College Level Examination Program

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"CLEP" redirects here. For Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, see Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. For other uses, see CLEP (disambiguation).

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a group of standardized tests that assess college-level knowledge in several subject areas that are administered at more than 1,700 colleges and universities across the United States created by College Board.[1] There are 2,900 colleges which grant CLEP credit.[2] Each institution awards credit to students who meet the college's minimum qualifying score for that exam, which is typically 50, but it does vary by school and exam.[3] The tests are useful for students who have obtained knowledge outside the classroom, such as through independent study, job experience, or cultural interaction.[4] CLEP also offers students (including international and homeschool students) the opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in subject areas and bypass undergraduate coursework.

Test availability[edit]

The test is offered by the College Board. Approximately 2,900 colleges and universities will grant college credits for each test. Both U.S. and international schools grant CLEP credit. Most of the tests are 90 minutes long. They currently cost $80 each.[5] The tests are free to U.S. military service members and some veterans.[6][7] There is an additional fee of $10 for the optional essay portion of some of the exams. Each test usually corresponds to a one or two semester introductory course on the topic, though the Spanish, French, and German Language exams can be used to earn up to 12 credits.

CLEP exams are offered at testing centers on over 1,500 college and university campuses, as well as military installations.[8] Most centers charge an administrative or registration fee per student or per test. Fees usually range from $15–20, though they vary among test centers. Exams are administered on a computer in a lab style setting. Final results are available immediately after completing the exam.

CLEP tests are primarily multiple-choice exams (though some include fill-in or ordering questions, and one College Composition exam has an essay section) which are scored on a scale from 20 to 80. The majority of schools grant credit for a score of 50 or higher, but passing scores are determined by the individual schools and may vary. The schools are responsible for awarding the amount of credits you would receive for each test. The scores in the table below are endorsed by the American Council on Education as recommended credit-granting scores for each of the exams. On foreign language tests, the score will determine the amount of credit granted. For example, one university may grant 8 credits for a score of 50, 12 credits for a score of 62 and 18 credits for a score of 73.[citation needed]

Transferring credits[edit]

The CLEP administrators collect a school code that will route test scores to a student's college or university automatically. Currently, over 2,900 colleges will accept credit earned by CLEP tests.[9] However, some colleges only accept credits for a few specific tests, and do not allow the transfer of credit for every test that CLEP offers.

Duplication of credits[edit]

Duplication of credit occurs when a CLEP exam is attempted in a subject or similar subject that the student has already completed. If the exam is completed and there is duplication of credit, only partial credit is awarded.

For example, a student has completed 3 credits of a literature class. The student successfully completes the CLEP exam, Humanities. This exam that is worth 6 credits, however, the student would only be awarded 3 credits due to the duplication of subject material. Individual colleges often define duplication differently and may even allow duplicate CLEP tests as free electives.

Regression of credits[edit]

Regression of credit usually occurs when a student has completed an upper division course in a subject, and a lower leveled or lower division CLEP exam in the same or similar subject is attempted.

Currently available exams[edit]

2014 CLEP Examinations
Business Credits
Financial Accounting 3
Business Law, Introductory 3
Information Systems and Computer Applications 3
Management, Principles of 3
Marketing, Principles of 3
Composition and Literature Credits
American Literature 6
Analyzing and Interpreting Literature 6
College Composition 6
College Composition Modular 3/6
English Literature 6
Humanities 6
Foreign Languages Credits
French Language, Level 1 6
French Language, Level 2 12
German Language, Level 1 6
German Language, Level 2 12
Spanish Language, Level 1 6
Spanish Language, Level 2 12
History and Social Sciences Credits
American Government 3
Educational Psychology, Introduction to 3
History of the United States I: Early Colonization to 1877 3
History of the United States II: 1865 to Present 3
Human Growth and Development 3
Macroeconomics, Principles of 3
Microeconomics, Principles of 3
Psychology, Introductory 3
Social Sciences and History 6
Sociology, Introductory 3
Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648 3
Western Civilization II: 1648 to Present 3
Science and Mathematics Credits
Biology 6
Calculus 4
Chemistry 6
College Algebra 3
College Mathematics 6
Precalculus 3
Natural Sciences 6

CLEP exams for U.S. military personnel and veterans[edit]

CLEP exams are available free of charge for all qualifying United States Armed Forces personnel. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs also reimburses veterans for taking CLEP exams.[10]

CLEP preparation materials[edit]

There are many choices for CLEP preparation materials including JumpCourse (online CLEP prep courses), PassYourClass (book or online PDF) and the Official CLEP Study Guide (physical book).

See also[edit]



  1. ^ College Board website: CLEP: About the Exams
  2. ^ College Board website: CLEP: Getting Started
  3. ^ CLEP: Getting Credit
  4. ^ DANTES: College Level Examination Program
  5. ^ College Board website: CLEP: Registering
  6. ^ College Board website: CLEP for Military Personnel
  7. ^ College Board website: CLEP for Veterans
  8. ^ "CLEP Test Centers". Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Cheap College Credits". The Learning Curve. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  10. ^ College Board website: CLEP for Military Personnel

External links[edit]