Get a Head Start on Your College Degree with CLEP
The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) helps you earn college credit for what you already know, for a fraction of the cost of a college course. It is accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities and is administered in more than 2,000 test centers.
CLEP allows you to demonstrate proficiency in college-level material and earn college credit, regardless of where you learned the material. It offers 34 exams in 5 subject areas, covering material taught in courses students generally take in their first 2 years of college.
Why Take CLEP Exams?
CLEP can help you save money and time if you're planning to go to college. And you may already have the right knowledge and skills. More than 60% of CLEP test takers said they relied on their high school coursework to learn the material needed for their CLEP exam(s).
Get College Credit
You can earn three or more credits for each CLEP exam you pass. The amount of credit you can earn varies by college, so check your institution's policy.
If you earn college credit by taking a CLEP exam, you can save thousands of dollars in tuition expenses, student-loan fees, and book costs. A CLEP exam costs only $93, while the average cost of a college course is more than $900.
CLEP credits allow you to skip introductory college classes and jump right into more challenging advanced courses. Placing out of required or elective classes can also free up time in college for you to do things like:
- Take other classes in areas of interest.
- Take on a double major or a minor area of specialization.
- Experience studying abroad.
- Participate in an internship or co-op work program.
- Graduate early or on time.
CLEP is a time-saving way to earn a degree. CLEP students pursuing a bachelor's degree cut the time required to graduate by 2 1/2 to 10 months.
Which CLEP Exams Do Colleges Accept?
Colleges' CLEP policies differ. Different colleges grant credit for different exams. Also, a college often grants the same amount of credit to students who earn satisfactory scores on the CLEP exam as those who successfully complete the related course. Use a college's official website to research the policy of a college you're interested in.
Where Can I Learn More?
Check out these resources:
What does a CLEP test do?
A standardized CLEP exam allows students to earn college credit for subjects they’ve become proficient in without having taken the corresponding course. These exams cover subjects from history and social sciences to business and math. All the tests assess students' knowledge of college-level material, helping them skip these introductory courses.
What does CLEP stand for?
CLEP stands for College-Level Examination Program. It’s a set of standardized tests offered by College Board to assess college-level knowledge and potentially earn college credit. These tests cover a variety of subjects, such as the following:
- Social sciences
- Foreign languages
Students often use the CLEP tests to demonstrate their knowledge and earn credit without taking a college-level course.
Are CLEP exams worth it?
Whether or not CLEP exams are worth it depends on your individual circumstances and goals. If you understand the subject matter well and can prepare efficiently for the exam, taking a CLEP exam can save you time compared to taking a college course. However, not all colleges and universities accept CLEP exam credit, so you should check with your desired institution before taking a CLEP exam to ensure you’ll get credit for your work.
What are the benefits of taking a CLEP exam?
The benefits of taking a College Board CLEP test include saving time and money. Students can skip entire courses by earning college credit through a CLEP exam. These tests benefit students looking to graduate early or wanting to take a heavier course load. Additionally, CLEP exams can be a valuable tool for adult learners who want to earn a college degree but have obligations that make attending traditional college courses difficult for them.
What is the minimum score for the CLEP exam?
According to the CLEP website, you must achieve a minimum scaled score of 50, representing the minimum knowledge required to demonstrate a college-level understanding of the subject matter. However, some institutions may require a higher score for credit to be awarded. Before taking these tests, always check with your chosen university or college to ensure they will accept these exam scores.
How are CLEP exams scored?
The score for a CLEP exam is calculated based on the number of questions answered correctly, and there’s no penalty for incorrect answers. The student's raw score is converted into a scaled score, ranging from 20 to 80. That conversion process ensures that scores are comparable across different versions of the same exam.
How are CLEP exams administered?
The format of a CLEP exam will vary depending on the subject area. The majority of CLEP exams are multiple choice, but there are a few exams that may have a written portion. These exams may consist of 50 to 150 questions, and you can take them on a computer. The time allotted for most exams ranges from 90 minutes to 2 hours.