2015: Q1: The Results + A New Challenge

Well, here we are. It’s the last day of March, 2015, and the sun is setting on another quarter of life.

I had a few major educational challenges set for myself this quarter. Let’s see how I fared.

1. Introduction to Business Law

I got a good jump on this subject in January, studying about 5-6 days a week, 1-2 hours a day. I made some good progress. However, I got derailed from my study habits throughout the entire month of February, and was very slow to recover in March. I could have taken the exam, and have gotten a D or a C at best. However, I decided to defer. See my new challenge at the end of the post to see how I’m going to handle this one.

2. Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union

I absolutely love studying History. I come up with a bunch of new insights into life. Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin are quite ruthless characters, and there is much a cautionary tale in the actions they took. I’ve been studying using the textbook: “The Soviet Colossus”. Brilliant book, and I recommend it if you’re interested in learning about the History of the Soviet Union.

Regarding the exam, an interesting thing happened when I posted my original challenge. On the DSST exam website, they posted an alert for the Soviet Union Exam:

“Starting January 1, 2015 this exam will be temporarily removed from registration and will return once we complete our revisions, update content, and receive new ACE approvals.”

Whatever the case, I will take the exam as soon as it is available, and I feel ready.

3. Principles of Marketing

Somewhat successful! Even though I fell off of the wagon in February, the amount of studying I got done for this class during January and March was sufficient enough to try my hand at the exam. I stepped up to the plate expecting to get a B on the exam. The justice principle works! I got a B.


4. Breakthrough Rapid Reading

On my own time, my personal challenge was to improve my speed reading abilities. Well, I must say it has been an exciting learning quest these 3 months. I’ve been fairly consistent, putting in my 30 minutes a day. I’ve read and finished at least 12 books these first 3 months…that averages out to at least a book a week. Not bad! Here is a graph of my daily work. You’ll notice that I missed 5 days, and had a few weaker days. On one of the days, I only did 5 minutes of reading practice. Better than missing the day entirely.

I used “Plutarch’s Lives” as my reading material. A bit advanced, but I like to do the hard work. Then, when I’m reading books that are more “on my level”, I have more strength to read fast and comprehend well.

5 minutes is better than nothing!


Notice: The structure of these exercise are set up differently week-by-week. Some of the exercises stress speed, and some stress comprehension. This is why you see a wide range of reading speeds. I cannot read 1,500 words per minute with an acceptable level of comprehension. I will continue my training, though, and see where it leads me. Highly recommended!

The Future Challenges

I’ve decided to restructure my challenges. 3 months seems to be too long of a time period at the current moment, so I’m going to narrow the timeframe. I will structure these challenges into sextiles. 2 months each.

1. Introduction to Business Law

I’m going to continue studying this, and then take the exam in May. If something very unexpected happens, however, and I’m not able to get my study time in, I will not go to the exam when I know I won’t get at least a B.

2. Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union

Same principle. I will continue studying for this exam, and aim to take it in May. If the exam isn’t available, I’ll keep studying until it’s approved by ACE for college credit. There are worse fates; it is a very deep and rich subject, and there are lots of materials and books about it.

3. Breakthrough Rapid Reading

I am progressing at the rate of 1 lesson per week. It’s more of a tortoise-like progression through the book, rather than a hare. I’m at about page 100, and there are over 200 pages. This is a long-term course, and I am getting tremendous value out of it. I will continue studying for 30 minutes a day, and in May I will post a new chart with my numbers!

Let the game continue. I’ll see you in May!


  1. Lynn fux April 1, 2015 at 7:32 am #

    Wow Josh, first of all I am relieved to hear from you!! I have left you several unanswered messages but now I understand why. A challenged life is a fulfilled and happy one. You have inspired many people with your challenges. I even reread Plato’s Republic and several other philosophers who I had only a passing grade involved with.I am so proud of you and what you do for others and life will continue to bring you many successes in the future, thanks for the update and inspiration,Lynn

    • Josh Lipovetsky April 1, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

      Thank you for the support, Lynn! I’m taking quite a sabbatical from Facebook…will be back when the time is right 🙂

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