CLEP (College Level Examination Program) tests have been around for over 40 years and they continue to become more popular as college students across the country realize there is a better, faster, and cheaper way to obtain a bachelor’s degree. A total of 34 different tests are available.
More than 2,900 institutions award credit for CLEPs. Some have limitations as to how many credits can be transferred; others, like the Thomas Edison State College, have no limit.
Why take a CLEP test? The traditional college route takes you through many subjects already covered in high school. There is no need to spend the first year or two of your college studies these basic courses. CLEP tests, as of August 2009, cost only $72, along with a testing center fee of $15-20. That is a tremendous savings of both time and money, with each credit hour costing around $30.
Most tests can be prepared for in one or two weeks, or less. Take the practice exam to begin with, if you score 60-65% or higher, you are probably ready to take the test. A score of 50 (on a scale of 20 to 80), which is equivalent to a C grade, is all that is needed to pass.
You will probably find that on most tests you will need to do a little extra study before you try to take it. The good news is that you should not have to spend a penny on study resources; with a local library, or just access to the Internet, you have all you need.
One study resource- Instant Cert- provides online flashcards for more than 20 CLEP tests. Flashcards are an effective method of learning, and it is well worth the $20 it costs to get a 1 month subscription at Instant Cert.
Though you might be told you are missing out on valuable classroom instruction, the reality is that you can learn all the same stuff and more at your own pace studying at home. Many students do not realize how the traditional college route holds them back.
By replacing many regular college courses with CLEP tests, you will get the same bachelor’s degree for much less money and a lot less time. It’s an opportunity that no one can afford to pass up. Though you may feel pressured to go the normal route, don’t trap yourself with society’s expectations. Fit as many CLEP tests as you can into your college degree as possible!