CLEP: Pass the Test, Get College Credits
Taking CLEP tests is an inexpensive, efficient way of earning college credit.
Divided into five separate areas of study, the CLEP offers a total of 33 college-level tests. By taking and passing the test, students earn 3-12 college credits for each exam, pushing them closer to college graduation. The CLEP allows students to test out of a subject area. For example, Sam, a future Biology major, may want to take a CLEP exam in Composition and Literature so that once he reaches college, he can focus on his science courses.
The test is administered on demand throughout the year at participating universities. Visit clep.collegeboard.org for registration details.
Eligibility & Fees: Capable students of any age and grade level may take the exam, whether they’re seniors in high school or adults attending college for their first or second degree.
Acceptance: It is important to note that not all colleges and universities accept CLEP test credits, and even schools that do accept CLEP may have different policies on how many credits a student can submit. Before taking the exam, check with prospective schools about how they handle CLEP credits. You can check the database at clep.collegeboard.org to see if a certain school accepts CLEP, but you should still follow up by contacting the school to confirm.
Preparation: Students can use the same test strategies to prepare for the CLEP as they would for any other exam, which include studying with flashcards, textbooks and practice tests. Check out clep.collegeboard.org for tips and practice exams, or try out a paid subscription with the test-prep site domeprep.com.
Neil Scott, director of admissions at Faulkner University, shared the following tips about why the CLEP can be beneficial and how to prepare for the exam:
- How can students prepare for the CLEP exam? Purchase a study guide for any CLEP exams you are considering, and spend some time reading and taking practice tests. The test is designed to ensure that you have a sufficient grasp on the information that would be covered in a college level course. You may take practice tests at clep.collegeboard.org. This website provides numerous tips that can be used in preparation for the exams as well as during the actual tests.
- What are the benefits of taking this test? Taking CLEP tests is an inexpensive, efficient way of earning college credit. Any steps students and their families can take to save money and time in college will be beneficial.
- Why should students take the CLEP? If students have not earned college credit through AP courses or Dual Enrollment courses taken during high school, they should consider CLEP exams in order to save money and time down the road. Students who enter college with credits already earned are in a position to begin taking classes related to their desired major more quickly.