Consider, if students are (essentially) mandated to take standardized tests such as the G.E.D., SAT, ACT, GRE, GRE Subject Tests, ect. ect. to demonstrate academic knowledge, skills & abilities which is claimed to be a sufficiently strong evaluation method--Why cant 'Proficiency Tests' be administered on a range of subjects that, if passed, credentials a person in that particular area analogous to taking a course, sequential group of courses, or degree (i.e. AA, BA, MA, ect.)?
Note, 'placement testing' and 'final exams' are already standard, then why not have that model expanded greatly? That is, if a person takes and passes a 'Final Exam' on a particular subject, what is the need for them to take the 4 month course? Likewise, if a person can pass a GRE Subject Test on a given subject, which is intended to demonstrate proficiency at the level of an Undergraduate degree in the area, why should that not credential them in the area? That is, why could they not bypass the need for attending College for 4 or so years and simply take the Test if & when ready in order to earn the diploma?