January 22, 2018

CLEP – The College-Level Examination Program

CLEP – aka College Credit for What You Already Know!

Imagine you could spend a few hours letting people know how well you grasp the material in a subject area and for those few hours worth of time, you would receive college credit.   Well, that’s what college-credit-by-examination is all about.  There are several such exams available, the most well-known being the CLEP exam provided by The CollegeBoard.

CLEP exam

Earning college credit through the CLEP exam is a smart way to earn credit for what you already know!

The idea behind a CLEP exam is to show that a student has already mastered the material required to earn the college credit. Right now there are thirty-three exams available in five subject areas and you can find that list of offered exams in the CLEP section of the CollegeBoard website.

Ideally, once you have completed the specific high school class you would then have the knowledge to prepare for the CLEP exam.  Remember, this is testing for college-level knowledge, so completing the high school course is not automatically going to cover all the material that you need to know, but it’s a great start.  You can then obtain the CLEP testing materials to complete your preparation.  You will often find there is additional content you need to study.  For example, I have taught high school Biology 1 and 2 for many years and there are 10-15 concepts on the Biology CLEP exam that are not normally taught – or are just skimmed over – in typical high school Biology courses.

The best time to take the CLEP exams is shortly after completing the high school course – so as you near the end of the year, obtain the CLEP prep materials and spend a few weeks getting ready.  Then, go take the test!

The exams currently cost $80 and can be taken at CLEP testing centers – usually located on college campuses.   You can find a location near you and register for the exams on Collegeboard’s registration page found HERE.  CLEP exams are administered by computer so test taking availability may be limited by the number of computers on site.  Sign up early if you want a particular test date.

Once you receive your test score, you then take it to your college of choice and they are the ones that determine whether or not you receive college credit.  You will find a search box at the bottom of the CLEP webpage where you can look up minimum test scores required by individual colleges and universities.

Preparing for a CLEP exam is time well spent and can save you money and time as you pursue a college degree, so don’t overlook this avenue as you pursue ways to pay for your college education!

 ~to your success!



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