Testing out of college courses helps you earn credits faster, but how many classes can you test out of? Check out these tips and then verify your school’s credit-by-exam policy so you can save time while accelerating your degree progress.
What is CLEP?
CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) gives you a more efficient way to complete college classes. CLEP is a credit by exam program, which means all you have to do is pass one exam to earn college credits for each general education course.
CLEP offers more than 30 exams for college courses in five areas of study:
- History and social sciences
- Science and math
- Composition and literature
- World languages
CLEP helps students with previous knowledge on a subject to earn their degree without sitting for a class. Anyone can use CLEP, but if you’ve taken advanced high school courses or had on-the-job training, CLEP is especially useful for you to test out of subjects.
When you pass a CLEP exam, you can earn three or more college credits at 2,900 U.S. colleges and universities.
CLEP is just one program offered by credit by exam, which includes DSST (for military members and their families) and AP (for high school students). Credit by exam tests cost $80 – $100 each, while college courses typically cost $1,700+ a class. Using CLEP exams, you could save thousands of dollars on your degree.
How many classes can I CLEP?
With CLEP, you have the ability to test out of a maximum of 60 credits in total. But, every college has different policies on how many credits they’ll accept through credit by exam. In general, you can earn up to 25% of your undergraduate degree and 40% of a 2-year degree.
The number of credits you can earn with CLEP exams are different at each school. You will need to directly contact your school to find out how many credits you can earn with CLEP. Remember to verify with your school that an exam credit is accepted, the amount of credit you can receive for that exam, and the score required. Many students can CLEP out of their freshman and sophomore year general education classes.
Which schools accept the most CLEP?
2,900 colleges and universities in the United States accept CLEP credits. However, some schools accept more than others. Some big-name universities that accept the highest number of CLEP credits include:
- The University of Massachusetts
- University of Central Florida
- Texas A&M University
- University of Arizona
- Michigan State University
- Purdue University
If you haven’t picked a college and plan to use CLEP, you may want to plan your schooling around colleges that accept the most CLEP credits. You can maximize your savings and graduate quicker. This list is far from exhaustive, and with most colleges accepting CLEP credits, you can easily attend your dream school and still save time and money with credit by exam.
Do CLEP credits expire?
CLEP credits don’t technically expire. But the College Board only keeps your CLEP transcripts on record for 20 years after you take the exam. So if you haven’t sent your CLEP transcripts to your college by then, you probably won’t be able to use those credits. There can also be other issues with getting credit for old CLEP exams depending on your college’s requirements.
Because CLEP credits don’t technically expire, you can spend a bit more time planning for college. Even if you’re not sure which college to go to, CLEP can be a long-term investment for the future when you do decide to complete schooling.
What score do I need to pass a CLEP exam?
You need to score 50 out of 80 (or 63%) to pass a CLEP exam. This score is the lowest CLEP allows for granting credits to test takers. Still, whether you get a 50 or an 80, the CLEP test will appear as a “P” for “pass” on your transcript.
CLEP exams cover a wide range of topics per subject, and you’re not expected to know everything. Don’t think you have to be an A+ student to pass a CLEP exam. Even if you’re not a science wiz, you can still pass a Natural Sciences CLEP exam. However, it’s important to know that some colleges will set their own passing CLEP score.
Do More with Smarter
Using CLEP to earn credits is a great way to save time and money on college and graduate faster.
Want to find out how many credits you can earn with CLEP at your specific school? Have our team identify all of the eligible courses, and while they’re at it, tell you how much it will cost to prep for each course using Smarter.