Students in college can take a single test and get full credit for a course. CLEP stands for College Level Examination Program. A CLEP is a single test that covers one subject. For example, there is a Psychology CLEP.
PSYC 2301 is a core class for most majors at most colleges. You can sit through the class for an hour 3 times per week for a full semester, write papers, listen to lectures, take notes, take quizzes, take tests,
and or course you will need to pass the final. If you do all of this and do it well, you will get 3 college credits for PSYC 2301 and you will be that much closer to completing your chosen degree plan and graduating from college.
But all of that takes time and can be ... well, a bit boring. There is another way but it assumes you are a good tester in general. You could test out of your class using a single test called CLEP.
For PSYC 2301, instead of taking and paying for the class, you could simply buy a good quality CLEP Psychology prep book, study it for a few weeks, then go to your college or any junior college and sign up to take the Psychology CLEP test. It is offered nearly daily by appointment only, and costs only $84 (paid directly to the testing center). You will get a score back before you leave the test site and if you pass, then that college (or any other college that you send your scores to) will potentially give you full credit for a core Psychology class at their college aka PSYC 2301.
CLEP - One test for 3-8 colleges credits
CLEP - 33 subjects to choose from
CLEP - Learn more at Collegeboard.org
Sounds Great! But CLEP is not perfect. The down side to CLEP is a big one but it is also pretty easy to avoid. And you will definitely want to avoid it.
Not all colleges accept all CLEPs
That's it! Doesn't sound so bad, right? But how would you like to do all the work and end up with no college credit? That can happen with CLEP. The simple fact is that each college gets to pick which, if any, CLEP test they accept. And they get to pick what score they will accept on each CLEP.
Most colleges accept some CLEPs but most colleges do not accept all CLEPs. The way around this problem is to know which college you plan to bank your CLEP with. Banking? This simply means that a school will accept your CLEP test and turn it into credit. Someone has to bank your CLEP. So if you are at a college, simply talk to advising or looking on their website to see which CLEPs they accept. Then only take those CLEPs. If you are not yet at college then you should not be doing CLEP. Period.
But? No buts about it. If you do not know for sure where you plan to bank your CLEP then it is a waste of time to prep for, pay for, and take a CLEP. Don't worry, as soon as you know which colleges you will be attending, you can get started CLEPing. In fact, CLEPing out of your major can be a way to speed up graduation by light years!
Check my other blogs on CLEP scoring and what to do when you don't do so well.
If you are not a good tester, skip CLEP.✿