Hey there! Have you ever heard of CLEP exams?
They’re a pretty cool way to save both time and money when it comes to college. You see, these exams allow you to test out of introductory courses and earn college credits for subjects you’re already proficient in. It’s like showing off your knowledge and getting rewarded for it!
The College Level Examination Program, or CLEP for short, is administered by the College Board. They offer a whopping 34 exams in five different subject areas.
According to Gini Beran, the director of CLEP outreach, these exams give learners of all ages the opportunity to showcase their mastery of college-level material and earn those well-deserved credits.
So, here’s how it works. Let’s say you’re fluent in Spanish. By passing either the Spanish Language or Spanish with Writing CLEP exams, you can potentially save thousands of dollars in tuition costs and earn college credits for foreign languages. Cool, right?
Military personnel also benefit from CLEP exams because the U.S. government covers the exam fee for first-time test-takers.
Now, before you jump into taking a CLEP test, there are a few things to consider. Not all colleges accept CLEP credits, and some may limit the number of credits you can earn.
It’s essential to check with your college to see their policy on accepting CLEP credits. Also, keep in mind that CLEP exams require a good understanding of the subject you want to test out of. So, make sure you’re well-prepared before taking the plunge!
When it comes to earning CLEP credits, it’s a pass or fail situation. You need to score at least 50 to earn the credit. However, these credits don’t affect your grade point average.
Each college decides how to apply the credits, whether towards general education courses or specific major requirements. It’s a good idea to check with your college or academic advisor to understand their policies.
Different colleges accept different CLEP exams and have specific score requirements. For example, in Florida, a score of 50 in College Composition can earn you six credits at any public state university.
However, some schools, like the University of Chicago, don’t accept CLEP credits at all. It’s essential to do your research and find out which exams your college accepts.
Who can take CLEP exams?
Well, pretty much anyone! During the 2021-2022 academic year, the College Board administered around 122,000 CLEP exams.
These tests are popular among high school students, homeschooled students, and adult learners returning to school. They’re also a great option for students in two-year programs who plan to transfer to a four-year program.
The College Board offers a wide range of CLEP exams, divided into five subject areas: History and Social Sciences, Composition and Literature, Science and Mathematics, Business, and World Languages. Most exams consist of multiple-choice questions and take about 90 minutes to complete.
Some exams, like College Composition and Spanish with Writing, also include an essay section.
The cost of a CLEP test is $90, but starting from July 1, 2023, it will be $93. However, there’s good news for low-income students in Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.
High schools in these states receive state funding for CLEP exams, which means eligible low-income students can take the test for a significantly reduced fee or even for free!
Taking CLEP exams can have several benefits. First and foremost, you save both time and money.
By testing out of certain courses, you can potentially graduate earlier and with less or no debt at all. It also allows you to focus on high-demand majors,
jobs, or extracurricular activities. Plus, who doesn’t want to move on to those “fun, advanced courses” faster, right?
However, there is a tradeoff. By bypassing traditional classes, you might miss out on experiences, relationships, and other opportunities that come with taking those classes.
It’s a personal decision, and you should consider what’s more important to you: affordability or the full academic experience.
If you’re thinking about taking a CLEP exam, it’s a good idea to prepare and familiarize yourself with the test structure. The College Board provides free and paid resources like sample questions, study guides, video tutorials, and articles.
They even recommend textbooks that cover the material tested in introductory college courses. Another option is the Modern States Education Alliance, which offers free online courses to help you prepare for CLEP exams.
When it comes to scheduling the exam, you have flexibility. CLEP tests can be taken at any time, and you can choose a preferred test site.
Many colleges serve as testing centers, and some high schools have also started offering CLEP exams. If you can’t make it to a testing center, proctored online tests are available, and accommodations can be made for people with disabilities.
What happens if you fail a CLEP exam?
Well, you’ll have to wait 90 days before retaking the same exam. It’s crucial to be well-prepared because taking the test multiple times can get expensive.
Ultimately, CLEP exams are a way for students to demonstrate their readiness for higher-level college study and save time and money along the way.
It’s all about making sure you have a solid understanding of the subject and seizing the opportunity to earn those college credits. So, if you’re up for the challenge, go ahead and explore the world of CLEP exams!