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Prospective college students benefit from taking CLEP exams

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
You may have an interest in accelerating your degree. Or you may want to skip introductory courses and jump into more challenging material. You may simply want to find a way to make college more affordable. The tests offered through the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) can help you jumpstart your college degree and cut tuition costs.

What are CLEP exams?

College Board, a higher education research organization, offers 33 assessments known as CLEP exams. According to, by taking and passing any one of these assessments, you may be able to earn credit toward your college degree. Currently, there are 2,900 colleges and universities that accept CLEP credit.

What types of CLEP exams are there?

Each CLEP exam is designed to cover topics that are typically required as part of your freshman or sophomore college curriculum. The assessments are grouped into five subject areas: business, composition and literature, history and social sciences, sciences and mathematics and world languages.

If you plan on majoring in business, you may want to take the financial accounting CLEP exam, while gifted writers can earn credit by completing the college composition assessment.

What is the CLEP exam format?

Most of the exams are mainly comprised of multiple-choice questions and take about 90 minutes to complete, according to College Board. However, a few, like the college composition test, take 120 minutes and require students to provide written responses to essay questions. Tests are scored between 20 and 80. Generally, participating colleges require a minimum score of 50 in order to award credit. You should always check with the colleges you are interested in attending about their CLEP policy.

What are the benefits of taking a CLEP exam?

There are several reasons why you should take one or more CLEP exams. If you have concerns about paying for college, these assessments provide one way of bringing down tuition costs. The cost for a CLEP exam is currently $77. College tuition ranges from $100 to nearly $1,000 per credit depending on the college you attend. Receiving CLEP credit could result in a big savings.

The more CLEP exams you take in basic subjects, the less time you will have to devote to relearning things you already know. This allows you to take more advanced classes sooner, which, in turn, may help you graduate in less than four years and get into your chosen career sooner.

If you are serving in the Armed Forces, or you are a veteran, you may be reimbursed for your testing fees thanks to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, reports.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800759974-ADNFCR - helping you find colleges and universities that offer the accredited programs that most interest you.

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Prospective college students benefit from taking CLEP exams
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