An incredibly inexpensive way to gather college credit is to take CLEP tests. First of all, a CLEP test is a nationally administered college level test that will allow you to gain college credit, so long as the college you are interested in accepts CLEP tests. “CLEP” stands for College Level Examination Program. 2,900 educational institutions accept CLEP tests. Some institutions accept only some of the 34 subject tests. The subject tests will count for either 3 or 6 credit hours. For example the principles of accounting counts for 6 credis, while principles of marketing counts for 3 credits.
The greatest advantage of a CLEP test is the cost. A CLEP test only costs $55 payable to the testing institution, and approximately $15 to $35 payable to the educational institution where you are taking the test. That is a total of approximately $90 to gain 3 to 6 credit hours. Rather than having to pay escalating educational costs, and rather than having to attend classes for months, one can simply take a single test for $90 to gain the same amount of credit.
To take the test a student must find a testing center. Almost every major city has at least three or four testing centers. For example, Atlanta, Georgia has three testing location. Though Atlanta only has three testing locations, dozens of other schools in the Atlanta area accept the successful completion of the test as credit. Out of a scale of 20 to 80, a student only needs a score of 50 to pass. A score of 50 equates to a C in the subject when compared to students who sat through the class and then took the test.
Students will have to schedule an appointment to take the test at a test center. Typically, the test centers have three to five testing days per week, and almost all of them have a Saturday test day available, or an evening schedule available. Some locations test as last as 8 pm. The test typically takes 90 minutes to complete. The test is administered by Collegeboard.com, Inc, which keeps records of student scores on hand for at least 20 years.
To receive credit for the test a student must have information of a passing score on a particular test or a group of tests mailed to the educational institution, so that they can grant the credits. The granting of credits is very similar to transfering credits into a school.
Very simply the CLEP test is a nationally administered method of “testing out” of a class. Rather than sit through the class, one can merely take a CLEP test in its place. To prepare for the test one simply has to read one or two text books associated with the subject, gain a solid understanding of the content, take the practice tests within the book, schedule a day to take the CLEP test, pay the fee, and take the test. Some individuals claim to have only study for about twenty days for a CLEP test and passed with a B equivalent.
The score that is received on the test will display on the screen immediately. There is no waiting period. If at the end of the test a student feels that he or she did poorly, the student can cancel the submission of the test, meaning the student can immediately take a re-test. On the other hand, if a student takes a CLEP test and processes the score but does not pass he or she must wait six months to take the same test again. This is a protective procedure so that students don’t simply fail a test and then go home and study for the particular questions. Every six months the CLEP tests are re-created with new questions.
The CLEP test system is incredibly inexpensive and efficient. And consider this: if all the subject tests credits were added up they would equal over 120 credit hours, which is approximately the amount of hours needed for a Bachelor’s degree.