The acronym CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program. Through CLEP testing, college credits can be obtained for life knowledge and experience such as having taken advanced high school courses, independent study or on-the-job training. CLEP examinations are administered at many colleges and universities


Step 1

CLEP test centers can be found on campus.

Search for a testing site that is conveniently located near you to take exams. Start the search with The College Board website. Many colleges even have their own CLEP test centers right on campus. Next, call, write or email the colleges that accept CLEP credits to ensure the acceptance of your scores for college credit.

Step 2

Some exams can be in the form of written essays.

Choose the exams you need from the many exams offered. Exams are taken on a computer in the testing center and take about an hour and a half to do. The tests are usually multiple choice and give credit for a one-semester course though some CLEP exams equate to full-year or two-year course of study. Some CLEP exams contain an essay component.

Step 3

Fees will have to be sorted out.

Register to take the exam by contacting the College Board and the testing site. During registration, testing fees will have to be sorted out. Test centers can charge a nonrefundable administration fee, in addition to the testing fee. For example, as of January 20, 2011, Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California collects a $77 fee for each CLEP exam and a $30 admistration fee per exam.

Step 4

A qualified tutor may be a good investment.

Study using official materials. The College Board publishes a study guide that is an established resource for students. Most candidates study on their own, but a well qualified tutor may also be a good investment. Next develop a study plan, especially if you have been out of the classroom for a long time.

Step 5

Use the computer for the practice exams.

Take practice exams. The College Board has developed sample questions for CLEP exams. They also offer exam-taking techniques. Computerized software was created that reviews many question types and their formats. Using the computer for the practice prepares the candidate for taking the actual CLEP exam.