What Is CLEP?
The abbreviation of “College Level Examination Program,” CLEP is a program of exams offered by the College Board, a not-for-profit examination board in the United States, formed in the nineteenth century. The College Board manages standardized tests, such as the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, CLEP, ACCUPLACER, and the subject-specific SAT Subject Tests and Advanced Placement tests.
CLEP offers the opportunities to the students of any age to demonstrate their college-level achievements through a series of tests. There are approximately 2,900 colleges and universities that grant college credits and/or advanced standing for CLEP tests or exams; a credit is a unit that gives weighting to the value, level or time requirements of an academic course. The CLEP tests facilitate the US students in high schools or universities to earn credits for the successful completion of each course for each academic term. The state or the institution generally sets a minimum number of credits required to graduate. There are various patterns of credits, which include one per course, one per hour/week in class, one per hour/week devoted to the course (including homework), etc.
The CLEP tests are mostly 90 minutes long and may currently cost $60 ($65, effective July 1, 2007) each. The CLEP exams usually correspond to a one or two semester introductory course on the topic. These tests are organized at testing centers on college and university campuses, as well as military installations; the centers charge an administrative or registration fee per student or per test, which may vary from $5.00-$60.00 ($65, effective July 1, 2007).
The CLEP tests are free to military service members. The Military Services whose members are eligible for CLEP tests include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Navy Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army and Air National Guard.
The CLEP tests are multiple-choice tests that offer scores on a scale from 20 to 80. The credit for a score of 50 or higher is granted by most of schools, but passing scores vary from school to school. The score of the foreign language CLEP tests determine the amount of credit granted; for instance, one university grants 8 credits for a score of 50, 12 credits for a score of 62 and 18 credits for a score of 73.
The CLEP tests help students avoid paying for one or two semesters to complete a course. They can save thousands of dollars that they put in college tuition costs and hundreds of hours of classroom time with every CLEP test. The CLEP tests have been around since 1967. The computer-based testing was introduced in CLEP in July 2001.