gain college credit with CLEP tests

Posted : May 3, 2007
Last Updated : March 12, 2015

gain college credit with CLEP tests

Want to get college credit for a class without actually taking the course? The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), offered by the College Board, provides students with the opportunity to gain college credit for certain courses if they perform well on the subject exams.

Who Should Take CLEP Tests?
Many different types of people benefit from taking CLEP tests including:

  • Students who want to save time and money
  • Students who want to move right into advanced courses
  • Students who are a few credits shy of graduation
  • Working adult students with busy schedules who want to earn degrees quickly
  • International students who want to avoid repeating course work
  • Students who speak a foreign language fluently and want to earn college credit for that language
  • Returning students who want to change careers
  • Military service members and veterans who want to earn college degrees and take advantage of military education benefits

Variations Among Schools
Most colleges and universities grant credit for CLEP exams, but some do not. Find out if your school grants credit for CLEP tests. Rules and regulations vary among the schools that do grant credit; each institution gets to set its own CLEP policy. Be sure to check with the school you plan to attend to assess the school's policy on:

  • Applying for credit
  • How much credit will be granted
  • Minimum qualifying score
  • Taking other tests (i.e. essay, oral) in addition to the CLEP multiple-choice exams
  • Obtaining credit for general requirements (humanities, English, math, etc.)
  • Getting credit if already attempted a college-level course closely aligned with that exam

Please note: Students may not repeat a CLEP exam of the same title within six months at any school. If exams are repeated earlier than six months, scores will be canceled and test fees forfeited.

Test Description and Scoring
With the exception of the College Composition with essay exams, CLEP tests are made up of multiple-choice questions. CLEP tests are scored on a scale from 20 to 80. Most schools grant credit for a score of 50 or higher.

CLEP exams are offered at testing centers located on college/university campuses and military bases. Each exam costs $80, and most centers charge an administrative fee per student or per test. CLEP exams and administrative fees are free to eligible military personnel. You can register for a CLEP exam 24/7, manage your personal information any time prior to taking the exam, search for test centers, select your score recipient institution, and purchase study materials using the College Board registration portal. Registering for an exam provides you with a payment receipt and a Ticket ID, but you must contact a test center after registering in order to schedule the date and time you wish to take the test.

For more information about CLEP exams, please visit the College Board website or contact your college or university.

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