What Is CLEP All About?

CLEPWhat Is a CLEP Test?

CLEP test stands for College-Level Examination Program. A CLEP is a test that measures how much you know about certain academic subjects. Students can earn college credits by getting a qualifying score on their CLEPs in topics within Composition and Literature, World Languages, History and Social Sciences, Science and Mathematics, or Business. Thousands of colleges and universities accept CLEP test scores, which are administered by the College Board.

More About CLEP Exams

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) awards college credit at more than 2,900 U.S. colleges and universities for demonstrating achievement in a subject by means of a computer-based exam.[i] By earning a satisfactory score, you may earn the same amount of credit as a student who successfully completed the same course at that school. Prospective students enrolling in accelerated degree programs are usually encouraged to take the CLEP test.

CLEP policies vary widely from school to school, so before registering for a CLEP exam, be sure to check which exams are accepted and how much credit they will give you. If you are earning an accelerated online college degree, it's a good idea to discuss this matter with your advisor or enrollment counselor.

What Are the Benefits of CLEP?

By successfully passing each test, you will receive college credit that can:

  • Enhance your degree
  • Allow you to skip beginner courses
  • Able you to take higher level courses faster
  • Help determine your readiness for classes
  • Apply knowledge you already have
  • Save money on books and tuition

Who Accepts CLEP?

Below is a list of online colleges that accept the CLEP exam credits towards a degree. By no means is this a complete list; it is simply a few names to help you get started!

  • Ashford University
  • Strayer University
  • Walden University
  • Ameritech College
  • Capella Unversity
  • Kendall College
  • Medaille College
  • Robert Morris University
  • Kaplan University
  • Corban University
  • Brenau University
  • Duquesne University
  • Saint. Joseph's College

How Is the CLEP Exam Structured?

All CLEP exams are administered by computer. A CLEP exam is an hour and a half long and consists mostly of multiple-choice questions (some exams have fill-in-the-blank questions), except for English Composition with Essay and College Composition.

  • The College Composition exam contains multiple-choice items and two mandatory, centrally scored essays. Each of the two essays is graded independently by two different professors from around the country, and those two grades are combined. This combined grade is added to the grade from the multiple choice part of the exam to provide your one single score on the overall exam.
  • The College Composition Modular exam is different in that it contains multiple choice items and also an essay portion that is graded by the receiving university itself.

The English Composition with Essay exam is an essay question that must be completed in 45-minutes, in addition to a 45-minute multiple-choice section.

Because universities can be particular about which of the College Composition courses they will accept, it is best to wait to take this until you have been informed by an academic advisor how to proceed.

For any exam, you should plan to allow at least two hours to complete testing. It is also recommended that you take no more than two different subject CLEP exams in one day.

When Do I Get My CLEP Score?

Since CLEP exams are entirely computer-based, you should receive your score immediately after completing the test (except for College Composition and College Composition Modular, in which case you will receive your score in about four weeks). In about a month, any score recipient, if you designate one at the start of the exam, will receive your official score report.

What Does the CLEP Exam Cost?

The fee for each CLEP exam is $80, plus any service fees payable to the testing center. [ii] However, for eligible military service members and eligible civilian employees, CLEP exams may be free of charge.

CLEP Resources

How to Save Money with CLEP

[i] clep.collegeboard.org/ [ii] clep.collegeboard.org/exam-day-info

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