How Does CLEP Testing Work?

by Contributing Writer


What is the CLEP?

The College Level Examination Program, or "CLEP," is one of the most exciting programs out there for students getting ready to go to college. It is a compilation of 34 tests that range from College Algebra to Biology, and can be taken in lieu of the corresponding college class. Many colleges and higher learning institutions recognize these CLEP credits as being equal to three (or even six, in some cases) college hours. With the help of these exams, a college student can cut classroom hours by a great percentage, simply by taking tests on subjects they already know.

Benefits of Taking CLEP Exams

For many college students, particularly those adults going back to school while juggling family and a full-time job, CLEP exams are a huge time saver. Instead of obtaining an associate degree in two years, a variety of CLEP exams can help cut that time down to a year and a half, or even less. It can at least allow those two years to go by more smoothly, when a full-time class load would be difficult to handle. Money is another big reason why many people choose to take CLEP exams. The exams' costs are less than tuition in most cases. Also consider the gas money saved, and the costs of textbooks, which have skyrocketed in recent years.

How To Take a CLEP

Your first order of business when deciding whether CLEP is for you is to find out whether or not your college will accept the credits. Most colleges do, but not all. Make sure you know your college's policy on this. CLEP exams are scored on the basis of 20 to 80. College Board, the creators of the CLEP, recommends a score of 50 to 60 as passing for many of the tests, but individual colleges are free to set their own standards. Next, read over the CLEP exams offered by College Board and decide which ones you would be most likely to pass. OYou can study for a test in much the same way you can study for a course exam. There are plenty of study guides out there, many are offered by College Board itself. Finally, find a CLEP testing center near you and make an appointment to take the exam. Many colleges that accept CLEP credit also provide the tests. Find out in advance what the testing center charges, as there will likely be a test fee in addition to the CLEP fee.