College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a group of standardized tests developed and administered by College Board. It is a credit by examination program accepted by more than 2900 universities and colleges in United States. The students can earn credits of 33 exams in 5 subject areas and skip some of the undergraduate coursework.
The test is taken by undergraduate students. They can be college students and high school pass outs who want to earn college credits with saving time and money or home schooled students who want to certify their knowledge and skills in specific subject areas. The exam is also taken by military personnel who are willing to document their undergraduate-level subject-specific knowledge gained through experience.
In CLEP, there are 33 exams in 5 subject areas that are taught in first two years of a college. These exams are listed below-
History and Social sciences: – American government, History of the United States I: Early Colonization to 1877, History of the United States II: 1865 to the Present, Human Growth and Development, Introduction to Educational Psychology, Introductory Psychology, Introductory Sociology, Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, Social Sciences and History, Western Civilization I: Ancient Near East to 1648 and Western Civilization II: 1648 to the Present.
Composition & Literature: – American Literature, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature, College Composition, College Composition Modular, English Literature, and Humanities.
Science and Mathematics: – Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, College Algebra, College Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Precalculus.
Business: – Financial Accounting, Information Systems and Computer Applications, Introductory Business Law, Principles of Management, and Principles of Marketing.
World Languages: – French Language (Levels 1 and 2), German Language (Levels 1 and 2), and Spanish Language (Levels 1 and 2).
The CLEP exams consist of multiple choice questions. There can also be other type of questions and essays in some of the exams. Most of the exams are administered in 1 hour and 30 minutes except the college composition which is allotted 2 hours time. Most of the exams are in respect to one semester course; however, some corresponds to full year or two-year courses.
Each multiple-choice item in the exam holds a single raw point. The essay questions are graded by two or more scorers from different colleges. These grades are combined with score in multiple choice portion to derive a scaled score. The multiple choice portion is checked by computer. There is no negative marking. The final score lies between 20 and 80. The score is reported to examinee immediately after the test, except in college composition having essay question that takes 3 to 4 weeks for reporting. The scores are sent to colleges and employers mentioned while the test administration, without any additional cost. The examinee has option to cancel his/her score before he/she is informed his/her score after or while test administration.
CLEP exams are available at more than 1700 testing centers. The applicant must, first, know about the CLEP policy of his/her college and confirm that how many credits of which subjects can be gained through CLEP exams. By CLEP exams, at most 12 credits in a subject can be gained. The credits over CLEP tests and the qualifying score for it, varies from college to college. Some colleges also put restriction over total credits that can be earned through CLEP. Then, the applicant should contact the nearby test center, complete registration procedures, and do payment of exam fees.
Each CLEP test costs $77. Some colleges also charges additional non-refundable administration fee.