The CLEP program was created to be a way that students could get college credit for previous knowledge without having to take the course. By spending a little over $100, most people can get credit for a semester of college in one course. The test is about $65 today. It is advisable for the student to obtain a copy of a text that covers the material.
Almost 3,000 colleges and universities accept CLEP credit. For most schools there is a marked savings because most schools do not require any fees for the credit to be transferred to your transcript.
Colleges accept these credits for courses offered primarily during the first two years of school. Most are lower level although some can get into the 200 course number range. While nearly all CLEP credit is for a semester of work, some test cover an entire course of study. Foreign language tests fall into this category.
Some schools will only allow up to a certain number of hours to be earned this way. Somewhere around 30 hours of credit is usually the limit. However, 30 hours is basically a year of college. This makes them worth pursuing. This is like trading in $1,000 to get $5,000 to $10,000 in return.
The College Level Examination Program has little to do with your student loans except that it may keep you from needing as many. Earning credit this way helps to jump start your education and allows you to go farther faster. You may earn a bachelor’s degree with a summer school in 2 1/2 years. This will put you on track for a master’s degree in less than 5 years and maybe less than 4.
The tests are not easy. They will adequately test your knowledge of the subject. You will either pass or fail. It is not advisable to spend the money for these tests if you do not have a strong background in the material or take time to study for the test ahead of time.
The tests themselves break down into three sections. Each sections cover one of three areas. One area is your basic knowledge of the subject. The next covers your in-depth understanding of this material. The final section deals with your ability to apply what you know and understand. If you are proficient in all three areas, you will have no problem with the test.
For students coming out of high school with high achievement credentials, it is recommended that the list of CLEP offerings be examined for areas where advanced placement can be earned. Another class that is a candidate for these tests are those who have extensive job experience in the subject. It is probable that either of these could scan the book and earn the credit.