clep exams

The $85 College Secret That’ll Save You Thousands

Dec 28, 2020 | Money

Would you rather pay $1,000 for a general education course or $85 for a 90-minute test?
The cost of college tuition just seems to be rising every year. But, if you’re proactive, you can save money on college and avoid crippling student loan debt. How? Through a little known college secret called Credit-by-Exam.

How Does Credit-by-Exam Work?

Credit-by-Exam tests like CLEP, DSST, and UExcel are all college-level replacement exams that allow you to knock out prerequisites fast, and it works in two easy steps…

  • You pass one exam for each college prerequisite.
  • Then, accredited colleges accept the passed exam as transfer credits.

With Credit-by-Exam, you can rack up enough credits to skip the first two years of college without sitting for a single class. Credit-by-Exam test credits are accepted at over 3,000 colleges and offer 30 exams that allow you to earn three or more college credits each.

Top 3 Credit-by-Exam Benefits

  • You get to save time. For example, taking just one exam can save you more than 100 hours of class and study time.
  • You save thousands of dollars. If you earn just 15 CLEP credits, you can save an average of $5,000 at a public 4-year college.
  • Speed up your degree and graduate faster. Credit-by-Exam allows you to complete your introductory requirements and move on to significant courses faster.

How Much Does Credit-by-Exam Cost?

The most popular Credit-by-Exam test is the College-Level Equivalency Program or CLEP tests. CLEP exams cost $85 each. Other Credit-by-Exam tests can cost between $85- $100. Military personnel and veterans may be eligible for free CLEP tests through the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) program. Some colleges run occasional promotions that discount the price of the exam.

What Courses Can I Test Out Of?

You can test out of 30 college courses using CLEP, including…

  • Financial Accounting
  • Introductory Business Law
  • American Literature
  • College Composition
  • Spanish I
  • Spanish II
  • American Government
  • History of the United States
  • Introductory Psychology
  • Introductory Sociology
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Biology
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • College Algebra
  • College Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
  • Precalculus

…And much, much more. Be sure to check the College Board’s website for a complete list of subjects you can test out of at your college.

Does Credit-by-Exam Work At My School?

Before pursuing Credit-by-Exam, you want to confirm with your college three things. First, you must find out if your school accepts Credit-by-Exam test credits and for which subjects, and also, what counts as a passing score. You don’t want to register for exams that your college won’t recognize. In general, you’ll need to score a 50 out of 80 for a passing CLEP exam, but what your school counts as a passing CLEP score may vary. Be sure to double-check.

Other things you may want to discuss with your admissions advisor about include…

Transfer credits: Ask your admissions counselor if your school limits the number of credits you can transfer to a degree program. If you have a lot of credits to transfer, you may be limited in how many credits you can transfer with Credit-by-Exam.

Caps on test-out credits: With Credit-by-Exam, you may be able to test out of your first two years of college and enroll as a junior. However, some colleges limit the total number of Credit-by-Exam credits you can earn. Many schools will not allow you to CLEP a subject in which you have failed previously.

You can check if your school accepts Credit-by-Exam test using the College Board’s search tool. On the College Board website, you will find a list of school that accepts CLEP credits and how many credits they accept.

How Smarter with Achieve Can Help

Don’t underestimate the value of Credit-by-Exam test for your education. The money and time savings are a bonus to anyone who wants to finish their degree a little sooner and with a little more money in their pocket.
Ready to test-out using Credit-by-Exam? Smarter with Achieve can help you prep for your CLEP, DSST, and UExcel with expert exam guidance.

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