" at 1PM today to talk with an admissions counselor from Achieve. I am not even going to consider College Network. They are way too pushy. I filled out an online information request form on Indiana State's website for their LPN-BSN program, and since then, College Network calls me daily--sometimes 2 or more times a day! I never requested any information at all from College Network--the form I filled out was on Indiana State's site (I made sure of that before I filled it out). I've told them I'm not interested and that need to stop calling, but they continue to call frequently.

    I am not aware of any hybrid programs in my area. I live in Cincinnati, OH. If anyone knows of a program with online coursework and onsite clinicals once or twice a week, please let me know. It would have to work with my schedule, though. I work full-time nightshift in a nursing home, and cutting down to part-time or quitting my job is NOT an option at all. Thank you!
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    Check with your state Board of Nursing or just look into some of your local community college nursing programs directly (sometimes the information does not show up on Google).

    Prepare a list of questions before you appointment this afternoon: such as hidden costs, financing options (if any), scheduling of prep-classes vs. exam scheduling, recommended timeline, etc. Most states you must apply & enroll directly with Excelsior, and pay EC directly for the exams.

    As far as TCN/ISU there is a relationship there. If you did not agree to the contact, look at the "Do Not Call" regulations as you do not have a business relationship with them. You can always file a complaint or check with your phone service provider about blocking what amounts to harassing calls. (hence why I don't give my phone number out on online forms, but I have call blocking capabilities on my home phone number. You could always do what I did when my child was younger, if they didn't get the message of "DO NOT CALL ME ANYMORE" they got an invitation to speak with my yippy dog who like to shriek at the phone or my then toddler. usually solved the problem quickly. )
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    LOL @ the yippy dog! I don't have one of those but I do have 3 meow-y cats who are very vocal when they want their dinner. Maybe I'll put one of them on next time LOL

    The phone calls from the College Network appear to have died down thankfully. I know there's a connection between them and ISU, but I didn't expect to get a million calls after just filling out ISU's information request form. I have checked in to some college programs in my area. The ones I've looked at don't work with my work schedule. One of my former LPN classmates is doing Galen. They have a "hybrid" program, but the clinicals run late into the evenings, and I have to be at work at 7 PM. If Achieve's program is too expensive, I will most likely just try Excelsior again on my own. My life is in a better place now than it was 2 years ago when I tried it the first time, so maybe I will be successful this time.
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    JustBeachyNurse, are you doing Achieve's program, or have you done it? Or are you an Excelsior student/grad?
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    EC warns students about third-party publishers and test prep companies -- they are not affiliated with EC, nor does EC endorse their use (http://www.excelsior.edu/about-test-...ation-services). EC's program is set up to provide an outline/syllabus for each class in the form of a free exam content guide that you can download. There are plenty of people out there looking for study buddies, both in person and through other media like Skype, if you need some external motivator to keep you on track. I'd advise you to think twice before you add a lot of money to the bottom line of your education bill! Good luck, whatever you decide.
    BarbaraNM and JustBeachyNurse like this.
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    I know Achieve is not affiliated with EC. I was just trying to get some motivation to stay on track, and I thought having an instructor and classmates might do that for me. In the end, I decided against Achieve. It's going to cost me over $7000 total for the program, which she said would be a $222 payment per month. And that's on TOP of Excelsior's payment plan for the enrollment fee/tests. It would end up being around $500 per month total, and I don't have that kind of money. I graduated from LPN school with a 4.0 GPA, so it's not a question of whether I can do it or not. I know I can do it; I just need some direction and motivation.
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    Hello i am currently enrolled in the achieve test prep program i was in there a while back but stopped due to lost of job at the time but now i'm in a position to start back up and finish what i started. As far as cost goes with their fees and excelsior fees combine i'm still about $2k under what i paid for LPN school. They also train you for the CPNE which is the clinical that you must pass to complete excelsior program. this prep school creates and school type of environment. Overall I say have the meeting then decide, also yes a community college would be cheaper, if you don't mind a wait list or the fact that you will be competing with 300-500 applicants for 50-60 seats on the day and evening program. If you want to get you RN without giving up work then Excelsior is the way to go and in my opinion achieve prep offers one of the best preps that will help you get through the program, but this is only my opinion. I will be posting my results after each exam wish me luck.
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    Quote from LunahRN
    EC warns students about third-party publishers and test prep companies -- they are not affiliated with EC, nor does EC endorse their use (Excelsior College | Advisory). EC's program is set up to provide an outline/syllabus for each class in the form of a free exam content guide that you can download. There are plenty of people out there looking for study buddies, both in person and through other media like Skype, if you need some external motivator to keep you on track. I'd advise you to think twice before you add a lot of money to the bottom line of your education bill! Good luck, whatever you decide.
    Yes, I am aware that Excelsior warns against this, however, I am an adult and can make informed decisions. I know they are a Test Prep company. The Study Guides are "test prep" too. It is just another form of prepping for the tests, as is a guide from Clep or EC. The format seems like it may be more helpful than just trying to study for the tests from a study guide. Their format is somewhat different in that they provide Virtual classrooms, which may provide an additional dimension to the information that is being studied.

    Of course Excelsior warns against test prep companies, it is more money in their pocket if they have you enroll into their program; however, you don't have to enroll to clep the general education courses, so using assisting with prepping for a test and getting the credit for it without taking the course, appeals to some people. It is my understanding that the classes they provide are geared towards passing the Exam or clep test, which is the ultimate goal.

    Additionally, if one does thorough research and asks a lot of questions (make a list before hand); compare what they "advertise" to what they say and do not sign any binding long term contracts, there should be no reason why using them would not help someone achieve their goals.

    I am pursing a BSN program and need to take Spanish and they provide a 8 week class for Spanish 1 and 2 which prepares you to take the clep for the and get 6 or more credits. If I can do this and get into the program a year earlier, you bet I am going to give it a try.
    Last edit by Pixie.RN on Oct 2, '13


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