easiest clep exam

The Easiest and Hardest CLEP Exams

Feb 1, 2021 | Time

What is CLEP?

CLEP or the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program is a Credit-by-Exam program trusted for over 50 years. CLEP allows anyone of any age to demonstrate their mastery of general education, college-level subjects and earn credits for them. You can earn college credits by taking and passing tests on over 30 subjects.   

Nearly 3,000 colleges and universities accept CLEP credits, and you can sit for CLEP exams at more than 2,000 test centers nationwide. 

How does CLEP work?

While the College Board sponsors CLEP, only colleges may grant credit toward a degree. Not all colleges have the same CLEP policies. 

Some factors to consider:

  • The College Board has a recommended credit-granting score guide, but your school may decide a different score.
  • Some colleges accept credit for all CLEP exams. Other colleges accept a few CLEP exams and may require you to sit for an actual class on some subjects. 
  • If you take and pass a CLEP exam, your college will grant you the same amount of credits you would get if you took a traditional class. 

Since you don’t have to sit for 16 weeks in a class, you can finish college a lot faster with CLEP. 

Our Prep Course Plan lets you know exactly how many credits you can CLEP. Find out how.

What subjects does CLEP cover?

Business, Composition and Literature, History, Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences, and World Languages are just a few of CLEP’s exam topics. And this is just a broad list. The tests become more specific under each subject. 

Now that you know more about CLEP, you may be wondering where to start? Which exams should you choose first? Which CLEP exams are the easiest? We based this easiest and hardest list of CLEP exams on the passing rates of students in 2017. 

Easiest Exams 

Exam Pass Rate (%)
Spanish Language 91%
College Composition Modular 83%
College Composition 81%
Introductory Sociology 80%
Principles of Marketing 79%
French Language 78%
College Mathematics 76%
Human Growth and Development 75%
Analyzing and Interpreting Lit 75%
Principles of Macroeconomics 72%

Hardest Exams

Exam Pass Rate (%)
Chemistry 39%
Western Civilization II 48%
American Literature 51%
Introductory Business Law 51%
American Government 52%
College Algebra 52%
Calculus 53%
Financial Accounting 55%
History of United States II 56%
Natural Sciences 57%


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Do More with Smarter

That wraps up our list! Which test you find the easiest or hardest will ultimately come down to your educational background and history. Before choosing a CLEP exam to take, make sure you’re knowledgeable about the subject and that your school accepts CLEP credits.

CLEP exams are one of the best ways to gain college credits and get your degree faster — but not the easiest. 

CLEP exams require a lot of self-discipline, accountability, and study, but that’s where Smarter with Achieve can help. 

 Smarter with Achieve offers expert exam guidance to ensure that you pass your CLEP exam on the first try, whether easy or hard. We offer live, virtual courses with dedicated instructors in a collaborative learning environment. You’ll review exam-specific questions and have access to a library of material, so you can feel confident on test day. 

Ready to prep? Get in contact with one of our Smarter Advisors today!

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